We had planned to leave at 7 in the morning after breakfast with the provincial leadership, but it rain throughout the night and the car got stuck in the mud on the way to the conference center. So I had hard boiled eggs alone and waited for the driver. Once he came we picked up Rev. Kawageme, Rev. Sikazwe, the wife of the bishop, and two boys. And we started the long trek to Mbeya. It was cool and raining when we left, but it got hot and sunny as we traveled. On the way out of town a police office stopped us and asked for a ride to his roadside station. Of course we agreed!
We were a quiet group most of the way. I think we were all tired. Shortly before we reached Tunduma we got a flat tiredand as soon as possible we stopped to repair it. There was a long row of shops, one of
which did tire repair. It was fascinating to watch them work without all of the automatic tools we are accustomed to, but I’m afraid I got burned in the sun despite having put on sunblock. While we were waiting Rev. Sikazwe smelled pork frying, and Peter asked if I would like to try it. He seemed pleased I said yes. So we stepped into a little shop where a woman was cooking. She cut up pork in small pieces, seasoned them, and fried them. We sat on narrow wooden benches with a low plastic table in front of us and ate the pork with toothpicks as our skewers. Delicious. Especially with the pepper sauce. Finally the tire was back on the Land Cruiser and once again we were on our way.
After Tunduma we were making good time. The landscape changed from plains to hill country. Some of the vistas were gorgeous, but we ran into a speed trap coming down an incline. The driver argued with the police officer that he wasn’t speeding, but there was a camera. We had to pull over and wait. And wait. We got out of the car and waited. The pastors went over to try to help, but to no avail. I tried to find a place out of the sun. Finally, the fine was paid and we were off again.We passed the Songwe airport and made our way into Mbeya. After a weak in Sumbawanga and various villages, Mbeya seemed huge and crowded. Traffic was terrible. We dropped off our passengers, and came to the gates of Teofilo Kisanji University where Sr. Mary Kategile was waiting for us. Kisanji was the first Tanzanian bishop.
The university has a large and beautiful campus. It looks like a park or garden, and the buildings are new. Representatives from Moravian College were in the conference room meeting with the senior administration of the university discussing possible partnership. It was so nice to see our Provost Cynthia Kosso, the director of our international studies program, Christian Sinclair, and Dr. Akbar Keshodar, our expert on Africa (especially Zanzibar). The meetings were going well.
Sr. Kategile reserved a room for me at the Beaco Resort, which was much nicer than I would have chosen for myself! I relaxed for a bit and then dressed for dinner. I wore the beautiful Moravian seal shirt that was a gift from Mlimani Theological College and we were all amused that the table cloth was the same pattern! It was nice meeting the TEKU folk and dinner was very good. It was nice to have something a little different from rice and chicken. Or I should say in addition to rice and chicken! Akbar and I hardly see each other on campus and it was nice to catch up. I invited myself to go with the group tomorrow to visit some of the natural beauty that was suggested by the faculty at TEKU. And they gave gifts to the Moravian faculty – shirts and dresses similar to the one I was wearing! We are all hopeful that we can establish regular relations between Moravian College and Theological Seminary and TEKU.