Wednesday, July 27, 2011

And We're Off! almost

Today is our last full day in Geita before we start making our way to America for furlough.  For the last week we've been scrambling trying to get our house ready for our teammates, the Groens, to move in while we're gone.  We've finally got shelves in all our closets, albeit with no rods or doors, but that's ok.  The important thing is that there won't be waist and shoulder-high piles of boxes and things lying about in the corners of rooms.  It takes a bit longer to do things like this here than in the States.  I'm sure most of you would not have lived in your houses this long without closets.  But you have to do everything yourself here.  Brett goes and orders the wood and then gives measurements to the wood cutting guy.  Hopefully, that guy cuts the wood to the correct size and then you can begin the process of installation.  Brett has spent the last two weeks gathering every screw and fisher plug in Geita.  The city actually ran out before we could get everything up so we still lack a few things.  Also, you have to wait for a day when there is electricity so you can run the electric drill.  No hammering here -- we have concrete walls.  So anyway, it takes a while and I'm glad it's finally done.  It makes me feel a bit more organized.

We've managed to pack up most of our things to give the Groens some room and after dinner tonight with the McNeals we'll head to Mwanza tomorrow, pick the Groens up from the airport on Friday, spend a nice day with them, fly to Dar on Saturday, fly to London on Sunday, and fly to Atlanta on Monday, where we will finally be able to hug our family and friends and eat an Arby's roast beef and curly fries.

See you all in a week!

Thursday, July 21, 2011


Senene are considered to be an especially delicious treat here in Tanzania.  "What are senene?" you ask.  Why, they are grasshoppers.  Wings and legs pulled off and fried to perfection.  Mmmm.  During a big rain, they come out in droves and our house feels like it's in the midst of a good ol' biblical times plague.  Since Brett and I in general do not partake in the eating of sanene, we allow the neighbor kids to come over and gather them: from our porch, on top of the car, hanging on the windows, in a pile on the ground from where we swept them out of our house.  You get the picture.  It's like Halloween to them (without the costumes).

It is currently dry season so we have not seen senene in quite some time.  However, earlier this week our friend James, who grew up in Kenya a missionary kid, came to stay with us on his way through back to Mwanza from Bukoba.  Now, Bukoba is a town further north and is a very green and beautiful area.  And this green lovliness comes from rain, and rain leads to senene.  So up in Bukoba they have sanene year round and James brought us a bag of them.

Baylor seemed intrigued so we let her have a taste.  But Baylor's new-found senene love was not satisfied by just a morsel.  She ate and ate and ate to her heart's content.  It wasn't particularly strange to me that she liked them.  What was strange was that later in the evening we had chocolate pudding for dessert and Baylor took one bite and didn't want any more.  My child prefers grasshoppers to pudding.  She's truly a Tanzanian child.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Mysterious Doughy

Most of the time when Baylor is talking, we understand what she's saying.  She may not say the words exactly right, but for the most part she's pretty clear.  However, she has one word the Brett and I have no idea what she means.


Hmmm.  We know this is something that she believes is a real word.  We also know that doughy is something that lives outside.  She always looks outside when she's saying it.  She gets very excited about doughy.  She'll kind of jump up and down, animatedly pointing out the window while repeating her favorite word.

Yesterday we were outside at the gold mine and Holly asked Baylor if she could show her doughy.  So Baylor immediately started searching, calling for doughy as she looked.  She didn't to find it; so now we can eliminate grass, bushes, buckets, buildings, and flags.  Maybe an imaginary friend?

Our best guess is she's trying to say doggy.  However, she can say dog, puppy, Gene, and Max (the names of our dogs), so I don't know why she'd add in another one.  Who knows?  Perhaps one day we'll discover the answer.  Until then, we're actually quite entertained trying to figure it out.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

One More

"One more what?" you may be thinking to yourself.  One more...month until we'll be in the States?  One more...birthday until Brett hits 35?  One more...time they play that song on the radio before I scream?  While those things all might be true, they are not what this post is about.

This post is about announcing the coming arrival of one more Harrison.  Yes, we will sometime in the near future be having another baby.  I'm about 12 weeks now, so this little one will be born sometime at the end of January or beginning of February.  My due date is actually January 26th, but after Baylor's due date came and went and the days kept going by for two weeks, I've decided to go with more of a due range than a date in an effort to keep my sanity at the end.

We saw the doctor in Mwanza a few weeks ago and after four hours of mostly waiting, we were assured that everyone seems to be in perfect health thus far.  I'm not so sure lying on the couch trying not to throw up for six weeks constitutes perfect health, but whatever.  I have started feeling a little better this week and have even ventured out a few times.

Baylor seems to have no concept of what's coming, but Brett and I are very excited.  I'm especially excited about coming back to America soon on furlough where I won't have to cook three meals a day.  Take out has never sounded better.  We ask that you pray for the health of Harrison #4 and me, and I'll keep you updated on our preggie progress.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The 4th Festivities

We always enjoy the 4th of July here because we can essentially celebrate it in the same way we would in America.  Holidays here in general can be a bit disappointing, what with the lack of family and 80 degree Christmas parties, but Independence Day is all about warm weather, grilling with family and friends, and perhaps some lawn games.

Yesterday the McNeals came over for the day and we were joined by a couple of friends, James and Meg, from Mwanza.

We played some cards while the kids swam.  We listened to bluegrass music while grilling good old fashioned hamburgers.  We even had our second annual July 4th bocce ball tournament.  

We ended our day with a lot of eating: hamburgers, baked beans, pasta salad, onion straws, watermelon, and of course, star shaped, red, white, and blue cookies with ice cream (Holly's our master baker -- she even made the sprinkles from scratch).

Baylor didn't want to go to bed, but we finally got her down in her holidayesque pajamas after several hugs and kisses.