Driving from Dar Es Salaam to the Youth Camp
Mtwara Travel Blog› entry 3 of 3 › view all entries
Thurs 04th June - We left Philipo & Victoria's place about 9.30 , we knew it would take about 6 hours to drive to Kilwa -which is half way between Dar Es Salaam & Mtwara .
I would share the driving with Philipo Junior - The first part of the road south was great - all tarmac & we were making good progress.The road takes you over a new bridge built by the ex President Mkapa , a few miles after that we were on 90km of really rough earth road.
Thank goodness there hadn't been any recent heavy rain otherwise the Toyota Saloon would not have made it ..I let Philipo drive onnthe rough road & I drove on the tarmac. This road is the ONLY main coastal road south of Dar Es Salaam.
We got stopped by the "Doctors" - the local trafffic Police wear white coats , so are knicknamed the "Doctors" ..they are usually looking for a bribe , enough money to buy them lunch or dinner..we were "fined " 20,000TZ Shillings . About 20USD .
We reached our overnight stop at 4.30. Had booked into a beach camp/Hotel called Kilwa Dreams for two nights. Kilwa is very remote .
The scenery going driving south is spectacular ..the horizons vast ..the colours so vivid ..the sky so blue ..grasses so green ..huge Baobab trees (THE LOCALS THINK THESE TREES HOLD EVIL SPIRITS )., white cloud formations .. a real WOW experience around every bend on the road.
There are two parts to Kilwa , Kilwa Kisiwani- a Unesco World Heritage Site & Kilwa Masoko - The Village .
We had no time to visit Kilwa Kisiwani , although I do know it would be well worth a day or two's exploring .the Island can be easily reached by small boat from the local harbour at Kilwa Masoko.
Kilwa Dreams was at the end of a two km rough track and right on the beach - very secluded & quiet. We were the only guests , it is low season until July/August . They are usually full in high season , as groups come to do a Safari at Selous National Park & then do some deep sea fishing for Marlin & Barracuda.
We were hungry after our long drive , so the cook rustled up great fish & chips for a late lunch .
We rested , had dinner , talked to Patrick over coffee till 11pm then slept really well.
Thoughts while watching the sunset -
God how awesome you are.You are beautiful beyond description, too marvelous for words.
Sat 06th June - Drove down to Mtwara & Mikindani to the Old Boma which is run by tradeaiduk. This place is completely unique. Please read the info on the website to get see all that they do to help the local community.
I had booked two nights as a total surprise for Jane,her birthday was on 22nd May , I managed to keep the surprise until we entered the Village , saw the hotel on the hill & then told her that was where we were staying before going onto the Youth Camp on Monday the 8th.
The Manager , Nick , is in his 30's .He is from the U.K. & had spent many years in the Hotel industry & also as a senior steward on the QE2. He was very friendly & all his staff were helpful & hospitable.Also had a chance to talk to June Langford who is the only fulltime UK staff member for Tradeaid UK ..she deals mainly with raising the profile of The Old Boma & fund raising for the many community projects that they wish to run . It was good to talk with her & her colleque Malcolm about the feasibilty of making the Old Boma work & the logistics behind getting more guests there on a regular basis.
We met up with a South African couple who had traveled down from Peponi- they did the trip in one very LONG day - they have a 4x4. They had hoped to be able to continue their journey south via Mozambique & then back into South Africa.
They were in for a shock !! ..A lot of the internet info is out of date or simply wrong regarding crossing over the river to Mozambique.
As of 07th June - The Ferry accross the Rovuma river sank a few days after it's launching!!.You can get your vehicle tied between two small dug outs on a pontoon ..but I heard that four vehicles had been sunk or badly damaged & the local fishermen demand more money when you are half way accross ..it is not worth taking the risk.
The new unification bridge is meant to be complete and open later this year - but information is sketchy & by rumour only .
Our South African friends , reluctantly , decided they would have to drive back to Dar & go home via Mbeya into Malawi & then on to S.A..
Sun 07th June -We had a great bfast sitting outside around the pool & garden of the Old Boma - This place is a real find - a haven of peace & quiet - totally unspoilt by modern day tourism & also a great asset to the local community.
They offer Tanzanian afternoon tea each day , fresh brewed tea along with a local doughnut covered in sugar is served in the library on the first floor overlooking the village .It is the perfect place to sit back , read a book or just watch the slowly changing daily life in Mikandani Village.
The local villagers are very friendly , i ran out of mobile phone credit , so I asked an older lady by pointing to my phone, she got her 9 or 10yr old grandson to take me through the village to one of the local shops which sold top-up cards for Zain (Vodacom) . The boy & i tried to talk a little , it was good fun . I bought some biscuits for the family as they had gone out of their way to help me .
Philipo, Jane & I drove through Mikindani Village up to Mwtara to find the Free Pentecostal Church of Tanzania - this is where the Youth Camp will be held . We were greeted by Horrace's friends - Julius , Monika & their small boy , Alfred. They were so hospitable to us .
We will stay with the Senior Youth Leader , his name is Chigo , his wife is Agnes. Chigo works half the time in Lindi - a town about two hours north of Mwtara on the main road to Dar . Chigo has a real heart for the Youth - he has worked with the church youth for the past 11years.
The Church service started at 10am , it was very lively , lots of dancing , singing & also a great sermon by Pastor Evans -I think he is a Senoir Pastor covering the whole of the Southern region for FPCT churches.
Tues 09th June - Both Jane & I have been asked to speak today from 11am to 1pm .
The main Pastor talked on Acts , then Pastor Frank talked on Salvation - how important it was to take God seriously & to value the gift he has given us through the sacrifice of his Son - to tell others , who ask you , about the Good News & never to be ashamed of your faith.
I used two passages to illustrate God , Youth & the Community.
I talked about remaining in the Vine - If you know God - keep asked him for wisdom & dont rely on your on thoughts & strengths - only with God can you go into & make an impact on your community - whether that is at work, school , around your home .
You must clothe yourself with the good things of God -Love, compassion , humility, courage , wisdom etc - always show AGAPE love - never be judgementaL
About 30-40 Youth listened & a few asked questions afterwards.
Jane said her talk went very well & she managed to get the ladies interacting with each other in small discussion groups - not an easy thing to do .
The singing & fellowship in the evening was just amazing , started about 8pm went on to 10.30 pm
A group of youths had traveled for 3 days from Nampula in Mozambique - they were wonderful people , only one man spoke English , the rest used Portuguese or the local Makondi dialect - They were amazing singers .
Chigo spoke about rebuilding the walls - either personal walls within our lives or walls within the community relationships which need repaired by reconciliation etc - Ramson translated for us , so we could get the outline of what he was saying to the youth.
Got friendly with two guys sitting next me - George & Daniel .
Wed 10th June - Today Jane & I spoke on Father Heart using the teaching of the DANCING GOD - The Prodigal Son , Good Son & the Waiting Father - there was a very good response to prayer request.
We also sang a Swahili Chorus that i first learnt in Kenya in 1997
Pastor Cosmos from Masasi gave an introduction to the gifts of the Holy Spirit
He have examples of David & also the baptism of Christ.
Thurs 11th June - Said very sad farewell to all at the Camp - we have to be back in Dar Es Salaam by Friday evening .
It has been such a special time..felt it was right to pray for the Father's heart & the Holy Spirit to come amongst the Youth to heal & restore broken lives - many responded to prayer..we asked that the local Youth leaders & Pastors follow up after we have left.
One youth came to me and just sobbed & sobbed , hugged me for ages am sure God was working in his life - he seemed happy on the surface but was really sad inside. Will try & keep updated through Horrace ,( my friend & Youth Leader.)
..If only some of our Western churches were as alive as this one was !!!