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Tanzania Blog

Wednesday, May 17

Shelby Cook

HABARI NZURI MARAFIKI!!!!!!!!    (For all you 'Merican's, that means "good news friends")

Today was a little bit different than the rest of the days. We took our first break of the whole trip in the morning (kinda). First and foremost before I forget about the most important meal of the day, we had Chipati for breakfast, my personal favorite. Chipati is very similar to tortillas, but one trillion times better (hint hint Mom). The group that teaches English to the kids of Our Father's House stayed home in the morning and prepared English lessons for this afternoon, Thursday morning, and Friday morning. The stove group met with Parmao, the Community Developer for the United Methodist Church in Tarime, this morning to discuss the future plans and budget of Our Father's House. 

SHOCKER, we had PB&J for lunch today (again). We split up into our normal groups after lunch to teach English and stove making. 

The English team (the better team, duh), set off for Tarime UMC. We arrived to a mob of children from the community avoiding the rains down in Africa, and screaming a the top of their lungs because Mzungus (Americans) had arrived! Even though we were only teaching English to kids of Our Father's House (OFH), we let the kids from the community hangout inside so they could get out of the rain. The OFH kids had lots of energy and were ready to learn! We tested their skills with lots of games and we all had loads of fun! The games allowed them to test and retain all of the new vocabulary that we have been teaching as well as introduced today. Today we introduced different objects that they might encounter around town such as the piki pikis (motorcycles) and the sokonis (markets). They picked up these new words extremely fast! We are so proud of all the hard work they have put in over the past 5 days!!

The stove group had a productive day, building a stove out of stones with Mwita. They did this in preparation for us traveling to Gabimori because bricks are expensive and stone is more readily available there. They also continued to introduce the brick stove to women in the Tarime community. "The ladies could literally touch fire, they picked up burning coals and placed their hands in the flames longer than we could" said John. John then went on to say that the women even laughed at them for their lack of fire bending ability. Tomorrow they look forward to watching one of their students teach other women in the community how they can build their own stoves! This is so the stove teaching can be sustainable when we leave.   

Both teams returned to the MVP of the trip (Mama Chuare) preparing rice and beans for dinner, along with delicious fresh fruit. Shoutout to Cynthia for bringing us Coke so we can drink something other than water! Dinner was perfect, as always, and we ended the night with worship and devotion. We are currently hanging out getting real competitive with card games, but at the end of the day we all love each other.  

Tangawizi signing off,



I've been thinking...

Okay, I know the joke, "I can see the smoke all the way from here, Shelby", but really. Davis brought up the other day that it is absolutely amazing that Coca Cola can make it all the way out here in Tarime, Africa, a third world country that doesn't have stable electricity, food, or clean water. 

Honestly, I was pretty upset when I heard this; Coca Cola is a luxury item that has found its way into the poorest parts of the world. If we are already transporting an item for pleasure, why is it so hard to ensure that they have enough food to feed their families? It breaks my heart when kids ask me for food or water, when I see the holes in their clothes, or them running around barefoot because their shoes are broken. I can't tell you what to do about this or how to solve this problem, no one person can change the world. We live in a post-heroic society, one person cannot do it alone, but a team can, and every individual makes up that team.

If we can get the most iconic soft drinks all around the world, in the most impoverish places, then why can't we ensure basic needs? Think about it, pray on it, and let's find a way to take action!

Striving for Your love,

2017 Tanzania Team


We had a single game of Uno that last 2 hours. I just wanted to eat lunch, so I decided to win.