On Thursday, December 9, we -George, Joy – along with Carey Samford, headed to Iringa in order to search for housing.  It was a 14-hour trip with very few stops.  After a week of searching, which meant driving the streets from morning till night, looking, knocking, and asking, we were able to secure housing for our two families.

Since we were there over the weekend, we had the opportunity to worship with the congregation.  We were favorably impressed with this little group of Christians.  Half of those in attendance were children, and one of the men taught a children’s Bible class.  The congregation has been waiting for news about when we would actually move there.  We were finally able to tell them that we are coming soon. After worship everyone was warm and friendly.

As we took care of several item of business during the course of our week, we found the town to be very pleasant.  Prior to our trip, we had been told by several people who were familiar with Iringa that it is a nice town: crime is much lower compared to the bigger cities, and the people would be friendlier, generally speaking.  We certainly found that to be the case.

We will have some other challenges.  It seems that there isn’t as much available when it comes to groceries, toiletries, etc. but we will adapt.

After searching high and low for a week, we found houses for both our family and the Samford family.  One of our biggest desires was to find houses close in proximity, so that we don’t feel isolated, especially when the guys are gone with the vehicles.  Amazingly, we were able to find two houses 600 meters apart, out a ways from the main part of town.  Both will require some TLC and lots of scrubbing, but we can do that!

On the premises we have two mango trees, two banana trees and one orange tree.  We are anxious to find out how well they produce.

Something that might take a little adjusting to are the pigs next door!  While looking at our house, we stopped and said hello to the youth living next door, and he was kind enough to give us a personal introduction to his pigs.  Carey thought this was all very funny, until later we discovered that he, too, has pigs living next to his house!  The good thing about it is that we will likely be able to have some fresh pork to put in our freezer, for a very reasonable price.

We met some of the neighborhood children, who were very curious about us, though quite friendly.  In fact, the little girl across the street from our house is the one who actually told us the house was available when we were driving around looking for a house to rent.

We will definitely miss some things about Arusha, but we are anxious to get moved and settled and to once again make the house our home.