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Tanzania Blog

Saturday, May 13

Shelby Cook

Oh Happy Day!

It's been another solid day in the books here in Tanzania.

We once again began our morning with a youth program at Tarime UMC, however today we had the challenge of fitting the first two days worth of program into one, this time for the church youth.  Our youth program coordinators did a great job of coming up with a new timeline for the program and it ran very smoothly.  We did our bread and butter Swahili songs and upped our English song game with Every Move I Make.  We did the classic skit and faith share portions of the program, and when discussion groups came around some of the youth opened up about personal experiences for the first time which was cool to see.  The craft once again went off without mass chaos and confusion and was honestly easier than I expected to pull off (whales and coloring pages, yeah!).  After we wrapped up the program, we headed back to the compound to eat lunch and rest for a while before heading out again for the afternoon.

Today's stove making session went really well.  We got it started quickly on the first try today which marked an improvement over the last new days, and we reviewed the construction of the stove before the women we were teaching arrived.  Before we started teaching, one of the women suggested putting a pot of water on the already burning stove to make tea, so we did.  We were able to get the tea boiling fairly quickly after feeding the stove more fuel than we had previously tried so it was cool to see the capabilities of the stove in action.  We first demonstrated and explained the placement of the bricks to construct the stove, and then the women we were teaching tried building it.  After a couple practice runs they had it down.  

To further test the cooking abilities of the stove, one woman suggested making some rice on it so they started on that.  When they put the water for the rice on the stove, it went from room temperature to boiling in three and a half minutes, which is very fast especially for a wood fueled stove and I was very impressed with the speed.  While we waited on the rice they sang for us and we danced with them so that was a great time.  The rice turned out great and it was super nice of them to have made us the afternoon meal.  

From what I heard, the English teaching went well again today, there were lots of games so it sounds like it was a fun time.

Also we got fabrics from the market which will eventually turn into assorted clothes so stay tuned for that.

That's it for now, there's a busy day tomorrow with some of our team preaching in two different churches so come back tomorrow to read about all that good stuff.  

Eric Sommer


Wake up, check. Stumble in for breakfast prayer, check. Eat chipati, check. Fall asleep on the bus, check (bonus points for drool). Tanzanian life is great, Madison is a wonderful team leader and she keeps us busy sun up sun down; I'm a wee tired, but it's a good kind of tired. Sometimes, I think I get a little more pumped about the lessons and songs than the kids do, but hey, energy and enthusiasm is contagious, it would be a shame if they caught it. Don't let me fool you, they have a lot of energy and could outrun me any day of the week, year, month, whatever (I say this because I do not run, ever), but I am super passionate about the youth/street kids ministry we are taking part in.

We have been beyond blessed to be able to partake in such a wonderful mission. Mwita, the director of Our Father's House keeps asking for advice for this ministry, but it's hard to give advice to something that is already incredibly successful!

We feel your prayers, we feel your love, and we thank you! America, Africa, Asia, Europe... Wherever you are, there is an opportunity for such a great mission, all you have to do is seek, save, and serve.

Growing up, there was a sign in the church parking lot that said "You are now entering the mission field". Missions don't have to be in a far-off country, missions is going out and making disciples; how are you doing on that? Seek it out, make sure they are saved, and serve them.


With a servant's heart, 

2017 Tanzania Team


Okay. So.

For the longest time I was struggling with my Spanish vocabulary, but now that I am learning Swahili, I am suddenly fluent in Spanish. Help? 

Oh, and Mom, can you send me some your famous chocolate chip cookies? I need some sugar.