Iringa Camp

A few days after getting laundry done and a bit of rest, Austin and I hopped back in the car and headed to Iringa, a city in the southern part of Tanzania, to serve at the first ever camp in Iringa. We went with Opas, Len, and Neal some of our good friends from Dar es Salaam, who also serve with Young Life Africa.

On the drive over we passed through Mikumi National Park that is the closest safari park to Dar es Salaam. As we passed through we got to see some animals for free, giraffes, zebras, monkeys and cape buffalo just off the side of the road. Pretty awesome if you ask me. It definitely made for a more interesting car ride.

Giraffes on the side of the road.

When we arrived we were happy to see that Iringa, was also very cold. We wore jackets and scarves which is a first for our time here in Tanzania. The town is placed in the midst of hills that are full of rocks. This made Austin very excited as we have not seen any rocks that are climbable since we have arrived here. Too bad we left his climbing gear in America. Iringa also has a great market that we got to check out and buy baskets from. There is also an awesome NGO there called Neema Crafts, which employs and helps disabled Tanzanians. It is an amazing ministry they do and their crafts are beautiful. We bought a few things from them and enjoyed coffee and snacks at their cafe.

We were joined by many of the same team who helped us with the Arusha camp. We all sat together and tried to plan the camp, however, this proved to be difficult because we had never had camp there before and because the University where the camp was to take place was not cooperating.

Nothing went as planned but camp was still a success. Our welcome, was not typical because we were not allowed to make much noise but the kids loved it anyways. The first club was held in a field at the school the kids attend. We had to pull weeds and clean up the area first, but everyone enjoyed it and the weather was perfect.

The First Club.

The kids headed back to the University with their leaders, on a scavenger hunt created by Austin and a few of the work crew.

Upon their arrival we greeted them and gave them a room key. Unfortunately we did not have enough rooms for everyone and many of them had to share with many others, but there was not complaint at all.  I love that about the kids here, they do not complain about much at all. They are grateful and full of joy.

Club #2 went well in our homemade club room. We bought fabric and sewed it together to create colorful walls, and decorated the dining hall as well.

Sewing up a colorful club room.

The food for this camp was incredible. Mama Edda, who runs YL Iringa, had some of her friends cater and they were amazing. Up until this week I did not know such food existed here. Austin and I were  very happy about this!

Obstacle courses, field games and much more went on in the few days to follow, however, everything about this camp was go with the flow. We did not know what was going to happen until the moment it happened. At times I was frustrated with this, but you just have to learn how to roll with the punches.

Alexi playing the vuvuzela.

Overall, the kids, leaders and work crew were very happy with their camp experience. It was a pleasure to serve at this camp and we pray that there are many more to come in the future for Iringa.

I heart Work Crew!

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