April was full of many wonderful things. First we had a visit from Pastor Dan and Pastor Rick from the states. It was soooooo good to see them after such a long time. Pastor Dan and his family have been a big part of my life in regards to missions and i love and miss them dearly. It was so great to see him again. And Pastor Rick and his church back in Michigan have been good friends of mine and have supported me since i have been in Tanzania. They are a major blessing in my life. It was wonderful to have him back in Tanzania again.
After their departure i had a chance to go with our new teammate, Gina, up to Longido, which is near the Tanzania Kenya border, to meet with some pastors that she is working with. God has such an amazing group of men working up in that area. Hearts that are willing to count the cost and give all for the gospel of Christ.
April was also filled with good times with a newly formed friendship. My girl Caitlin, was with us in Tanzania for 3 months, and we enjoyed lots of good times. 🙂 She is back in Rhode Island, and we miss her sana!
In memory of her departure, me and our friends, Philip, Davin and Jill went on a pikipiki (motorcycle) ride. It was wonderful, but wished she could have been with us.
This takes us to an adventure that happened before Caitlins departure from Tanzania.
I will start at the beginning. Once there were 4 friends. One friend was soon to leave and so they decided to head into ‘the bush’ for a final farewell weekend.
This is the bush…
Here are the 4 friends…
and the bike that would be a part of an adventure that none of them would ever forget.
Meet CJPritch – the soon to be departer and our resident photographer.
Meet the Bushbaby (Davin)- a man with skills that we wouldn’t have been able to survive without. He is who we loveingly named our bushman or bushbaby. He is a native of Afrika, from the country of Namibia.
his favorite past-time is looking under rocks 🙂 jk
Meet Philipo (or just Philip) – our faithful driver and planner of the trip. Having grown up in Tanzania he was able to take us to a perfect spot for camping and pikipiki lessons. 🙂
And then there is me, whom you already know, but who kept the four of us from starving over our two day journey. 🙂
So here we are, four friends, a truck, and a pikipiki, and the Tanzanian Bush all to ourselves. After making our own path over rocks and bushes we found a most suitable camp. With some trees for shade and a good spot for a fire we began to set up camp.
A warm fire and a good time of fellowship, worship and prayer made for a wonderful evening. Oh, and did i mention cold cokes?
our resident bushbaby taught us the art of putting coke in the termite mounds because it cooled them off. We learned something new every hour from him. Seriously.
Sweet sleep followed for me and caitlin in our little blue tent and for the boys in their very stylish traditional bush tent that belonged to Philips grandfather.
We arose to a beautiful kilimanjaro sunrise and a nice cup of tea, coffee, and banana muffins. 🙂
After leasurely waking up we prepared for the commencement of our first ever pikipiki lessons and the beginning of an even bigger adventure than we had imagined. 🙂
The lessons began and I went first. After brief instructions regarding the clutch, gears, and brakes, i was off through the bush, or should i say bushes. I went over many a bush and most likely through too many thorn bushes. 🙂
Caitlin had a go at it after me and did quite nicely.
But it was after taking a break from the lessons and packing up the tents that a three hour excersion would occur. We broke down camp nicely…
…and the conversation turned to a last few rides before heading back to Moshi. Caitlin decided to go first, but decided to forgo the normal attire and went in her sandles and kangas. 🙂
What we didn’t know was that after her 10 false starts that it would be 3+ hours before we saw her again. She rode off ever so normally, but after about 15 minutes, we could no longer hear the bike. We all took off on foot to see if we could pick up the sound. Philip and the Bushbaby were quick to pick up her tracks and began to follow them. 10 minutes later the tracks vanished. It was decided that we return to the camp, pack everything up and start looking with the truck. Up and down we went: asking maasai goat and cattle herders, looking here and there for her tracks, straining our ears for the sound of the bike. Davin was in the back while philip drove and i was in the passenger seat. Davin would find some tracks and the guys would begin tracking while i drove.
found some tracks…
It was after these tracks that Davin heard wind of caitlin… rather, heard her yelling Philips name. 😀 Yeah!!! Thank you Jesus!
These were the maasai that were keeping watch on our Caitlin while we were looking for her.
Asante sana! We were sooo happy to see Caitlin again. What had happened is that about 15 minutes after she started riding she realized she was lost. While trying to retrace her tracks she stalled out and was unable to restart the bike. She ended up pushing the bike for about 2 miles till she was in a clear enough area where we would be able to see her. Thank you Jesus for keeping her safe and helping us to find her.
Ok… so one adventure happily over and another one on the way! 🙂
We were all so happy to be in the truck and on the way back to Moshi. About 1/2 way back we were on a decent dirt road so Davin, who was riding the bike, asked if any of us wanted to ride for a little bit. Obviously Caitlin had had her fill of the pikipiki, so i jumped at the chance. 🙂
Here i go! 😀
Ok… well, i was cruising along pretty well at about 45mph.. it was so freeing! I loved it! Well little did i know that riding on dirt was different than riding on gravel. My nice dirt road changed to a gravel one and i just kept rolling along. However, upon going over a little rise in the road a large pot hole filled with loose gravel was right in front of me. I was going a little too fast to avoid it, so i went through. My back tire didn’t cope well with it and i lost control of the bike. Luckily the bike went one way and i rolled thrice the other direction. After getting over the shock of my entire body being in pain, i realized that i was missing a shoe and managed a laugh. 🙂 I had a nice hole in one knee and my elbow hurt pretty bad.
ouch! i was in a bit of pain, but luckily we were only about 45 minutes from home. Philips mom is a nurse and was able to fix me up nicely. Once again, thank you Jesus for His protection and for helmets! *I strongly advise the use of helmets when operating a motorcylce.*
It was a weekend we will never forget. The End!
P.S. I have recovered nicely. I was only sore for a couple of days and then was pretty good. I had quite a few nice bruises and scrapes. No broken bones (i have the xray to prove it – less than a dollar). I was back on the bike the next day and have been riding pretty regularly… riding, not driving. Baba Street (Philips dad) said i can’t drive until i am fully healed… aka not more scabs left (mainly my knee – which is almost completely healed). I learned some important lessons though. Don’t so 45mph on gravel on your first day of riding a motorcycle. And two, wear a helmet, tennis shoes, pants and longsleeves. 🙂