Alone

Alone The lone chair sits on top of a hill overlooking the playground of a Tanzanian elementary school. The usual occupier of the chair is the manager of the school's lunch program, where she takes her break from the kitchen's heat. There is no other "furniture" in the area; no picnic tables, no benches, no … Continue reading Alone

Circle of Life

Vulture on Zebra Carcass While on safari in Tanzania, the scenes and songs from the movie, "Lion King" often popped into my head. But none more than the lyrics of "The Circle of Life". Some say eat or be eaten Some say live and let live But all are agreed as they join the stampede … Continue reading Circle of Life

Choo

Priority One Choo is the Swahili word for “toilet”, one of the first words learned by Western visitors. This photo was taken at a Mosaic primary school near Moshi, Tanzania. It is a woman’s toilet, possibly named “Lucy”. The second line on the sign translates to “Take Care of the Toilet”, and the third line, … Continue reading Choo

Marabou Stork

Marabou Stork Storks enjoyed a favorable connotation when I was a kid. The myth about the stork delivering babies was known world wide, and illustrations always presented them pleasantly; i.e. happy, friendly, trustworthy, reliable, etc. That reputation was shattered when I met the Marabou Stork in its natural habitat -- the local garbage dump in … Continue reading Marabou Stork

Chagga Banana

Chagga Banana The predominant tribe around Mount Kilimanjaro in northern Tanzania is the Chagga. Except for a few Maasai, most of the people I met with during my two week visit were Chagga. One of the highlights of the trip was a dinner hosted by the Bishop of the Northern Diocese, Dr. Frederick Shoo, an … Continue reading Chagga Banana

Grain Dryer

Drying Millet Tanzanians are very resourceful and maximize whatever is available to make a living. Abundant sunshine, except for the rainy season, is used to dry grain spread out on tarps. The wet grain is continually turned over to complete the drying process. Later, grain will be collected and "poured" from one container to the … Continue reading Grain Dryer

Endless Plain

Serengeti Plain The Serengeti Plain in Northern Tanzania covers 12,000 square miles, about the size of the state of Maryland. Travel photos and movies showing African landscape typically depict a savannah, which is a mosaic of woodland and grassland, scattered with the iconic flat-topped Acacia (umbrella tree). About one-third of the Serengeti is grassland like … Continue reading Endless Plain

Machame Hospital

Machame Hospital - Motorcycle Ward Machame Hospital, near Moshi Tanzania, has been in operation since 1906, when German missionary doctor, Dr. Herman Ploetze, arrived. It has grown to a 230 bed facility owned by the Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Northern Diocese, and treats over 150 outpatients daily. Cheaply made Chinese motorcycles driven by risk-immune … Continue reading Machame Hospital

Eager Learners

Uduru Preschoolers Happy children, learning how to socialize, follow rules, cooperate with others, satisfy their curiosity and expand their knowledge. These are students of the Uduru Parish Preschool near Moshi, Tanzania; dressed in the uniform purple sweater, some with matching hats and others wearing hats of the Tanzanian flag colors. Today there are over sixty … Continue reading Eager Learners

Threshing Beans

Threshing Beans Agricultural labor is mostly done by hand in the Kilimanjaro region of Tanzania. Tractors are becoming more noticeable, but still rare. It is not uncommon to see large fields being hoed by 8-10 men, using primitive-looking hoes with large heads and roughly hewn handles. Here beans are being threshed by hand. Dried bean … Continue reading Threshing Beans

Balloons

Neema Orphanage Children in this Tanzanian orphanage remove their shoes and stack them neatly outside the door before entering their living quarters. After the initial wave of hysteria over the balloons, the children settled down and waited patiently for their care givers to blow up a balloon for each of them. The plaque below the … Continue reading Balloons

New Friend

I met this little guy by accident, searching for the choo (toilet) behind a children's center in Moshi, Tanzania. He was alone, but I could hear distant sounds of a preschool classroom. His face was full of questions, but smiled when I greeted him in Swahili. Bashful, yet engaging, he didn't try to speak. I … Continue reading New Friend

Mt. Kilimanjaro

Mt. Kilimanjaro I just returned from two weeks in Tanzania. With the exception of a five-day safari, I was on the foothills of Mt. Kilimanjaro, and was fortunate to see the mountain's top on several days. This is the view from the hotel balcony where I stayed for six nights. Thought for the Day: In … Continue reading Mt. Kilimanjaro

Going Bananas

Market Day Market Day is the busiest day of the week in the small village of Mwiki, Tanzania. Farmers bring their produce, and merchants bring their wares. Bananas are the most popular food item traded at the market. Just about anything you think of can be found at this open air market. Grains, fruit and … Continue reading Going Bananas

Crater

Ngorongoro Crater A few gazillion years ago a volcano blew its top off. Given the size of the crater today, 11 miles across and 2,000' deep, the mountain was taller than Mount Kilimanjaro, the world's tallest free standing mountain and just a few miles away in Northern Tanzania. It is the most intact caldera in … Continue reading Crater

Winning Smile

AIDs and malaria are the primary cause of Tanzanian orphans. Orphaned children are typically taken in by other family members; the orphanage is a last resort. The orphanage keeps hair short for maintenance and hygienic reasons so the only way to tell girls from boys is the skirts they wear. Visitations from mission groups are … Continue reading Winning Smile

Ephraim D. Muro

I met Ephraim D. Muro in early 2016 during a mission trip to Moshi, Tanzania.  Standing in line for a pot luck dinner at his church, he insisted that I go first, which then became a point of respectful disagreement.  Knowing how age was so respected in their culture, I was somewhat offended that he … Continue reading Ephraim D. Muro

Happiness

Webster's definition of happiness is: 1: good fortune: prosperity  2: a: a state of well-being and contentment: joy b: pleasurable satisfaction. The first definition, "good fortune: prosperity" contradicts everything I was taught as a child; i.e. money doesn't bring happiness.  The second definition more aptly matches my value system; i.e. contentment and well-being come from … Continue reading Happiness

Learning to Count

A bright young girl in Uduru Lutheran Parish's preschool shows the teacher she can count to 100.  Located near Moshi, Tanzania, this typical preschool relies on the church, volunteers and donations to prepare their youngsters for primary school. The four year old students were so quiet and patient, I marveled at the teacher's control of the … Continue reading Learning to Count

School’s Out

On a morning walk near Moshi, Tanzania I could hear young children's excited voices.  Several kids were running toward me from both directions, all with big smiles on their faces.  Soon, I was surrounded by a dozen boisterous youngsters, all dressed in the same school jersey, all with such uninhibited joy -- like school was … Continue reading School’s Out