This morning, I'm going down to Ujiji with Nikki & collinsmom to see the Livingstone memorial (Amber's been there before). It's not much, but it's one of those things that you've just got to see, if you've come this far already. Amber's planning on helping take a lady with an infection back to the clinic to get her wound dressed.
Yesterday, Amber (& Nikki) went along to take this lady to the doctor. She had a terrible infection on her arm, which was eating into her skin and muscle. The carriers (our girls and a couple others) held the lady (to comfort her, but also to restrain her) while the doctor carved out the infection and dressed it -- without anaesthetic and without gloves. Welcome to Africa; you use what you've got. Anyway, the lady needs to be taken back every day for five days.
This afternoon, Amber & Nikki are planning on returning (with others) to the Destitute Camp, bringing along some maandazis (sweet fritters) for a snack. I was wrong about them being refugees. They're just poor and/or diseased. The poor among them were so poor, they wound up in this place, together with the local lepers. Through Joy in the Harvest (and others), the lepers have had their disease cured, the poorest of the poor have been given succor, all the buildings cleaned, fresh water piped in, food-clothing-blankets. These people have no one else.
The buildings they occupy belong to the government. They were old and dilapidated when they took them over as a kind of squatters' camp. Turns out, they were built by the colonial authorities back when Belgium ran this fringe area of Tanzania (nearby Burundi was originally part of the Belgian Congo). They were built for the slave trade. The remnants of a slave market also exist in Ujiji.
Amber & Nikki have also participated in the street people ministry, a feeding program with some play for the children three times a week.
Last night, the girls and I went with Daniel (Kim Wertz's fiance) fishing on Lake Tanganyika. I hooked a drift net somebody had lost, and Daniel caught a fish hardly bigger than the lure; otherwise, we got skunked. But the evening on the lake was wonderful. After the sun went down, the stars came out, and I began identifying constellations. This far south, the familiar ones are oriented differently from our familiar 40 degrees North Latitude. And I saw Fomalhaut, the 1st magnitude star toward the end of Eridanus, which pours from the jar borne by Aquarius. It is on all the star charts, but you can't see it from home. Next to it was the Southern Cross. And the Milky Way was gorgeous. The full moon rose later, and was still up this morning.
Yesterday, Mwenge and I ran errands in Kigoma, and I found the ultimate African souvenir (at least, for me): a topographical map of Kigoma. They only sell them in Dar at the Ministry of Lands. Hah! if I can find any time in Dar at all, I'm for the Map Shop there! I want topos of Kigoma and Morogoro. (Lowell said to check to see if they had a map showing underwater contours or soundings of Lake Tanganyika to help his fishing.)
I'm supposed to lead Bible Study at the local missionaries' fellowship tonight. I'm using my sermon notes RE: Lydia (Acts 16:11-15) as a research basis.
Well, must go. The day starts off slowly here, but then it tends to get very busy, indeed. Kwa herini!