Thursday, June 23, 2016

“It’s always something.” ― Gilda Radner

We never have a “normal” day here, just interesting, exciting, good, and bad ones.  Yesterday, Shaban took Karen to Musoma since John and I can’t go anywhere for a while.  Both of our Residence Permits have expired (see picture of page 8 of my passport at the right).  We have turned in all the forms and paperwork and paid all our fees, but immigration can’t issue new permits or stamp our passports until they receive our new labor permits from Dar Es Salaam.  The labor permits have also all been paperworked and paid, but it takes a long time (since every missionary in Tanzania now has to have a labor permit, too) to get the actual document from the capital across the country to our little area.  We have the receipts for the labor permits, and yesterday, Shaban managed to get immigration to write letters for both John and I explaining that they were only waiting for the official documents and that with the receipts for the labor permits and the letters from immigration—we can at least travel around inside Tanzania.  The Chief of Immigration said if we need to leave the country and had plane tickets in hand, he would stamp our passports so we could get back in, but we have no plans to leave just yet.  John was planning on a trip to Dar Es Salaam in early July and now he can make it, but without the letter, a random passport stop could have put either of us in jail.  Dodged that bullet.  Karen got a lot done yesterday in Musoma, and while she was gone, we got Sissie washed and bathed, so clean and fleas and ticks gone when Karen got back.  They also brought bacon and butter and ground beef, so happy days here for a few hours.  The bad news hit when Shaban went back to Musoma in the evening to get his two sons who were with their grandparents.  On his way, a big rock fell off a truck in front of him, jammed the right front brake on and then snapped the right front axle.  It took hours to get the car on a flatbed truck and to a garage.  Shaban got back here (having never made it to Musoma) around one in the morning and we put him up in a guest house.  He left again early this morning armed with resolve and a handful of cash.  It’s expensive to have major surgery on a 20-year-old Toyota Land Cruiser with all time all wheel drive and with no insurance.  Not an easy or a cheap fix, but it is fixable with new parts (thankful the money was in the bank).  I thought I had some money to buy some new electronic things we needed, but we will just have to wait on those.  Have to have a working car, and it’s a good one when it’s running (there’s a picture of it on Facebook).  We bought a new 3,000 liter water tank a week ago and are still waiting to get the time and workers to get it up on its tower and plumbed in, but as Gilda Radner (SNL fame and the wife of Gene Wilder) said when she was diagnosed with the cancer that killed her, “It’s always something.”  We can always benefit from your prayers and it can’t hurt for you to be in conversation with God every day if that’s what it takes.  Do have a wonderful day and remember to be kind especially to those who don’t deserve it.

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