Friday, November 23, 2012

Pumpkin Bowling

This year's Thanksgiving was quite festive.  Our team, sans McNeal's (who are stateside for a wedding) was joined by Brett's mom and our friends James and Daphne from Mwanza.  We had the typical dressing, casseroles, rolls, cranberry sauce, pies galore and cookies.  Instead of turkey this year, Calvin fried up some chicken tenders.  Which I think should become the new tradition.  Brett's mom brought Thanksgiving plates and napkins.  We each shared three things we were thankful for: Baylor's were sharing her cups, sharing her bowls, and sharing her toys.  We had to remind her of that sharing toys thing later.  

After lunch we used water bottles as pins and a nice round pumpkin (Baylor's Halloween pumpkin) for a ball, and bowled down our hallway.  Sadie was the winner and Calvin was the most enthusiastic, actually splitting the pumpkin in two on his last roll (or perhaps it was more of a throw).

Later the kids watched a movie while the adults played Balderdash.  I have to say, I'm a pretty accomplished liar.  I destroyed the the other players with an eleven point lead.  Of course, you'll never know if that is, in fact, true.  

We finished the evening with more eating and chatting.  Miraculously, we had electricity the whole day.  It's not exactly the same thing as what we grew up with, but we're starting to be comfortable with our new traditions and even enjoy them.  Baylor and Harper will one day be in the States thinking, "Thanksgiving is just not the same when it's so cold."  

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


My teammate Holly recently wrote a post about preschool with Baylor and Jude.  Here is the link if you would like to read it.

Monday, November 19, 2012


We recently had a group of 13 college students and 2 teachers come to visit us in Geita for four days.  Harding University (my very own alma mater) has a study abroad program in Zambia every fall.  Students are mostly medical, and along with taking classes, they volunteer in a clinic, as well as an orphanage and something else that I don't remember.  A little more self-sacrificing than my semester abroad in Italy, eating gelato while looking at paintings, dreaming of the pasta I would have for dinner.  Anyway, at the end of the semester the students take a tour of east Africa, going on safari, rafting the Nile, and visiting us.  I assume we're the real highlight.  They got to go to a village where we work, learn from Calvin about the Neema House baby home, from Brett about agricultural development (and work a little on the demonstration farm), and from Carson about film ministry.  They attended the Geita Town Church and a seminar on Discovery Bible Studies.  The church loved their visit because they sang for them.  They were a fantastic group of singers.   We were really encouraged worshipping with them one night at the Groens' house.  They came to our houses for meals and we played charades and volleyball.  The goal was for them to see what it is really like for young missionary families to live in Africa and minister using the local language.  They were a great group and we really enjoyed having them.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Last month my mom was able to come visit us in Geita for a couple weeks and meet Harper.  The girls loved having their GiGi here.  Harper was cuddled to her heart's content and Baylor had about a library's worth of books read to her.  We spent a long day in the village, which my mom had done before, but she got to attend a town church this time as well, which was new.  I suppose it can only be so exciting when it's in a different language, though.  Mostly we just did our normal thing; hunting lions, riding camels, and swashing our way though unchartered jungle.  Mom's amazing on a camel.  

We decided to go on our annual family vacation to Zanzibar with my parents.  We flew to Stonetown and my dad met us there the next day.  Zanzibar is one of our favorite places.  It's unique.  The history is interesting, the architecture is beautiful, and the food is delicious.  Below is our family eating at House of Spices, which I highly recommend.  The food was fantastic.  I enjoyed a bacon and pineapple pizza while Brett got some kind of fish that was skewered and hung from that metal thing.  It was really great presentation.  I even got homemade cinnamon ice cream for dessert, which is one of my favorite flavors, and hard to find.  

Zanzibar is known as "Spice Island" due to the numerous spices they grow and sell.  Brett and I had been on a tour of a spice farm before and enjoyed it, so we took my parents this time.  They teach you about the different kinds of spices and fruits they grow and let you taste a lot of them. One guy sang and danced his way up a coconut tree. They also made these super cool hats for us.

We then made our way to the beach, one of the most beautiful places I've been to.  Baylor loves the beach.  She played all day every day in the sand and waves and most nights fell asleep at the dinner table.  Brett employed his art skills in making sand creatures.  This was his favorite -- a lizard.  Baylor and a few other little girls she befriended "helped."

Friday, November 2, 2012

Halloween in Geita

Baylor had so much fun at Halloween last year in the States that we decided to have a party here in Geita.  She still randomly talks about how she dressed up like a ladybug and got candy from people.  My mom gave us some Halloween napkins and pencils and stickers and some cute pumpkin shoes for Harper and my sister sent Baylor a fairy costume so we were well on our way to a fun day.

Brett and I found a black tablecloth and some fake dracula teeth while in Dar getting Harper's vaccinations and Baylor, my mom, and I made a lovely black and orange construction paper chain for decoration.

I went to town to buy pumpkins for the kids to carve and/or draw on with markers, and they were amused at the market that I would want 5 pumpkins that would stand up on their own.  We don't have the perfectly round bright orange variety you see in the states.  Ours range from green to yellow to beige to orange and we have solid, striped and speckled.  They are big, small, long, oval, round, square-ish and somewhat misshapen at times.  But still, I found some that would be suitable and we had fun.  Later I will make a pumpkin pie.

I wanted to bob for apples but it was kind of chilly yesterday and no one really likes getting wet anyway, so we tied the apples to a string and held them in the air.  You had to bite them without using your hands.  It's more challenging than it sounds.  Afterwards, we cut up our apples and dipped them in caramel, which I made by boiling sweetened condensed milk for four hours.

I believe I have a very similar picture of Baylor somewhere

Trick or treating for real is not an so much an option, as no one here has ever heard of it; so we (the adults) went to different rooms in the house and the kids came and knocked on the doors shouting "trick or treat" and were given a not too huge but satisfying, nonetheless, amount of candy.

I don't know if Baylor likes Easter or Halloween more.  Any day she gets candy is generally a good day.