Chimala 2011 - October 27-30, 2011

Thursday, October 27, 2011 - My flight out of Oklahoma City was at 7:20 a.m., so it was an early morning start.  My daughter Jessica and I left the house around 5:00 a.m. for the airport.  It was a cold, rainy morning, the kind of day it would have been good to stay in bed.  The flight to Newark was uneventful, which is the best kind.  I arrived there around 11:30 a.m. EDT.  I was not able to print out all of my boarding passes for the entire trip, so I had to find the right desk to check in and then was told they didn’t open until 1:30 p.m.  Since my flight out was not until 6:35 p.m. this was not really a problem, just an aggravation; I much prefer to have everything taken care of well in advance.  I finally was able to get my boarding pass, make it through security again and arrive at my departure gate.  I am traveling with Denton Landon and his flight was delayed, but he arrived just in time, literally walking off his plane and boarding our flight to Zurich, Switzerland.  We were delayed just a bit, but finally headed off to Europe.

Friday, October 28, 2011 - Our plane landed in Zurich a few minutes early, in spite of a short delay in Newark.  This was fortunate for us because we only had a 45-minute layover in Zurich and still had to get our boarding passes and transit security one more time.  I must say that our view of the Alps as the sun came up was stunning.  Unfortunately, my camera was out of reach.  When our flight to Tanzania took off, we flew East along the northern edge of the Alps for a while before turning South over Italy and the views of the snow-covered Alps were even more impressive.  I think I slept more on the flight over from Newark than I usually do, but I still slept quite a lot on this leg.  Our flight made a scheduled stop in Nairobi, Kenya, letting off about half of our passengers.  The flight from there to Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania was a little over an hour in length and we arrived around 8:00 p.m. local time, 8 hours ahead of CDT.  Our brother Boaz Kasanga met us at the airport and took us to the hotel.  It was off to bed not long after that.  It has been a long 30 hours or so of travel.

Saturday, October 29, 2011 - I woke up this morning feeling refreshed until I looked at the clock and realized it was 3:15 a.m.  No chance of going back to sleep, so I decided to read for a while...for the next several hours.  We are unable to continue on to Chimala today, having been told that the flight on the bush plane was full for today.  That means we are here until Monday morning.  This afternoon we went to the office of the airline that makes local flights to book our passage for Monday and learned that the plane that flew to Mbeya, near Chimala, left with six empty seats; we could have been in Chimala today.  Well, there’s nothing we can do about that now, so we paid for our tickets on Monday and returned to the hotel.  The climate here right now is warm and muggy.  Our hotel is located right on the water of a bay, providing a nice view.  We relaxed for the rest of the day and, after dinner, retired to our rooms.  Denton and I are staying in a cabin that has 5 bedrooms, each with its own bath and we are the only tenants, which is nice.  We visited until 9:00 p.m. or so and then headed to bed to try and get more sleep this time.

Sunday, October 30, 2011 - I got to sleep without too much trouble last night and woke up this morning feeling refreshed.  This time when I checked the time it was 1:30 a.m.  Did I mention that I hate jet-lag?  I tried to go back to sleep, but it was several hours before I dozed again.  The good news is that we have air conditioning in the rooms, so I was not uncomfortable.  When I awake the second time it was already 6:30 and we needed to get busy to get our breakfast and get ready for worship.  Boaz will be taking us to worship with the Magomeni congregation this morning.  Worship was great, with a full house attending.  This afternoon we separated our bags so that Boaz can take the heavier bags with him on the bus tomorrow.  We are only allowed 50 lbs. each on the bush plane.  We were able to get online with the hotel’s wireless network, but we have to sit in the lobby to have a signal strong enough to work.  Hurray for technology!!

Until next time...

God bless,

Donnie Bates

Posted on October 30, 2011 .