Travelling to a “developing” country can highlight many things that we are fortunate to have in our land of plenty. Things that we take for granted. Things I am thankful for this week with our holiday dedicated to giving thanks.
It’s easy to list things we have that aren’t as common in Tanzania. Clean water with the turn of a faucet. Electricity with the flip of a switch all day long. Toilets that flush. Paved roads.
There were other things too that weren’t as easy to notice. There is a certain level of automation that we expect that can surprise you when you realize that in Tanzania it’s manual. Like the time I walked by a field that was freshly tilled and didn’t think too much about it. But then, I realized it wasn’t like a tilled field here where someone would have used a tractor or a roto-tiller. This was from someone working with a hoe.
It is easy to think of our abundance and be grateful while thinking of the poor Tanzanians who have nothing. But that would be an oversimplification. The people I met have things they can be thankful for.
The people are friendly. Their default facial expression seems to be a smile. The people are generous. From people who, by our standards, have nothing we received gifts from each congregation we visited. Their churches are alive and growing. Just days after traveling by air for 24 hours followed by a 10-hour bus ride with an eight-hour time change I went to a church service that was close to 3 hours long and didn’t yawn once. They know the value of an education. They know people who didn’t have access to school, so they are appreciative when their children are able to attend school.
Maybe there are things that Tanzania has already developed that would be good for us to work on developing.
Something else I’m thankful for is you. I have been uplifted by your prayers for my journey and your support. Thank you readers. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.
Tim Kane's memories, musings and updates.