Paul Bolstad

Name ID 2184

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nTZ Feedback
Extract Author: Paul Bolstad
Page Number: 2007 05 08
Extract Date: 2007


My young brother, Dan, found your website somehow and sent me the link. I have found it fascinating.

My story is a bit different from most that I have seen so far:

My father was an American missionary, sent to restart a printing press for the mission in the aftermath of WWII.(1946). We lived at Vuga in the Usambara Mts. We lived in Tanganyika for two five year 'terms', leaving for the last time in 1957. My father had a heart condition that prevented him from returning to the work he loved and the people of the Usambaras.

I finished university in 1966 and returned that year as a Peace Corps Volunteer, serving in an agricultural project in Morogoro Region(Kilombero) for two years.

Later, I moved to Kenya, to the sugar producing areas around Lake Victoria for another year. After further education, I returned to TZ in 1974 with my wife, Shirley, to teach at a secondary school just outside Arusha, called Enaboishu. I was an employee(missionary) of the Lutheran Church of America, but serving under the authority of the ELCT(the local Lutheran Church).

We had two children born in Nairobi during that time. Our oldest was a student at Arusha School from 1979 to 1982, the year we returned to USA. We have not been back since. However, we are planning a return safari for this November, especially to visit the area where my parents served from 1946 to 1957, with my two daughters and my two sisters and a brother…all with their spouses. We will be a group of ten or more. It will be a 'trip of a lifetime'…

I have made the acquaintance of a Tom Linton, an artist who is a representative of Dieter Czurn's safari company. He was a student at Arusha School and later, at secondary school in Nairobi. His father built the pryretheum factory in Arusha. He will know many of the names in your website! I'll make sure he is aware of your website… perhaps he already knows about it.

I have extensive knowledge of the American missionary family from the Arusha area and can answer questions or put people in contact with old friends from that community. Our neightbor from Ilboru, Dave Simonson, still lives in Arusha although he is in declining health these days. Many of his family are in the safari business and are, in fact, arranging our safari.

I knew Deiter Czurn's father well; my father depended on him for repairs to vehicles used in the pubslishing house. I hope to meet up with him some day.

I didn't see your background and history anywhere on the website…perhaps I didn't look in the right place. During our 8.5 years in the Arusha area we met many of the old time 'wazungus', although many of them have passed on.

One, 'Edward, the Polish butcher' is still there and very much alive and operating his business out of his house. I am interested in the history of Polish refugees and will try to visit the cemetary at Tengeru.

I have a brother-in-law who is Jewish and he is interested in any Jewish immigration and history. I would welcome any information anyone out there would know, especially if there were any Jewish immigrants from Poland among those refugees!

I'm sorry this is so long, but I am one of those who has been bitten by the Africa bug, more specifically the Tanzania variety. In total I have lived 22.5 years of my life there(I still speak Swahili fluently) and find that it will always pull me back…

Cheers, Paul Bolstad

Extract ID: 5362

See also

nTZ Feedback
Extract Author: Paul Bolstad
Page Number: 2008 10 06
Extract Date: Nov 2007

2007 return to nTZ

In November 2007 I organized and led a return 'safari' of my family and two 'extended family' members to northern Tanzania. It had been 25 years since I left my job as a teacher at Enaboishu Secondary School in 1982 to return to the USA. It had been 50 years since my two sisters had been back to see the area where they lived as children in the Usambara Mountains. Included in our group were my two daughters, the oldest of which was born in Nairobi when we lived in Arusha(1975).

The story of our 'return to our roots' is told with pictures in the 2nd quarterly edition of the TANTRAVEL magazine, the official magazine of the Tazania Tourist Board and it is available free of charge at any of their offices.

We spent the first part of our time in Tanzania in Arusha reconnecting with old friends and co-workers and then proceeded to Usambara via chartered Toyota Coaster type bus. The highlight of our visit to Usambara was the church service at Vuga, the location of our ten year tenure between 1946 and 1957. The people there had known of our plans for almost a year and were well prepared for us. After a nearly three hour service, during which the four Bolstad siblings, plus daughters and spouses sang three Swahili songs we had learned as children, and I was asked to give a greeting from the family (in Swahili), we were treated to an African style lunch in the buildings of the former printing press which my father had managed and which now were being used as a combination retreat and conference center and Bible School. Many emotional tributes were heard to our parents, who all remembered well and were truly loved by the people of Vuga.

The rest of the safari was sight-seeing: Lushoto and the fabulous Irente view, the Maweni Lodge at Soni, and then to Tanga and Pangani on the Indian Ocean coast. After returning to Moshi for a Thanksgiving dinner, African style with ndizi na nyama, we were back in Arusha and off to the game parks to see the world famous animals. Ndutu Lodge, Ngorongoro, Serengeti, and Tarangire were on the agenda and many wonderful animal pictures were the result.

We continue to re-live the experiences we had last November and get together to talk about it, looking at our best pictures. Last August we gathered at our parent's gravesite and placed eleven stones and some soil we had collected from the church site at Vuga. We continue to savor the memories of those days long ago and the more recent days we spent there.

Paul Bolstad

Extract ID: 5829
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