This morning we began by packing up our bags before breakfast. After breakfast we will leave for church at the ACC (Arush Community Church – located next to ALMC – the hospital) and we don’t plan to return here which means we won’t need to travel up this rough road again. Yea!! Worship begins about 10:30 am so we don’t need to get up very early which is nice. Once again it is a beautiful day and we are served breakfast out on a “patio” (an area next to the kitchen with a roof over it. The day once again begins cool and comfortable with plenty of sunshine which means it will be warm.
Worship at ACC is in English which is nice. We appreciate the gathering with fellow believers and see a couple of people there we have meet in the last two days. Angelica, whom we met yesterday, invited us to stop by the orphanage she is running. She is a very interesting woman who has lived with the Massai for many years. She has developed an orphanage to help young orphan Massai girls. The facility is near Arusha and she invited us to come by for a brief visit.
Before we are able to determine if that will work we need to figure out what is happening with Tom and his family as well as Laurence. We have learned that their vehicle is not working once again. A mechanic from Access 2 Tanzania was called to look at it. He was not able to fix it there so it need to be towed to a repair shop. The Meyers have a few other stops they need to make in town before they head out. Tom and his family are able to hire another Access vehicle to bring them to the SCV (STEMM Children’s Village). So we need to pick up Laurence at some point. But it is decided that we (Latham, Patti, Lori and I) will go to the orphanage while the Meyers make their stops.
Angelica rides with us to show us the way. The children have attended a different worship service and we arrive before they do. The grounds are well kept but tight quarters for them. They do have a small area for a garden. The facility is nice and well kept up. We learn that they do not have a sign identifying themselves because the need is so great that they would be overwhelmed. They do have limited office hours and we learn that they have allowed one boy to stay with them on an emergency basis. Otherwise they have all girls.
They invite us to have a meal with them. The meal is rice and a “stew” that they pour over the rice. It is very tasty and we are thankful for their hospitality. Following our meal the children sing for us with Angelica leading on the guitar and one young girl playing the drums. They sing very enthusiastically of their love for Jesus and His watchful care over them. Soon it is time for the younger girls to have a nap and for us to take our leave. We were blessed to have been able to spend a little time together.
We head back to Arusha in order to pick up Charity and her two children. She is the gal connected with the Rotary Club that we met with on Day 1. Since the Access vehicle will be returning and we have room it seems wise for her to ride alone with us. After we pick them up we begin to head out and then our driver stops along the road. He tells us we need to pick someone up here. We felt we were pretty full already and not real sure what is going on. After a little while Laurence shows up and we make room for one more person by putting some of our luggage in between the seats. Laurence informs us that the STEMM vehicle is still not repaired and he will ride with us because our driver does not know the way to the SCV. That means we are doubly happy to see Laurence. He has been a real joy and resource for us!
We are about to experience the trip out to Mbuguni that we have heard so much about. Soon the tar road ends and we are on a dirt/gravel road. There are many bumps about the size of “washboard” on gravel roads back home. However they are not like washboard in being at regular intervals. There are just random bumps along the way. The road is not wide and we slow down when a truck passes from the other direction. Along the way, maybe after 30 to 40 minutes, we come to a place where they are dumping “gravel” (imagine gravel with large rocks in it) on half the road. So now it is a one lane road. Apparently the road floods when it rains so they are trying to build it higher. Part of the time we go off the road and through the field. After another 10 minutes or so we come to Mbuguni. Now there is no gravel on the road. It is a dirt road. Try and imagine Iowa field dirt that has not had rain on it for months so it is dusty dry. Most of the top layer of the “roadway” (and that is a generous use of the term) is like that. Even when we walk on it the dust rises. It is soft and fine and a cloud follows the vehicle. At one point the Land Rover scraped bottom on a cement piece that crossed the road. Not sure why it was there. I asked Charity if she was glad she didn’t need to take her car. She was!
It is only a short drive and we arrive at camp. The guard opens the gate and we drive in to where we will be spending the next few days. Tom introduces us to some of the staff and the children. He then takes us and Charity on a brief tour of the facility and then we sit and visit for a while. Not only is Charity willing to help us with the Rotary Club but she is also giving us some advice about a project we are beginning with Briar Cliff University which is giving grants to 6 ladies. They will make items, like bags, which will be brought back to BCU and their Economic Club with market them. Charity is willing to consider being part of the team that will teach the women and she also offers suggestions of items they could consider making in the future. Wow! She is a real blessing!
Charity and her children left with the Access driver after about an hour visit. We went to our “home” and began to unpack. After getting settled in we meet at the director’s house for supper. Sarah, who has been hired to cook for us, prepared us a meal of chicken, rice, fried potatoes, and a cucumber salad. It was very good. After supper we headed back to our place and cleaned up and went to bed.