Thursday, April 30, 2009

Circumnavigating Lake Victoria Part 1 - Kenya

Well, the last 2 1/2 weeks were spent, as you've probably guessed by the title, driving around Lake Victoria visiting other mission teams, seeing the work they're doing, and doing a bit of research on what's available as far as food, health care, etc.

So, I'll start with Kenya.  The Annual East African Missionary Ladies' Retreat was held at Rondo, Kenya for 4 days.  Holly and I rode with the women on the Mwanza team.  The Retreat Center is a very relaxing place.  It's the perfect setting for getting away from everything and getting recharged. Not that we had a whole lot to get away from at this point in our life here, but you know, in the future.  It was great to meet a lot of the women working in East Africa.  Some have been here as little as a month and others have been here 30 years.  We got to hear what people are doing and how they're living their everyday lives. It's always interesting how differently people do things.  It was a very encouraging way to start things here.  I'm sure that if I ever need anything, I can call any one of them there and they'd be happy to help.  

People tend to get creative when there's not too much entertainment available, so the Jinja team, who was in charge of this year's retreat, decided we would be having a masquerade ball (I promise it fit in with the theme of the retreat).  We all brought things to wear and we made masks there.  Knowing the limit of my artistic abilities, I opted to make the ugliest mask I could, figuring that whatever dreams I had of making a spectacular mask would end up that way anyway.  This is Holly and me and our masks.  Holly was an art major, so it's not fair to compare us.

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.  

The velveeta and rotel, while I won't say was the best part of the retreat, was definitely way up there.  We had a dirty santa gift thing, provided by the Jinja team, and we all thought they would be weird things found in the market or something, but no! they were wonderful things found in the glorious supermarket aisles of America: cake mixes, various cheeses, pretzels, and so many other scrumptious items longed for.  And I ended up with my dream of all dreams, velveeta and rotel.  It was good day.  

And while I was basking away those dreams of delicious goodness, Brett and Carson were in Eldoret, Kenya, just a couple hours away, visiting with a longtime missionary who does a lot of agricultural development.  They were able to see his projects and find out a lot of info on what grows well here, what low-tech things work, etc.  They also got to visit a cheese factory that makes not only their own cheese, but ice cream as well, much to their delight.  

From there they went on to Jinja, Uganda--but that is for another day.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

please appreciate the pictures

So, pictures take a long time to upload here in Tanzania--about an hour a picture, so please, appreciate them.  They took some time.  

Anyway the picture on the left is of us in a village.  We spent about four hours listening to the preacher, the guy who summarizes the preacher, the communion guy who preaches longer than the preacher, and then to the singing, which seemed to involve a lot of microphone testing and failure.  Why they think they need microphones in the middle of the village with 50 people in a small area, I don't know, but they really seem to.
Though they didn't seem concerned about the microphones when the rain came, which could explain the reason for the failure of the microphones.  

On Saturdays here, it seems that most of the expat children of Mwanza get together to play soccer.  Brett got to coach some and I got to watch with the other women and their kids who were too young to play.

It's the rainy season here, so this is a picture of Carson playing in the rain with our courtyard giraffe where we stayed in Geita. It was raining so hard the picture came down sideways... 

Did I mention that I don't really understand how to make this blog thing work properly?

Thursday, April 2, 2009

In Tanzania

Just wanted to let everyone know we're safe and sound in Tanzania.  For the last two weeks, we've been staying with the Mwanza team, about three hours away from Geita, where we'll be living.  They've been great.  We kind of see their team as an extension of our team, being so close, so we're happy to get to know them better.  

We now officially have Tanzanian driver's licenses, no car though.  We've been driving Carson and Holly's around, getting used to driving on the left. It's surprisingly not that weird-feeling.  I got to have a root canal this morning, wahoo.  Brett's favorite Tanzanian drink is Bitter Lemon Soda and mine is Pinenut.  That would be pineapple and coconut, not the actual pinenut.  We have already eaten more beans and rice in the last two weeks than in the last 6 months combined, which Brett is sooo happy about, and we've learned that galoshes really come in handy during the rainy season.  

I'll try to post some pictures soon, and hopefully update regularly enough that you won't stop checking.