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Africa Days 6 & 7: Tembos, Twigas and Simbas!

19 Feb

Africa Days 6 & 7: Tembos, Twigas and Simbas!

africa lion game park
Two simbas (“lions” in Swahili)

About forty of the orphans from Mission to Homeless Children arrived at 5:15AM yesterday morning at our hotel so we could join them on a bus trip to Mukeni Game Park. We left before sunrise because the best time to see the animals is in the morning. The kids were sleepy, but excited, for the rare treat they were about to enjoy.

We were not disappointed. Even before we arrived at the gate to the park, we had stopped to watch tembos (elephants) and twigas (giraffes) that were no more than a stone’s throw away. The giraffes always appear to be in perpetual slow motion, especially when they run.

Inside the park, we saw thousands of impalas, as well as warthogs, cape buffalo, monkeys, hippos, crocs, strange big birds, and other animals for which I have no name. (We did not see any Tasmanian Devils, as they live in Tasmania, not Tanzania.) The highlight was seeing several lions resting right along a park road.

elephants in africa
A family of tembos

In the afternoon, Becky and I hung out with the children at their current facility. They don’t know what a video game is, but they have tons of fun playing soccer, monkey in the middle, and jumping rope.

In the evening we had dinner with Barnabas Mtokambali, the General Superintendent of the Assemblies of God for Tanzania. Barnabas is a friend who has helped me in the past with the printing and distribution of thousands of copies of the Swahili translation of The Disciple-Making Minister to AOG pastors all over Tanzania. He is a good man, and the AOG, among many other groups, is doing a good work planting churches and building the kingdom here, one of Africa’s poorest nations.

That was yesterday. Today was our first day of “rest.” This morning we visited Mission to Homeless Children’s new building again in order to take advantage of early morning lighting for some filming. We spent the rest of the morning and early afternoon catching up on email, which brings you up to date. Later this afternoon we’re driving back to Dar es Salaam to catch our evening flight to Nairobi, and then catching another flight to Burundi with a stop in Rwanda. We’re scheduled to arrive in Burundi around 2AM tomorrow morning if everything goes well… David


Not well-suited for economy seating, or even business class, but great for changing lightbulbs in cathedral ceilings…


Wherever we saw impalas, we saw these big birds also. They must have a symbiotic relationship, but I don’t know what it is. I now wish I had asked our guide.


Our guide talking to the children at a water hole full of hippos, who did very little that was worth photographing, as they were mostly submerged and sleeping. Don’t ever hire one if you want productivity.


A monkey of some species. One of the orphans illegally threw a banana peal out our bus window to a group of these, and it was obvious that they were not of the Christian species. At least, not true Christians.


Some of the children listening to our guide talk about poisonous snakes

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2 Recent Comments

  • Nichole

    These pictures are beautiful! Looks like you are having a wonderful trip! Thanks for the updates, they are great! Miss you all!

  • Leah

    great pics. there is an essence of life in them that you don’t see every day.

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