Monday, May 28, 2012

Iringa Lutheran Centre

Last year, I stayed at the Iringa Lutheran Centre with students on the LCCT program. The Center is hidden away in a corner of Iringa, off the road from the Regional Library to Kihesa. A quiet, well kept establishment, the Centre has guest rooms and a restaurant.
Here I am with Tom Nielsen, the director of the Center. He and I had first met in Grantsburg, Wisconsin, where we both conducted a retreat for Lutherans. In his apartment across the street, I saw a copy of my Africans and Americans: Embracing Cultural Differences among his books. It is a small world.
Thanks to Don Fultz, a pastor who tirelessly promotes relations between Tanzanian and American Lutherans, my students and I traveled from Dar es Salaam to Iringa with guests from the Roseville Lutheran Church. They were going to Iringa on the Bega kwa Bega program. I discovered, as soon as we met, that these people knew about me. Dave and Karen Dudley, their trip leaders,  had urged them to read my Africans and Americans book. For much of the journey from Dar es Salaam to Iringa, I answered their questions about the nuances of African culture.

Our two groups stayed at the Iringa Lutheran Centre for several days, even though each had its own daytime schedule. We met during breakfast and dinner. One evening, I did a book signing, which I wrote about here.
Tom and his staff made our stay at the Centre a pleasant experience.

Monday, May 21, 2012

At Namanga, With Colorado College Students

In 2007, I visited Namanga, on the border between Tanzania and Kenya. I was there with students and Professor Bill Davis from Colorado College, on a Hemingway course. Visiting Namanga made sense. Hemingway and his party passed through here on December 20, 1933, on their way into what is today Tanzania.
Students got to meet the local people. Here is a student with women on the Kenyan side of the border.
Here is another student with women on the Kenyan side of the border.

On the Tanzanian side of the border, the students got to meet the local children as well.

I found being here unforgettable, knowing that Hemingway went down this very road, into the distance, beyond the mountain, towards Arusha.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Entertainment at Longido, Tanzania

Longido is a very small Tanzanian town on the road from Arusha to Nairobi. Small as it is, Longido is well known for tourism. If you wonder what else there is to do here, there are several simple pubs and restaurants where you can hang out, brushing shoulders with the local Maasai. You can be creative in other ways. During a 2008 visit here with students on a Hemingway course, we got a local guitarist to play for us.

We stayed here two days, studying the travels and writings of Hemingway. Longido is specially important as a center of Maasai culture, which Hemingway admired. We were hosted by the Longido Cultural Tourism program.
After dinner prepared by the local women, we sat around for the musical entertainment. 
The guitarist was versatile, featuring East African as well as American songs, both old and contemporary. It was quite a treat.