Camping is in tents

There are at least a hundred things I’d never done before leaving on this trip that I have after this week at camp. Sleeping on the deck of a boat as it sails overnight down the longest lake in the world is one of them. I woke up last Monday morning to the sunrise and waves splashing over the bow and into my sleeping bag. I am typing this on my phone as I sit on the top of the boat on the way back to Kigoma, leaning against the mast and squinting into the rapidly fading sunlight. Does that sound like something out of a book? It feels like we’ve been living in some kind of adventure story for the past few weeks, sometimes I can’t believe this is real life.


We left last Sunday night from Kigoma at around 10pm and made it to the village the next morning around 10am. It wouldn’t have taken quite so long if the boat hasn’t broken down when we were about two hours from shore. Luckily, Josh is the most interesting man in the world and managed to do some boat mechanics before we drifted into the waters of the Congo.


For the past five days we have been camping out on the grounds of a school between two villages on the lake south of Kigoma. We’ve had no electricity or running water, and about 100 Tanzanian teenagers wanting to learn from us and play games with us and take pictures.

Camp was amazing. The Kids Club leaders are such beautiful, friendly, fun kids. Tanzanians are very passionate and expressive people, especially when it comes to their love for Jesus. Leading worship for a bunch of kids who love to belt it out and clap even to English songs they don’t know was one of the best things I’ve ever had the chance to do. I will never forget the worship times at this camp.


I am equal parts happy and sad it’s over. I will miss the kids but I cannot wait to get back to the college and have a “shower”. There is only so much lake bathing a girl can take. Also it will be nice to sleep in a real bed. And put on a different shirt. I have been alternating between the same two for the past week, washing whichever one I’m not wearing in the lake.


There are so many cool stories about what God has done at this camp, both in the lives of the Westsiders on our team and in the lives of the kids in this ministry. All of us are walking away having heard from Him and learned something. Again I will write more when I get home. There are SO many things worth sharing but I want to savor my last two days here. We have to leave Kigoma on Tuesday to drive to Mwanza to catch our flight home. The airline we flew from Mwanza to Kigoma on the way here cancelled all flights in and out of Kigoma as of July 1st, including ours. If there is one thing I’ve learned about travelling in Africa, it is to expect your plans will change. Nothing ever goes as planned, but it always turns out all right eventually!