Medical Mission to Tanzania
3 - 9 February 1980
3 February 1980, Sunday
We ate breakfast at the Kilimanjaro Hotel for 42/- (US$5.25). The hotel bill was 403/- (US$50.38). We noticed that
gasoline was 7/- (US$0.88) per liter in Dar es Salaam. (That's US$3.33 per gallon.) We attended Kanisa la Kristo (i.e., Church of Christ in Dar es Salaam)
where we put 40/- (US$5) in the collection plate. There were about 50 in attendance Sunday morning. They have a preachers' training school here with 6 students. At 11:30 a.m. Dan & I went to the Salvation Army
Hostel, where room & board was 190/- (US$23.75).
4 February 1980, Monday
For 55/80 (US$7) we sent a telegram to Jeannie & Alisa which read,
WE ARE FINE WE LOVE YOU ALL
MICHAEL AND DAN
We paid Joseph 100/- (US$12.50) for gas. We left Dar by train at 12:15 p.m.
Selous Game Reserve
click on a photo for a larger image
5 February 1980, Tuesday
We arrived in Chimala at 6:00 a.m., almost 18 hours after we departed Dar es Salaam, 500 miles to the east.
5 Feb 1980
Dear Jeannie & Angelique,
Good night. Lala salama.
I have only one hour to write before the lights go out, so I must hurry. If this doesn't
make a lot of sense, I'm sorry. We are going to Mbeya tomorrow to mail this & get supplies. I
hope you got my telegram. We really are doing just great. I know that by the time you get this it
will be old news, but still new to you. Dan is writing Alisa at this very moment & one of you will
probably get a letter before the other one. Above all, I hope all is well with you. I think of you
constantly & wish you could be here sharing in these experiences.
We got to New York without problems. We had so much time to kill that Dan convinced
me to go to the Statue of Liberty. We had a terrible time with the subway system, but finally got
on the right one. The Statue was fascinating. We climbed to the crown which is as high as you can
go. On the way back to the airport, a subway train in front of us caught fire and delayed our
arrival at the airport, so we ended up in the next to last row on the 747. It was terribly loud &
bumpy & my stomach was upset for the whole trip. But since I got off the plane (747) at Nairobi,
I have felt fine. Neither of us has gotten sick. It surely must be because of your & others' prayers.
I got a little concerned at Nairobi when our plane for Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, left about the time
we were supposed to leave Addis Ababa for Dar. But it turned out to be the same plane, with a
different flight number, that we flew from Addis Ababa to Dar Es Salaam. Much to our surprise,
our luggage also made it to Dar with us. We were very lucky that none of our bags had to be
opened for Customs.
Joseph & Etmini, two Christians from Dar, met us at the airport and took us
to the Kilimanjaro Hotel after we stopped at an ice cream parlor with a Disneyland theme. The
hotel wasn't as nice as a Days Inn, but it cost us $50 for one night. We went to church in Dar on
Sunday morning & the whole thing was in Swahili. It was easy to sing with a Swahili song book.
Someone sat next to us & showed us what Scripture was being read or quoted. We couldn't go to
church Sunday night because only a few people have permits to drive after 2 pm on Sundays.
Sunday afternoon & night we stayed at the Salvation Army Hostel. Dan & I had a "house" to
ourselves. It only cost $25 & that included 3 meals.
Monday morning (yesterday) I sent the
telegram. Apparently the telegraph office was closed until then. We got on the train to Chimala
which left about 12:15 pm. We went through the Selous Game Reserve about 3:30-4:00 p.m. &
saw warthogs, giraffes, elephants, antelope, wildebeest, & zebra from the train. I couldn't get
very good pictures because the train scared them away. Dan & I shared the compartment with 2
other men. During the night, one of them got one of his bags stolen. We were lucky.
We got to
Chimala at 6:00 am. We just barely woke up in time. My alarm was in my shirt pocket & went off
after we got off the train. We had no way of knowing when Chimala came unless we looked out
the window to see which station we were at & we were asleep until the train stopped here. Dr.
Farrar met us about 5 minutes after we got off. It was pitch black. I can't tell you much about the
hospital because today was a national holiday & few people came to the clinic. But it seems like it
will be interesting. Dan & I live in a small house. We have our own cook. And we actually have
running water. It is really nice here. It would be paradise if it weren't so far from you. The food is
Please don't worry about me any more. This is more like a resort than the primitive area
we expected. There is a paved road right in front of the hospital. Since July the Farrars have seen
only one snake. There haven't been any wild animals here in 5 years. But do still pray for us. Do
call Alisa. I'm sure Dan's letter told things mine didn't & mine has things in it Dan's doesn't. The
church is dying in this area & if this hospital ever leaves, so will the Christianity here. I guess you
should also call my parents & let my mother know that she can relax.
Give Angelique a kiss for me & tell Angelique to give you a kiss for me. You're in my
prayers constantly. I know you miss me but please keep in mind how important it is for me to be
here. It is almost 10:00 pm here & almost 1:00 pm where you are right now. I greatly look
forward to holding you in my arms again. Thanks for being so brave. God bless you both & keep
you safe. I miss you. I love you!
Forever in my thoughts,
Michael (& Daddy)
Chimala Mission Hospital
click on the photo for a larger image
6 February 1980, Wednesday
We traveled 50 miles to the west by Land Rover to Mbeya, where we purchased a few groceries
for 42/- (US$5.25). We reimbursed Mrs. Farrar 1,000/- (US$125) for food to stock our kitchen. The return trip to
Chimala took 70 minutes. From 5-6 p.m. we met with the church at Chimala.
7 February 1980, Thursday
Dan was the assistant surgeon for a C-section while I provided the patient's anesthesia.
8 February 1980, Friday
I assisted with a prostatectomy. We've noticed that the people are quite superstitious. Even the more educated are afraid of evil spirits.
Many patients go to a witch doctor before coming to the Chimala Hospital. We treated a boy who broke his arm a week before coming to us. He had first gone to a native doctor who made cuts on his arm, and probably applied some type of native medicine to his skin. Since he didn't get better, the boy's parents brought him to us. We had to rebreak the arm, set it, and put on a cast.
9 February 1980, Saturday
We gave Zabron 20/- (US$2.50) for beef. Dan & I shared a 290ml bottle of Coca-Cola. Phil Leedal took us
5.5 miles up the mountain to the south, then we walked into the bush on the plateau. We saw the
falls on the Chimala River. We saw a leopard track and heard a baboon.