Thursday, January 28, 2010


There are days here when I suddenly remember again how much more time it takes to live here than in the western world.  I love living here and generally don't mind that things are inconvenient or that it takes forever to get something accomplished that should have taken 5 minutes.  It's just an observation.

This week we are in Mwanza because 1) Our house that was supposed to be finished 4 months ago still isn't and we have no place to live in Geita, and 2) We had several things to do/buy that can't be done in Geita.  Today Brett spent 2 hours looking for a dish-drying rack.  There are no such things as dishwashers, so you'd think a little drying rack would be easy to find because surely everyone uses them.  Not so.  The first one Brett finally found, made of wood and metal, was about $40, so we decided we could do without a drying rack.  But then he stumbled upon a plastic one, priced at only $12, so we bought two.

Before that, Brett spent an hour at the post office because the guy we were supposed to pay to get our packages wasn't there.  Where was he?  Who knows?  Probably having breakfast or doing a favor for a family member, or maybe even just talking to a friend.  It's expected that someone will not always be where they are supposed to be, even at work, so waiting is just a part of life.

When I went to make a sandwich for lunch today, I discovered our bread was moldy. Thankfully we are in Mwanza, so I actually can just run to the store and get another loaf.  In Geita, though, I generally have to make the bread myself, which takes a few hours, and makes for a rather late lunch.

If you have a list of 10 things you want to accomplish in a day, you'll probably be lucky to get 2 of them done.  We've stopped making lists of 10 things to do.  The thing is, no one cares that those things don't get done.  It's ok with everyone if it happens the next day, or the next day, or the day after that.  The pace of life is slower--a lot slower, and if it takes 2 hours to find a dish drying rack and that causes you to  be an hour late to meet with someone, that's ok.  That person probably wasn't really expecting you to be on time anyway.  In fact, they probably only arrived 5 minutes before you.

You probably think this way of living is bothersome.  But it's all about expectations.  If you think your car should be out of the shop at 3:00 just because someone said it would and you planned your day around that, then yes, you will be bothered.  But if you have no expectations about when it will actually be ready, you'll be content as can be.  We have learned to be content with the slowness of life.  In fact, we've actually grown to like it.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Bad Bacteria

The last 3 days have been pretty rough for our family. All is well now, so don't worry.  But here is the story.

Sunday, Brett started feeling a little funny in the tummy, but didn't think much of it...until about midnight when he woke up feeling more than a bit funny in the tummy.  I'll leave out the gory details, as I'm sure you can imagine what it's like to suffer from gastroenteritis.  Anyway, he couldn't keep any food, water, or medicine in his system and was getting severely dehydrated.  16 hours later, we finally decided he needed to go to the hospital.  Now, as most of you haven't been to Africa, I'm not sure you can imagine what hospitals in rural Africa are like.  The fact that we were willing to go means Brett was pretty bad off.  But then we had an idea.  There's a South African/Ghanian gold mine just outside of town that has a hospital.  We knew that it would be significantly better than the town hospital, but getting into the gold mine is difficult.  You have to have special permission, and they don't give it out very freely.  However, our teammates Carson and Holly are renting a house from a man named Gaston, who is an engineer at the mine.  We'd only met him a few times, but we called him up anyway and, being that he is extremely kind, he managed to get us permission to come to the mine.  So that we did.  We dropped Baylor off to stay with Alicia, another teammate, and went on our way.

When we got there, Brett had a temperature of 101 and his blood pressure was 70/47.  The doctor's said he was pretty bad off. Everyone was incredibly nice and knowledgeable.  They hooked him up to an iv and tested him to find out what he had.  Turned out to be a nasty bacterial infection, probably coming from food or water.  Fortunately, it's almost impossible to pass on to other people.  Three days and 14 ivs later, Brett feels much better and this morning was released.  He's now resting on the couch watching a movie on a not so great copy dvd.

We're really glad to be all back together and mostly healthy.  Praise God for taking care of us!

Thursday, January 14, 2010


Yesterday Baylor rolled over from her tummy to her back for the first time.  Today she lifted herself up a little bit on her arms.  While I'm super proud of her little feats, I also fear she will be on the move way sooner than I would really like.  But doesn't she look cute in her ducky outfit?

Also, today I saw a snake for the first time since I moved to Africa.  I'm pretty happy to have gone 10 months without having seen one, and wasn't too thrilled with this one.  But fortunately, Severin, who works for some of our friends, bravely killed the little beast with a mop.  He was perhaps not the most dangerous little fellow.

Today Brett put together a bike for the first time.  He also met with the new local head of immigration.

Exciting firsts for the whole family.

Sunday, January 10, 2010


I'm finally rejoining the blog world.  Sorry for my lack of posting, but I had a few minor complications following Baylor's delivery (all better now), then I couldn't access my account for some reason, and then we spent 4 days traveling back to Geita.  But don't worry, you'll soon be back to reading regular accounts of our ever-exciting life here:)

We've been back in Geita 4 full days now and are currently staying in some friends' house while they are out of town until our house is completed.  Yes, our house is still not finished.  But it's close this time.  Really.  Just needs some screens in windows and a water tower.  Well, and all the interior cabinetry, closet doors, shelving, etc....but that stuff's not necessary to live in a house.  Anyway, it should be soon. I'll make my first trip into town tomorrow to greet people and let them know we're back.  Actually, we've been informed that everyone already knows we're back, but still, it's customary for me to go greet them and tell them anyway.  It's so nice that everyone knows our every move.

Well, I'll write more later, but I'll leave you with a picture of Baylor enjoying her first time in the ocean.