Friday, December 11, 2009
Friday, December 4, 2009
Sunday, November 29, 2009
After the fair, we went to a community Thanksgiving dinner. This was the most unusual Thanksgiving dinner I've attended. First, it wasn't on Thanksgiving. Second, I only knew a few people. Third, it was held at the home of two South Africans. Fourth, there were not only Americans, but also the aforementioned South Africans, Britains, Tanzanians, and Indians. And fifth, this was an everybody bring a dish meal, and the food was a bit different than what I expected. Our little group brought green bean casserole, corn casserole, and apple pies. So traditional we are. When we walked in the room the overwhelming aroma was curry. Not quite the cinnamon and sage smells I was expecting. They had two turkeys, one of which was grilled, and the other of which was seasoned with all kinds of Indian spices I don't know the names of. There were also a few other dishes I've never seen on the dining room table at this time of year. It was all good, though it was a strange mixing curried meat and raisins with sweet potatoes and marshmallows.
After our very American Thanksgiving, we headed to the movies with friends to watch New Moon, the latest in the Twilight series. I've read all the books and really enjoyed them, but thought the first movie was horrible. But the movie theater being air-conditioned, I was more than willing to sit through the second installment (which started 30 minutes late), and it was actually a lot better than the first. I think that was mostly due to the fact that the guy that plays Edward Cullen was not in the movie for much of the time, greatly increasing the general talent level of the cast.
It was nice to get out of the house and break the monotony of sitting and waiting. We've been doing that kind of a lot lately.
Friday, November 27, 2009
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Friday, October 16, 2009
For those of you who didn't already know, you can probably tell from the above picture that Holly is also pregnant, due at then end of February. And for those of you who have held the theory that missionaries in Geita can't produce male children (there are 6 girls with 2 more on the way, 0 boys), Holly and Carson defy you. They found out recently that they are, in fact, having a boy. I feel kind of bad for the kid, as he'll be the only little boy around for a while, at least. But it's good, because I have a feeling the people of Geita might have started to think it a little strange that all of us only have little girls. Plus, he'll probably be the manliest kid in the world, as all the men on our team will fight over him for doing manly activities, such as rock climbing, wrestling, and lighting things on fire.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Friday, September 11, 2009
A few weeks ago we went to Kigali, Rwanda for week-long conference on church planting movements. There were over 100 people there from 17 countries and they sections in both English and French. The teacher was David Watson, who has done mission work all over the world.
Monday, September 7, 2009
Saturday, September 5, 2009
We have finally made it to Geita, the town we’ve been planning on living in for the last four years, after five-and-a-half months of being in Tanzania. This is quite exciting for us. It’s been really good to have gotten into things slowly here, spending time with the Mwanza team, language school, and the conference in Rwanda (more on that in another post)-- I think in the long run, adjusting slowly is a much better course of action than jumping right into working not knowing any language, culture, etc.
So, Brett and I moved here on Wednesday and are currently sharing a house with Carson and Holly, which the Groen’s have rented but won’t move into for a while because they’re in Mwanza doing paperwork and going through red tape for the orphanage. The house is a nice little place, only about a 100 yard walk to the center market, which is helpful. On the other hand, it’s also 100 yards to the market, which also means 100 yards from the discos, the church which is having a revival ( I don’t think you can comprehend the meaning of loud until you have attended a Tanzanian church revival), and the Mosque which reads 1/30 of the Koran every night on a loudspeaker for Ramadan. Currently, none of us in the house are speaking, because you can’t hear each other unless you yell. This lasts from about 8:30am to midnight. Of course, once the revival’s over, it won’t be an everyday thing.
This is our current house. You can't see it, but there's a big beautiful mango tree right in front of it.
But we have been looking for houses. We’re trying to find a house within a mile of the town center, so we can be accessible to the people here, yet be far enough away to not hear the music all the time. Also high on our list is a house with an indoor kitchen. This is a harder task than you might think. Tanzanians typically cook outside, so most houses don’t have kitchens. And often the ones that do are very small, just enough room for a sink and refrigerator. Finding houses to rent is in itself a highly amusing process. There aren’t any real estate agents or for rent signs here, so basically you just drive around town until you see a house you think you might like, then stop the car, get out, and ask if anyone is home. If there is someone home, you ask if they live there, and if the house is for rent. If it is, you then find out who the owner is and somehow manage to get in contact with him (often they live in another town) to see the house. If the house is not for rent, you ask if they know of any houses around that are. Tanzanians hate telling someone “no,” because they don’t won’t to disappoint anyone, so often let you see the house even if it being rented, and then after an hour, hint that maybe you should look at another house, because it might be more suitable. We really liked one house until we found that it was already being rented. Some days of house-hunting have been more successful than others. But never boring.
The people of Geita have been extremely welcoming and friendly. They love that we speak Swahili, even if we don’t speak it perfectly. They’re happy to just sit and talk for 30 minutes or an hour about whatever, and we’ve been able to have some good conversations already about the needs of the community, etc.
The first 4 days here have been great, hopefully with more greatness to follow.
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Thursday, August 20, 2009
This is me with our friends, Carley and Kate, Americans who are teaching in Dar at the Christian School. They're much fun, and I'm sad they live so far away. They ended school the same day as we did, but were only able to stay for a month total, so they didn't have the joy of getting diplomas from Peter, though they were still forced to make speeches. The kids made us our lovely laurel crowns as a graduation present. So beautiful.
I know we still have a lot to learn, but the language school was great, so if any of you are wanting to learn Swahili, I highly recommend it.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Monday, August 10, 2009
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Monday, July 13, 2009
For our fifth year wedding anniversary, we decided to go on a little safari. Our actual anniversary isn’t for another couple of weeks, but the rates for safari lodges skyrocket in July, so we decided June was a fine time for a wedding.
We went to Ruaha National Park, which is about 2 1/2 hours from Iringa. This was Brett’s first safari, so I was really glad that all the animals were out and about. I’ve never seen so many giraffes in my life. They’re so amazing to watch move. They always look like they’re in slow motion, even if they’re running. We almost demolished our car by running into one coming around a corner. But, thanks to Brett’s fast braking, we managed to not get squashed. We also saw a herd of over 500 cape buffalo. We came through to a clearing and there they were, as far as the eye could see. We also saw elephants, warthogs, hyenas, jackals, greater kudu, about a million impala, hippos, crocodiles, baboons, zebras, birds, and more. The only thing we didn’t get to see were lions. That was the top animal Brett wanted to see, so it was a little disappointing, but we figure surely sometime in the next 10 years we’ll have another chance. It was a really great trip.
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Please try to use your new words at least three times today, or you might forget them.
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Saturday, June 6, 2009
Saturday, May 30, 2009
Saturday, May 16, 2009
So, we've been in school for 2 weeks now, and we've already learned a lot. I've actually been pretty surprised at how quickly we can have conversations with people. Somewhat simple conversations, mind you, but communication nonetheless.
I thought you might be interested in what language school is like, so here is a typical day for us.
Breakfast - 7:00 - 8:00 am. (they cook all our meals for us, and they're actually quite good)
Class 1 - 8:00 - 10:00 am.
Tea Break - 10:00 - 10:30 am. (love that British influence)
Class 2 - 10:30 - 1:00 pm.
Lunch - 1:00 - 2:00 pm
The afternoons are completely free for us, but typically we do something like this:
2:00 - 4:30 - go running, read, play on the slack line, go swimming with the hippo, or drive the 20 minutes into town to check email
Homework and Swahili Study - 4:30 - 6:30
Dinner - 6:30 - 7:30 pm
Continue Studying, or if finished, watch a movie on the laptop or play cards - 7:30 - 9:30
If you're me, you generally are in bed by 10:00. If you're Brett, you generally stay up til 11:00 studying more b/c you didn't do it earlier or reading a magazine.
Anyway, that's a day. Weekends are a little different b/c we don't have class, but we don't really do anything that interest, so I won't try to talk about it. Some day I'll post pictures of the school so you can picture it better. That'll have to be after I get batteries for my camera, though....
One more important thing. You may have noticed the blog looks way better now that before, and that is due to the efforts of my ohso talented friend, Daisha, who volunteered to personalize our blog for us. The picture is of a road coming out of Geita. The people say there are 2 paved roads in Geita, but really it's just one that curves. Anyway, thanks so much to Daisha for her help!
Saturday, May 9, 2009
So that's our big news. We would appreciate prayers of good health for the both of us, and perhaps now you'll understand more my great excitement at finding smoothies.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
I suppose we also gathered some other valuable information while there. Baguette sandwiches, for example. Also, we found a pediatrician for the Mwanza team, we found that there is not an allergist for the Mwanza team, and that there are plenty of hotels and guesthouses for them to stay in when they go to Kigali in August for a conference. We noted that things in Kigali are ridiculously expensive, except for t.v.s, which are the cheapest of anywhere in East Africa. I have no idea why this is the case.
Kigali is the closest really big city to Geita, so we'll use it to buy some needed things, like appliances and some hard to find groceries. It'll also be a place to get away for a weekend to relax at a pool or drive on paved roads. It's the only place with roads good enough for Brett to do his cycling. Currently, there are a lot of new missionaries in Kigali, some of whom I went to college with, so it's nice to have friends to visit and stay with. Most of them will only be there for a year or so, though, to learn language before heading off to smaller, less reached cities.
Our trip to Kigali was mostly a fact-finding trip, so we feel pretty successful. We now have lots of facts.
I hope you have enjoyed our journey around the Lake.
Friday, May 1, 2009
Thursday, April 30, 2009
The velveeta and rotel is not us. That picture was supposed to be elsewhere. I have no idea, by the way, how to get pictures to go where you want them. Any of you experienced bloggers who have advice, feel free to share.
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Though they didn't seem concerned about the microphones when the rain came, which could explain the reason for the failure of the microphones.
Thursday, April 2, 2009
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
This is us with Brittney and Brett's brother Brian, enjoying a rousing game of Bocce ball.
Enjoying a lazy, slow morning with our nephew Kaleb.
My mom, sometimes confused for a fraggle, and me outside my parents' house in virginia a month ago.
We're so happy our favorite college teams have matching sweatshirts.