day thirty-four: passing through zanzibar

Every now and then my son sends an email that sounds a bit like an Indiana Jones movie.

We got a good one today that I thought I would share.


The first thing I remember on Friday morning was Elder Papworth (the
new AP) stumbling into the room talking to himself at how we were
going to be late. I rolled over and looked at the clock. 6:00. Yeah,
we were not going to make that 8:00 plane. So, just as in countless
mornings from the last six months, I got ready for the day in less
than 10 minutes. Threw the rest of my lugauge in my suitcase and ran
out to the van. Elder Paulo was already out warming it up, I along
with Elder Papworth coralled the other two elders who were traveling
with me and off we went. Thanks to Elder Paulo we made it to the
airport in about 10 minutes (which, if you know the city, is
incredibly fast). I quickly ran through all the security checks to the
check in desk to plead our case. Check in time was one hour before the
flight, unfortunatly by the time I got there on my knees it was
already 40 minutes 'til blast off. No sanctuary was granted. So I went
back out to the others who were waiting and told them the news. We
went straight to the ticketing office to see what could be done. They
offered us an alternate flight that left in a few hours' time. The new
flight however was quite longer and went via Zanzibar. Pretty cool, I
don't think many missionaries have seen Zanzibar. So we agreed to it,
Paulo took off and there we were. Waiting time. Eventually our
prop-plane showed up, we filed inside like sixlets in their package.
The whole journey took a little over two hours in the air. We finally
landed (got to walk out to the plane and off the plane on the tarmac
on one of those old-school staircase things) and the first thing we
had to do was fill out a paper about swine flu. Then passport control,
then bags (the usual regimine). Finally we stepped out onto the
Tanzanian soil of Dar Es Salaam. I have been assigned to be a district
leader here (there are two districts in Dar) with an Elder Engida
(from Ethiopia) as my companion. Dar is a costal city, very much like
Mombasa in climate and culture. Tanzania is infamous for it's Swahili,
which is kept in it's pure form and is spoken as the official
language. Sun, heat, and humidity are abundant. So are Muslims. I
happened to arrive the last week of Rahmadan, their 40 day fast (I
think I described it more fully when I was in Mombasa this time last
year and had the same experience). The weekend was filled with
celebrations (outside our house it was sounding like a concert). The
branch and the area (both named Kinondoni 1) are less than perfect, we
have much work to do in helping to revive and rejuvinate what is here.
But I am excited to be out and about doing the Lord's work on the
ground level. It's going to be tough but I think it will be a good way
to spend the last 3 months of my mission.
I'll have more experiences (and hopefully some pictures) next week.
But I'm here and I'm finally at work again. Thanks to all you that
wrote! Love you all,
Perry

10 comments

Heather | September 22, 2009 at 4:34 AM

What an awesome letter. Thanks for sharing.

Lara | September 22, 2009 at 6:24 AM

It does sound a bit Indiana Jones-ish. What a wonderful experience he is having!

Connie | September 22, 2009 at 7:10 AM

He's going to miss it terribly when he comes home in December!
You'll miss those adventure filled letters.
He's such a good boy!

Barbaloot | September 22, 2009 at 9:23 AM

Wow-in case I was already not dying to go to Africa, he added to that:) Sounds like a good kid---and I have a brother named Perry. I haven't heard of any other young guys with that name.

Melanie J | September 22, 2009 at 10:05 AM

Oh, my. How cool! I'm going to read this to my son so he can hear about what exciting adventures missionaries can have.

Linde | September 22, 2009 at 1:56 PM

It is fun to hear what he is doing. I can just see them trying to make their flight on time!

Erin | September 22, 2009 at 4:38 PM

Wow, what an exciting mission!

Kimberly | September 22, 2009 at 6:22 PM

My goodness - what an adventure!

charrette | September 22, 2009 at 11:20 PM

Of course I already emailed you about how much I enjoyed this letter...

so I'm moving down to listen to Blackbird.

Eowyn | September 24, 2009 at 6:19 PM

That is an awesome letter! Love the running like mad images. Now if there were only some snakes. . .