Shining A Light on the Dark Continent

Category Archives: Tanzania

Dar es Salaam — A modern, clean city

After spending money on the tanzanite, Dave and Navy Chaplain Captain Jon Cutler explored Dar es Salaam. They particularly wanted to see the churches built when the Europeans occupied the country. They found a Lutheran church and a Roman Catholic Church. Both churches were built between 1897 and 1902.

One of the bells in the Lutheran Church in Dar es Salaam
One of the bells in the Lutheran Church in Dar es Salaam

In the Lutheran church, they climbed to the top of the bell tower. Written on the three bells in German was “Zu Gott Empor,” meaning “God and Emperor.” The emperor was probably Kaiser Wilhelm. The bell tower also served as a clock tower. The mechanism, gears and pendulum of the clock still work.

Dave said the stained glass in both churches was beautiful. “I really liked the African boy kneeling before the Baby Jesus,” he said.

Dave really liked this stained glass showing an African boy bowing to Baby Jesus
Dave really liked this stained glass showing an African boy bowing to Baby Jesus

Portugal colonized Tanzania in the 1500s but was ousted by Omani Arabs who controlled the country and created the largest Arab slave trading center. In the late 19th Century, Germany colonized the area and had possession until after World War I. As part of the League of Nations charter, Britain took control until 1961 when Tanganyika became independent. In 1964, Zanzibar joined the country and it was renamed Tanzania. Thus the European influence around the city.

The city reminded Dave of any western modern city – modern, clean and pleasant.


Explosion affects travel plans in Tanzania

As Dave prepared to leave Tanga for Dar es Salaam, the largest city in Tanzania, he received word that an explosion closed the main airport. An accident at a military ammunition depot, caused the explosion killing 20 people, injuring 145 more and closed the airport. According to news reports, people felt the explosion 12 milesContinue Reading

Why can’t we all just get along?

Dave spoke with a village elder in Mamboleo Village while he was there inspecting the well. The elder said, although the village was 70 percent Muslim and 30 percent Christian, the two groups got along well together. In fact, most of the town attended the funeral of a Christian woman the day Dave was there.Continue Reading


On the drive to Addis Alem, Ethiopia to visit the Compassion International site, I was anxious. I did not know what kind of reception I would get. I was sensitive to perceptions – a white man, driven by an Ethiopian interpreter from the American Embassy, accompanied by an Ethiopian from Compassion International and my NavyContinue Reading