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Tanzania 1

I spent my 26th birthday in Johannesburg (South Africa)while our plane was delayed. It was nice in a way as we were put up in a lovely hotel all expenses paid by South African Airlines. We had several lovely meals at the buffet as well which was also included in the deal.Because of the 6 hour difference we were very tired and mainly slept while at the hotel. On the Sunday we arranged for a hotel driver to take us to a shopping mall and then he drove us around the city. It is not a safe city for Europeans to be in, so we didn't get out of the van and the guy driving us didn't stop. We left Johannesburg around 5pm in the afternoon and flew to Dar in Tanzania. Our friend William met us at the airport and it was nice to see a familiar face. We stayed with a lady that night who works for the Habitat for Humanity organization is Dar. William flew us in a little MAF plane to Dodoma the next day.

We have our own house here on the MAF compound and Zoe has her own room with a porter cot. The families here are very nice and there are many children. I have taken her to the playgroup for the last two weeks that is held in different mothers homes, Zoe enjoys the other children and different toys. There is a pool here on the compound and we all go swimming every day. We have been to town a few times, it is quite a scary and overwhelming place. At the market as soon as you arrive lots of young boys come up and crowd around you wanting to carry your basket as you shop. This is how children earn money or else they beg etc. So trying to choose the boy to carry your basket can be quite daunting. So far we  have either gone with one of the MAF ladies or on the bikes (cycling is much better than going in the car as the roads are so bad,  on the bike you can avoid the bumps!)

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In town itself there are little shops all over the place. Many people display their goods on the side of the road, you can see what they have for sale, but their stuff is getting covered in dust from the road. There are many beggars in town, children, and the elderly mainly.I find it really hard seeing so many people in such great need and knowing there is no immediate solution to their problems practically.

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We give them coins but it amounts to 60cents type thing. If we gave to everyone and gave a bigger amount we would have nothing either. It's so unfair that humans just like me have to live such a difficult life whereas I have so much. I'm working through my feelings and thoughts on these issues at the moment and I hope that I never forget the poor and their need and I pray that God shows Lyndon and I how best to deal with these issues and what he wants us to do

We haven't been to Arusha yet and I believe Lynda and Allan are on holiday for the month of June. It is too far to travel by bus (2 days) and it would not be fair on Zoe in such rough conditions. We could fly but the MAF planes go once a week and for the last two have been booked up. So I will email Lynda again and see what the story is, if they are not there we may still go and stay elsewhere as the people say Arusha is lovely. Next Tuesday one of the MAF pilots is going to drive us to a wildlife park so we can see giraffes and elephants, lions etc close up. We will stay in a hotel overnight as it is a long trip but will be much better than a bus as we will be with one other couple only and have air-conditioning in the landrover. The other couple are from Holland and are visiting another MAF family on the same compound as us and we have got to know them well. They have invited us to stay with them in Amsterdam which is really nice. We will probably make their place our base while traveling Europe. They want Lyndon to do some building on their place, so we might spend a bit  of time in Holland.

Zoe is walking well now when we hold her hands. She has taken three steps by herself but hasn't seemed too interested in doing any more over the past 24 hours. I don't think she is far away though. She is learning new words all the time. Her latest is Zoe Zoe Zoe while she points to herself - very cute. Lyndon and I are both fine, he has been hippo hunting. while I have been having a relaxing time! Well that's it ,hope this finds you all well.

Tutaonana( Goodbye in Swahili.) 

lots of love Rachel ,Lyndon and Co.

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