We mentioned in yesterday’s update that we had dinner with a group of Nebraskan missionaries who are sponsored by the ELCA . The dinner was held to honor Nebraskans volunteering in Tanzania. It was hosted by Rev. Martin Russell, Assistant to the Bishop of the Nebraska Synod, and his group of volunteers who are in Tanzania for three weeks to learn more about the ELCT, local NGOs, and to visit the southern refugee camps.
The dinner was hosted at our favorite restaurant, El Rancho. Don’t let the name fool you; it serves Indian food, not Mexican food. The restaurant is amazing and, in our opinion, they have the best samosas in Tanzania! The restaurant is quite a distance from our house, so we have only eaten there three times, but it is worth the walk when we have the time! Fortunately, Kaaya let us borrow the project car for the evening!
At the dinner, we met with Rev. Russell, his group of volunteers, and the longer-term ELCA volunteers from Nebraska. The longer-term volunteers’ time in Tanzania ranged from just a few weeks to over seven years! It was great to be able to meet with everyone and learn about their projects and what inspired them to come to Tanzania, and in one case, live in Tanzania.
A picture of the group can be found below!
We find that we often do not have time for a nice dinner out. Also, most of our friends and acquaintances are Tanzanian. Additionally, most westerners who visit Tanzania come for very short periods of time and usually volunteer temporarily. It was very nice to be able to relax and enjoy a dinner out with like-minded Nebraskans who had either spent a long time in Tanzania or were preparing to stay in Tanzania for the long term.
For us to be able to relax, learn about other individuals from Nebraska who were volunteering long term, and enjoy an evening was incredibly refreshing. We are not sure if it is because we work so hard that we do not have many western friends here, or if it is something else, but recently we have found that we can become a little discouraged at times. That dinner, and Rev. Russell’s group were enough to get us re-motivated to push through until our trip to Rwanda. It is interesting to us that something so simple is all it takes to inspire us these days.
We are incredibly happy that we were able to participate in the dinner and we are excited to have been able to meet with other Nebraskans in Tanzania!