Intermediate report 1

22.08.2012 – The youth choir Vocal Freestyle is going on a big journey. We are travelling to Tanzania for 15 days. In the following you can read about the first impressions of our journey. You can find up-to date information about us under "Aktuelles"


Unloading luggage at Frankfurt Airport. We are taking almost one metric ton of luggage with us - filling up a whole Mercedes Sprinter;-)

Just after take-off we enjoy one of the award-winning meals of Emirates Airlines. A bit strange in the middle of the night (about 1 o'clock) but nevertheless fantastic:-)

Dubai Airport. After having flown seven waiting loops the plane finally touched down in Dubai at a few minutes before 7 in the morning local time, that is 5 o'clock in Germany. Our connecting flight was also more than an hour late due to a flat tyre.

We arrived at Dar es Salaam at 4.30 p.m. local time (3.30 p.m. in Germany). Our interpreter, friend and organizer on the spot, Elisabeth Schenk (3rd from left) picks us up from the airport.

On board of a small bus which is actually allowed only  a maximum of 20 passengers (there are 30 of us in it) we travel straight through Dar es Salaam to our first hostel at the other end of the city. Interestingly enough, the first thing that we notice in Tanzania - apart from the roads which are full of potholes - is a traffic jam which is several kilometres long. Fortunately it is on the other side of the road...we fell very much at home;-)

Our webmaster is practically working around the clock in order to keep you up to date. Luckily enough there are several diligent people responsible for providing him with data, facts and photographs. You can take a closer look at them under Impressum.

In Dar es Salaam Manyoni's bishop - Lupaa - introduces himself to us and we introduce ourselves with a little privat concert.

We also get back the money we exchanged - we are riiiiiiich :-)

(87,500 Tanzanian Shillings are about 50 €)

Early in the morning (getting up at quarter past 4...) we set off again. Some of us are doing morning exercises in order to get over their tiredness. A coach journey of at least 8 hours lies ahead of us. Thanks to bishop Lupaa we got Tanzania's best coach, which even has a working air-conditioning system to make the journey bearable to some extent. It must be emphasized at this point that we are actually travelling on a service bus...that means that we are taking other passengers on board at the bus stops!

As it turns out later, thanks to an incredible stroke of luck, two reporters get on the bus. They are so thrilled by our choir (yes, we're also singing in the bus;-)), that we are asked to sing another dozen times so that the the cameraman can make some good recordings...which will be shown on Tanzanian television in the near future (on August 25th or 26th at the latest). We are going to be famous...YEAH :-D

Little background information: the reporters got on the bus because they are doing a report on the shortage of toilets alongside the country's "motorways" (rather ordinary roads we would say). We are also interviewed extensively on this topic at the "toilet locations".

This is what a toilet stop looks like by the way...

After a seemingly never ending 11 hours' journey (eleven hours!) we arrive at Manyoni completely tensed-up but in good health. The local people greet us very warm-heartedly. They even carry our luggage to the hostel - what a luxury :-)

We get twin rooms some of them wit mosquito nets, some of them self-contained, some with running water and doors that close most of the time.

Some of us have very creative ideas regarding the net in order to make sure they can sleep safely at night.

After such a long bus ride everyone is not only  looking forward to a warm bed (or rather a cool one here) but also to a good meal.

So far the African food has by far exceeded our expectations. We always have "chips", "chicken stew" (or something similar), "tomatoe sauce", rice and boiled chinese cabbage (from Elisabeth's garden).

Today, right after breakfast (which means at half past eight - we will turn into early birds if we carry on like this :-( ) we went on an exploration tour with the bishop's wife - Devota. Above all we had to go to the taylor's to make sure that the tailor-made garments will be finished before our departure.

With the heat and the long walk one really appreciates our Simon even more than ever ;-)

The African children are also attracted by the charisma of our baritone singer.

Being the only white people in Manyoni, we seem to attract everyone's attention anyway. The children are absolutely enthusiastic about the balloons - fortunately we took quite a lot of them with us.

Evelyn and Rebekka buying fabric...

...which are made to measure by the taylor later on.

We also aquaint ourselves with the indigenous fauna.

Sooner than some of us expect it they have offspring here in Africa ;-)

All in all you can already say that international understanding is no problem in Tanzania despite the lack of language skills :-)


Doch nicht nur bei Stadtbegegnungen wollen wir es für heute bleiben lassen, wir veranstalten mit 7 Chören aus Manyoni direkt ein gemeinsames Konzert um uns besser kennen zu lernen. Schon direkt bei der „Einspielprobe“ werden wir wieder herzlich aufgenommen und zum Mitmachen animiert.

Wir versuchen „afrikanisch“ zu Tanzen und werden auf Grund unserer „deutschen“ Bewegungen direkt „ausgelacht“ ;-)

Auch Andreas lässt sich nicht zweimal bitten und jammed zur Freude unserer Gastgeber und uns kräftig mit.

Selbst der Pfarrer tanzt mit!

Nachdem jeder ein bis zwei Stücke aufgeführt hat und das Konzert sich nach 3 Stunden dank eines Stromausfalls dem Ende nähert, bitten wir die Chöre, uns ein tansanisches Lied beizubringen. Wir lernen, natürlich ohne Noten, „MFANYIENI“:
„Shangwe dunia yote
Bwana kwa furaha“

Nachfolgend noch ein paar Impressionen vom gemeinsamen Musizieren.

Am Abend proben wir noch einmal für uns, denn am nächsten Morgen geht’s schon wieder mit einem Kirchenkonzert weiter.