Kagera – Monday

Thomas eventually came with the farmer once the rain had eased and I interviewed him on the verandah. A delightful man and so full of pride in what he had achieved – and rightfully so. We gave him tea and talked a bit before they headed back to where he was staying the night. This man had travelled for 6 hours just to speak to me about CCMP. I think if nothing else that is testament to what a difference it makes to people’s lives.

Up early as Thomas was due to pick us up at 8.00 which he duly did. Fried eggs for breakfast which were a bit of a treat. We set off on the Isaka road, with our visiting farmer from yesterday hitching a ride part of the way. We were headed for the new diocese of Biharamolu a long way away.

All was fine until we turned into the main road south to Dodoma and Dar es Salaam. We were heading north of course. I wouldn’t call it a bad road, it was appalling! A succession of potholes with a vague hint of Tarmac in between. This is an international highway! Still it is good of the government to give us a full body work out without having to go to the gym. Lorries weave I and out of the potholes and the odd car or land cruiser dodge between them. Lorries bear down on you on the wrong aid of the road to avoid the holes. We do the same. Somehow no one seems to collide. After about two bum-numbing hours we turned off to travel East to Biharamolu. This was a beautiful road in all senses – gently undulating, amazing scenery and above all smooth!image

We arrived in Biharamolu at about 11.00 and were introduced to the local pastor and rural dean as well as a Canon Gerald who was chairman if the appointment committee for new bishop. We toured the house which has been built for the new bishop and the foundations of the new cathedral. It will be a fine building when it is (if it is?) completed. Could there be a clue here as to why a new cathedral is being built in Murgwanza?

imageThe pastor is very keen on CCMP. And is employing some of the ideas in his parish. He is leading an old set of offices as 4 shops which bring in an income of Ts120,00 a month. He is asking parishioners to give their time and labour to help build the cathedral. In other words he is making use of local assets! I interviewed him in the new cathedral and then we went into a café next door for tea and chapat. The tea was chai, but luckily Asifiwe said black tea was available, so we had that. It was delicious with a distinct lemony flavour. Canon Stanley joined us. We had met him on our last visit. He is studying ‘Development Studies’ in Kenya, but is based in Biharamolu. A lively discussion developed about how bishops are chosen an where the power really lies in such situations. Thomas had to be almost dragged away so that we could leave!

While they debated we strolled over to a burning rubbish heap to look at some very impressive stork like birds that were rooting through the waste tip. No idea what they actually are, but they seem to like our waste, burning or not!image

Another 2.5 hours journey home – shorter because we did not have to divert to drop off a farmer – bruised and battered we got back home at about 3.30. On the way Imani brought some sugar cane from a wayside stall and we saw some monkeys in the reservation.

To Thomas’s tonight for dinner and a chance to say goodbye to the family and in particular little Noela. Hard to believe we are leaving tomorrow.

We wandered over to the Shavu residence at about 7.00. We had a game for the girls and set about planning it with them. That certainly helped to break the ice. Vithalis arrived with his daughter Grace and dinner was served. Rice, cabbage with carrot, fried bananas, pizza and some sort of meat stew for those that likes it. It was very good having been cooked by Nora during the afternoon. Fresh pineapple and water melon for dessert. The child,run seemed to gave great fun bouncing on the couch and generally being very excited. Then Christela tied Noela to Christine’s back in three different ways. Noela is quite heavy and Christine was scared she would drop her, but it all went well and photographs were duly taken. Then Thomas suggested that we must be tired and would probably like to go! Actually we were ready to retire, so we took the hint. But of course speeches have to be made before you leave, so we settled in for a good half hour of thanks and observations on our visit. Vithalis finished with a prayer and then we headed into the night.

It rained again in the night and indeed we saw rain in the distance as we headed back from Biharamolu, so it looks as though the rains have finally come; nearly a month late, but they are here. The air is cooler in the mornings and evenings. Many people wear anoraks, some off them quilted and woolly hats are de rigeuer!

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