Today has seen us drive 5 hours from Iringa to near Mpwapwa, through amazing mountains energy and then up the rift valley. The road at times had tarmac, and at other points was like driving up a very rough and potholed footpath across a field, all done with foot hard on accelerator or brake depending what was 5 foot ahead!
We saw very poor communities, the individual mud huts of Massai with their goats and cattle, and also drove through the capital city of Dodoma and stopped to look into the cathedral and get lunch.
We are now on the foothills of a hill, overlooking a large plain, at St. Philip’s Theological College, an Anglican Centre to train pastors from across Tanzania. It is a beautiful spot, with guest house with beds for upto 13 guests, although we did have a power cut soon after we arrived, which happen most days here we are told, but it was back on before dark.
Not sure when we will be able to get this posted on the website, as there is no internet, but are writing this in the hope we can send it to Jono to post when we get somewhere with Internet access.
There is an English woman called Janet here who comes from Yorkshire,L but spends a lot of time in the college teaching English and helping with administration.
Justin, who works for Tearfund in Tanzania has joined us, and we have had a long conversation about CCMP, and helpfully he likened our involvement like this:
If he decided to walk to Mpwapwa, then he needed to set out on that journey. We mi gb then arrive in a car and he would ask if we could give him a lift. We say we are not going to Mpwapwa but we are going some of the way and so he gets a lift for part of his journey. But he has to make the first decision to go to Mpwapwa, we don’t tell him to go, but we may be able to help him along part of the journey.
I thought this was a helpful analogy of our Involvement. We don’t want to get involved with a community here and tell them where they have got to go or what they must do, but we will hopefully be able to help them along part of the journey.
Tomorrow we go to the village we may partner with, but first the Archbishop of Tanzania and his wife, together with some of his staff have to join us and we go with them – 12 people in total, probably, although in Tanzanian style who knows, and whilst we are meant to all meet at 9am, it could be possibly later, even much later – you certainly have to get used to a different expectation and time management.
We are looking forward to seeing the village, hearing at what stage they are at, and then discussing with CCMP, Tearfund and the Bishop, the way forward. I believe the Diocese are expectant and excited about starting their first such project.
By the way, we heard that Bishop James had visited the village near Iringa last year, and had been made an elder together with the elders robes and stick. We are waiting to find out when he has to go back to dig his paddy field along with the others in the community!
More news from the village when we can.