Showing posts from November, 2013

Reverse Homesickness

So, back to Thursday -- a thanksgiving spent halfway around the world, not with turkey, mashed potatoes and fixings, but as an authentic of a day devoted to being thankful as I have ever experienced to date. In my last post, I left off with me on the side of the road struggling with the overwhelming emotion that consumed me from what I had seen over the past few days. They fixed the flat tire. The sun broke through the clouds. An airplane took flight at the airport across the road. I dried my tears. We got back in the car and headed back to Arusha. It felt like it had already been a full day, but it was only lunch time.  After a quick lunch, we headed back to Maranatha Primary School to pick up Neema and another teacher to take them to a bookstore that they use for the government-approved (and required) curriculum for the school. We weren't sure what to expect, but it wasn't really this. There were books stacked up and j

Blessed to be a blessing

Thursday was by far the toughest day for me personally. I think that's one of the reasons it has taken me so long to even attempt putting down my thoughts into words. Another is the wi-fi, power/generator issue here, but that's another story. Thursday was supposed to be the "easy day." We agreed to not wearing our "uniform" and "going casual". However, it turned out that I was the only one who stuck to the plan. No matter. I was easy breezy in my long "missionary skirt" as per usual. First, we headed to Bethel Primary School to see the headmaster, Golden, and speak with him and his staff about how Character 101   could help them. They were so happy to see us and had fond memories of the team's visit last year. We came bearing three bags of items for the staff. I think they might have been the most excited about the blow up globes that were donated by my girls' scout troop in Clovis. They kept handing them to the

Happy are the feet...

When I was younger, I had a thing about my feet -- more specifically about my toes. I inherited the "Bruton toes" which you can see above. This entails having a longer second toe than the big toe and oddly curving fourth toes that more or less lay on the side rather than standing at attention. It used to make me so self-conscious that I would not wear flip flops or sandals or anything that might possibly show those rebellious digits .  Last Saturday, I was able to break through my jet-lagged fog enough to admire these super cute Tanazanian sandals and have Rylie buy them for me (I have not carried a single bit of currency since I've been here which has been equal parts liberating and horrifying for this independent gal.) After my internal 3 a.m. wake-up call early Wednesday a.m., I got ready for the day (my first day not wearing my "uniform" which was also equal parts thrilling and horrifying after appearing the first day and my uncle announcing

Finding My Niche

It occurred to me that I am somewhat writing my posts out of sequence. The last one I posted was about Sunday, yet the one posted before that was about Monday. Don't even get me started about Tuesday. Actually, I probably should get started on that since I started writing this early Wednesday morning, but now it's actually Thursday morning here as I post it. (See what I mean? I'm confused myself.) After falling into a deep sleep around 7:30 p.m. on Monday night, I again found myself wide awake at 3 a.m. ( old friend). I whittled away the hours by reading the epic tome, The Exodus , by Leon Uris. It had been years since I last read it and I have been wanting to read it again. I figured an epic travel journey was the perfect time to download it to my tablet and have for airplanes and jet lag. I'm glad I prepared. And, yet, it took me until a few hours ago as I opened the book to read it and saw the title filling the page that once again, there i

Your Works Do Follow You

A few minutes ago, my eyes stuttered open. The grey light through the curtains brought a silent cheer as I assumed that this would be the first night that I could count as interrupted sleep. I was wrong. A short walk to the bathroom belied that fact as the bright light from the lit hallway filtered through the bathroom windows -- unexpected power in a country actively engaged in power rationing. Rubbing sleep away from my eyes, I considered taking a shower while I have the guarantee of hot water. Jet lag has struck again. 3:00 old friend. The night before on Monday, I fell asleep mid-sentence at 7:30 p.m. after a busy day at Ngarenaro public school and a tour of an orphanage out the direction of Mt. Kilimanjaro. After washing away the red mud that clung to my shoes and feet, I lay down sated with having held a little four-year-old boy in my lap for a quarter of an hour. That small blessed head felt the same nestled into my shoulder an ocean away from