Arusha Round 1

I traveled to Arusha, Tanzania two days ago to do some research into constructing aquaponics systems at a YWAM base and orphanage. After doing the research, I’ll return next week to actually build the systems. Aquaponics combines fish and vegetable farming into a complete system that grows twice as many vegetables with less than 10% of the water consumption. The fish waste provides vital nutrients to the vegetables, and the vegetables filter the water so the fish can continue to live. These systems can be used to create sustainable food production around the world!

During my trip to Tanzania I got conned for the first time ever 😦 My only excuse is that I had just woken up and stumbled off the bus to cross the border. After getting my exit stamp at Kenya’s immigration office, I walked through “no man’s land” to get into Tanzania. At the end of this area, a group of official-looking guys (looking back, maybe not THAT official-looking) stood next to a gate, which I had to go through. Claiming to be Tanzania’s immigration authority, they asked for the $100 visa fee to let me pass. While I got my stamp, they said they would get my visa processed and meet me on the other side. Needless to say, I didn’t see them again. I thought about complaining to the police, but realized they were probably in on the scam too. After a short burst of anger, I felt like Michael Caine in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, when he has to credit “the Jackal” for her excellent performance. You win this time con men, but when I come back next week I have some choice words personally prepared for each of you.

After running around town on Wednesday looking for pricing information on construction materials and meeting with people, I decided to go with a YWAM staff to the daily football (soccer) game. I thought this would just be an informal pickup game with other YWAM staff but it turned out to be an official practice for a local football team. With just a pair of sneakers and khaki shorts I felt under dressed, but the guys were friendly and we had a great time. I even earned an invitation back by scoring a goal!

Playing there was iconic Africa. Wooden frames served as goals, the ball disappearing into clouds of dust every time someone kicked it. With beautiful thunderclouds rolling into Mount Meru, I thought about my last weeks in Africa and how I would like to enjoy them. No more complaining about poor service or slow internet. Just making the most of my time and seeing the people who have made this almost two years possible. Who knows if I will come back, but I’ve learned a lot from this place and believe that the experience will be vital in whatever undertaking comes next.

I couldn’t take pictures because I was playing football, but here are some photos to give you context. Oh yes, and yesterday was my Birthday so thank you for all the Happy Birthday wishes 🙂


Imagine playing football here!


The goal looked something like this