Flying into Tanzania our plane stopped at Kilimanjaro Airport. I was sitting on the aisle. There was a man sitting next to me and a woman by the window. As we taxied all I could see out the window was the wing of the plane and the runway. The man and the woman were looking out the window towards the gate. The man turned to the woman and said, “Caribou.” I thought, "that’s amazing, I didn’t realize they had Caribou Coffee in Tanzania." Then I realized he had said “karibu” which is the Swahili word for welcome.
We heard a lot of music in Tanzania. Whenever we arrived somewhere and got off the bus it seemed like there was always a group of people singing a song that included the word karibu.
Many churches in Tanzania were upgrading their sound system. Apparently, the younger generation likes electronic amplified sound. So the traditional choirs are slowly changing. At one parish we went to they were having trouble with their sound board. Finally they got it solved. The music started and the four or five people in front started singing along with the music. However, we quickly realized that they were lip synching.
At our next stop the choir sang with a few drums to accompany them and they sounded fantastic. After they sang they told us that they wanted to get a sound board and speakers. This was the last thing we all thought they needed.
I can’t really do the music justice trying to describe it in words. Instead, I’d like to include some with this post.
The first is at Kidamali; before we went up to the church the choir sang to us outside the pastor’s house. I’m sorry. I always try to tell myself to not pan too fast when I do a video, but sometimes my brain doesn’t listen to itself. I apologize for my fast panning.
This one is from the worship service at Kidamali and includes a traditional dance. You can get a good view of the church in this also. See if you can see the kids looking in the window to watch. My translator told me that Pastor Kisoma said people had complained about there being some stones sticking out of the dirt floor. So, they would try to fix that with this dance.
This one is not a video, but a recording of the students at Image Lutheran School singing to us. The song starts about 20 seconds in.
Here’s a choir at one of the preaching points we visited.
This is a group that showed up to sing and dance for us as we were looking at the water system in Mwatasi.
Last week I posted about scholarships in Tanzania. I talked about how scholarships are a triple gift to the student, the community and the school. And then I dropped the ball and didn’t include any instructions on how to donate. I’ve updated that post to include the instructions and I’ll also include them here.
If you are interested in making a donation for scholarships check with your local Saint Paul Area Synod ELCA Lutheran Church to see if they have a companion parish or you can send donations to: Bega Kwa Bega c/p Saint Paul Area Synod, 105 University Ave. West, St. Paul, MN 55103.
Tim Kane's memories, musings and updates.