A few random thoughts..

It has been a long day.  Robert and I both awoke around 3am last night and could not get back to sleep.  At least the phone didn’t ring last night!  I had forgotten what wild dreams this malaria medication can evoke.  Maybe my brain decided it had had enough and didn’t want any more of those.  I’ll spare you the details!

I had also forgotten how much energy it can take to understand folks for whom English is a second language.   I think I have more sympathy now for folks from up North who come visit down South!  But thank the Lord these folks in Africa know English.  If it was up to me knowing Swahili, we would be in trouble indeed.

I have determined that I do not like warm (actually hot!) milk with my cereal.  I do not like it here.  I do not like it there.  I do not think I would like it anywhere!

As to the conference:  what’s up with all the acronyms?  It’s like somebody exploded a case of alphabet soup up in here!  I’ve never seen so many acronyms!

On a more serious note, it was a fruitful day at the conference.  I really was affirmed about some of what we are doing with EDEN through the dialog and presentations today.  Robert and I were both able to engage some other participants and have some good discussions.  I was able to connect with an irrigation supplier here in Arusha at the small trade show that was held.  Hopefully they can help with our supplies for this area.

We made it for the morning worship this morning.  It was a little different for the worship leader to have an Aussie accent, but neat to know that we serve the same God.  And He can understand us, no matter what the accent!

Sorry I didn’t get any pictures today, but we’ve been inside the hotel all day!  I’ll try to do better tomorrow!

Arusha, Tanzania

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Mount Meru

After a 24 hour journey, we finally made it to Arusha, Tanzania.  The flights were relatively uneventful.  No crying babies!  Yay!  No sleep, though.  We got in along with about 300 other tired people at about 9pm.  The visa process was something else, however.  Had to wait and wait.  Get in this line to pay.  Then that line to stamp.  Then that line to take a picture.  Then that line to fingerprint.  Finally got out!  But then……customs!  They were not happy with our drip irrigation kits.  Tried to explain we were taking them to Kenya.  Back and forth.  At one point I thought I was going to have to pay a $170 duty on them….almost as much as they are worth here!  And to do it, I would have to leave the airport, exchange money and return because they would not take US dollars.  And by this time it is 10:30 or so.

Well, it was either my charm or Robert’s boyish good looks, but we got out without a duty!  Just kidding, know it was the Lord’s favor.  But…..we got outside and our shuttle to the hotel had left us!  Oh boy!  We talked with a taxi driver and he agreed to take us (about an hour drive).  Moses was a good driver, goes to church and farms a little.  We finally stumbled into our hotel at about 12:30.

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Arusha, from a hotel balcony.

I think I got about 5 hours sleep last night.  Slept like a rock until my phone rang at 3:30….some toll free number from the US.  How does that work?  Thankfully, I fell right back to sleep.  Anyway, we had to be up early for the start of the conference.  It is sponsored byt ECHO, a group who promotes agricultural development around the world.  There is a pile of people here!  It is exciting to hear about what is going on.  Not much talk of South Sudan, though.

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Robert and I nearly slept through the last two sessions…..at least I did anyway!  It has been a long day.  Think we will get a bite to eat and call it an early evening!

Off We Go……..

Robert Dickinson and Jim Mixson are headed to Tanzania and Kenya!  Here is the info on the trip.  Prayers are appreciated!  Stay tuned for updates, depending on their internet temperament!

February 2017 Trip Details

February 5  —  Depart Columbia at 12pm.

February 6  —  Arrive at Kilimanjaro Airport in Tanzania at 8:40pm.  Tanzania is 8 hours ahead of SC.  We Will be staying at the Naura Springs Hotel in Arusha.

February 7-9  —  Agricultural Missions Conference with ECHO.

February 10 —  Meet with representatives with World Hope Ministries International and see their Bible college.  James Roberts taught here last April.

February 11 —  We will meet a team from With Open Eyes and go on a day hike up Mount Kilimanjaro.  We will go up to an elevation of about 4000 feet and then back down.

February 12  —  We will worship at a Maasai church outside of Arusha.

February 13  —  We will return to the same church to fellowship with and minister to the congregation.

February 14 – 16 —  One With Open Eyes group leaves for the Nuba Mountains in South Sudan.  Our group will travel to Meto to minister at the Maasai church there.  We will be camping out on the Serengeti Plain for 2 nights.  Should have brought my hyena repellant!  We will do a short training session on conservation farming methods and improved crop storage with the pastors in the area.  We will also be gleaning information about the Maasai people and their changing needs.  We travel to Nairobi, Kenya in the afternoon of the 16th

February 17  —  We have meetings with several irrigation part suppliers to talk about sourcing drip irrigation parts.  We will also meet with a friend of Marvin Bozard (GAiN) who is a native Kenyan involved in agriculture work in Africa.  We plan to have dinner with the returning group from the Nuba Mountains and hear a report of their trip.

February 18  —  We will travel to a special needs school north of Nairobi.  We will look at ways we might support their efforts and get an idea of how it operates.  We have the child’s Gospel bracelets to give them.  We fly out of Nairobi late on Saturday night.

February 19  —  We arrive in Columbia at 5:21pm.