Inspired Words

These are the experiences of our volunteers in Tanzania.


November 7: “TIA” – this is Africa!

Posted in Tanzania on November 7, 2012


Today is hot, smoking hot.  I didn't think that we could smell worse today than we did yesterday, but alas it is true.  We all smell equally ghastly.  It's no wonder we don't see any animals.  We're chasing them away with our foul odor.  It's fantastic.  They only come out at night to make noise while we lie under our mosquito nets and I wonder if they will come in to eat us.  For all of my telling our daughter Sarah that all would be well, I'm the one a bit freaked out by the lack of walls in our banda.  Sarah has chased me out of my bed and sleeps beside her dad, Rod and I lie sleep in my own bed a few feet away.  On occasion, when the bush babies wake me at night, I ponder crawling into bed with the two of them.  Our sons are in their own bandas and are loving the adventure of having it all to themselves.  They woke this morning to find blue monkeys sipping out of the water dish set out to water the birds just a few feet away from their beds.

We've adopted the acronym `TIA' - This is Africa - for anything that seems foreign or backwards to us.  We set out to paint the resource center and library but were instructed not to use the new rollers that we brought, so we painted the entire thing with brushes.  This is incredibly difficult for our son Matthew who is very logic smart.  He has a more efficient way to do anything and is almost going mad doing it the African way.  My motto has always been, 'when in doubt or extremely frustrated, just laugh.'  There is much laughing that goes on daily! 

The children in the village are very taken with us and it's hard to describe what it's like to have them run up and grab our hands to walk along side us.  Sometimes, I have to divide my hand up into 5 fingers and each child gets one.  I get a bit annoyed when they hit each other to try to get as close as they can to us, but they are adorable and I want to put them each into my pocket and take them home with me.  Although, one small child must not have seen a white face before because I scared her into the arms of her mother, shrieking in horror. 

Andrew's face is covered with dust and his cheeks are super rosy.  He's been teaching the boys in the village to do flips off the trees.  They follow him around and cheer him on. 

We're all still working off our jet lag.  Sarah has missed dessert for 2 nights in a row because she keeps falling asleep at the table.  Something, I have never seen happen before!  We're getting a ridiculous amount of sleep at night and it feels glorious. 

Karen Klassen
DWC Participant
Tanzania, November 2012

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