Saturday, September 29, 2012

Kids Say the Darndest Things

When you go to most restaurants in Tanzania, you don't expect them to have a bathroom.  And if they do, you definitely don't expect them to have toilet paper.  So generally, we bring our own.  There is one restaurant we go to, though, that always has a nice supply.  Last night we were eating there, as were quite a few other English speaking people, and Brett got up to go to the bathroom.  As he was walking away, Baylor shouted, "Baba! Don't forget to take paper to wipe your bottom!" A thoroughly enjoyable moment for me.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

How much banana bread can one person eat?

We just harvested our first bananas from the trees in our yard.  We first planted the trees about a year and a half ago and they have flourished, to say the least.  Banana trees reproduce other trees rapidly, so we have many sprouting up in our yard.  However, they only produce bananas once.  So once we pull down the bananas we chop down that tree, giving the new trees space to grow.

Baylor and Harper have been especially enjoying them.  I'm trying to figure out what to do with all of them.

Thursday, September 20, 2012


Our night guard, Ondiek, is in general quite the jolly fellow.  He spends his evenings on our back porch reading the Bible and sometimes wakes us up in the middle of the night as he sings on his rounds.  One of his favorite things to do is talk to Baylor in a high, squeaky voice and make silly faces at her.

A few weeks ago he came to us asking for help because his teenage son, Ezekiel, was sick.  This is normal.  We often help our employees with their doctor bills and medicines when someone in their families is sick.  But his request was unusual.  He was asking for money to pay for an ambulance to take him to the hospital in Mwanza, three hours away.

"Where is your son now?"

"At the Geita hospital."

"What's wrong?"

"The doctor's say it's his liver."

For the doctors to have said he needed an ambulance was a huge indicator to how severely ill Ezekiel was.  There are only a few and they are rarely used.  Unfortunately, the ambulance was not available that day so we rented a van for Ondiek, his wife, and their ten children to go to Mwanza.

There, the doctors say it's not his liver, but rather his kidneys, and maybe some other parts as well.  After several days, they still don't have a diagnosis, but he seems to be improving.  It came as a surprise then, when Ondiek called and said his son had died.

Our joyful friend is no longer so.  He had ten children, and loved every one of them tremendously.  You can see on his face how much he feels this loss.  

I find myself thinking, "Would this have happened in America?"  Was this a strange illness only found here?  Did Ezekiel die because they waited too long to go to the doctor?  Or was is because the doctors weren't qualified enough? Or was there a lack of medicine? Or would this have happened no matter where he was or what was done?   There are no answers to my questions.  I  only know that we are mourning our friend's loss and have nothing to say to comfort him.  So I ask you to pray for Ezekiel's family, that God will provide them the peace that passes understanding.