Sorry this is delayed- I should have told everyone I was safe and sound here in Arusha! It has been one week- wow! Crazy- even though I am still adjusting and my swahili is still a work in progress I feel it's been longer. It's taken some time to adjust to being here again. Which perhaps naively I did not expect, I was wondering when my excitement for being here would begin. On the long (but fortunately smooth :) transit here from minneapolis I decided, duh Annie- you'll get excited the minute you step off the airplane - it will hit you! However... when I stepped off the airport, smelled the familiar smell of Africa (yes I swear it DOES have a smell (must be the different flora and fauna- - I thought everyone was crazy but I totally got it getting off the plane).. anyways my thoughts were not! yippee hooray... but more.. Oh. My... What in the world did I get myself into? Two years? Here.. oh boy.. No.. nothing dramatic happened to me (aside from smelling my stinky sweaty self- waiting in long lines to get my visa) to make me think this.. it was just how I reacted to stepping off the plane.. and thereafter ..
Today however... I am feeling so much better (it's been gradually getting better and I've been adjusting...) But today has been a great dya..Which is why I decided to blog. Excitement, assurance, and determination may not have hit me all as I stepped off the airplane... but today I am feeling like this is good. So... let's do it! Today I was able to go visit a place called Plaster House- it's truly amazing. Words cannot describe how great it is. Plaster House is a home for children in Tanzania to stay in during recovery following corrective orthopaedic surgery, plastic surgery or neurosurgery for disability. Many of the children there now have surgery for things like fluorosis, spinabifida, club foot and more. I was lucky to go there learn more about the work done there and spend some time with the children. Then Sarah, the woman who runs plaster house took me and three wonderful med student friends to her house for coffee. It was so reassuring and she reminded as many others have (somehow today it all sank in) -- I'm here for a reason, I really want to do my best to help through teaching English at the college I will be going to (and I have been diligently trying to learn swahili because I know it's important to my work.. and I love talking to people.. who knew right? ;) Even though I will have days where I will feel like I made a mistake in coming and I know that I stick out and may not ever fully belong here, I'm here for a reason and can't wait to see where it brings me :)
Hope this all makes sense it's really late here but I knew I needed to do this now, while it's all fresh! As for now, I will be staying with Mark and Linda for ?? amount of days, before I go to the "bush" as some people are telling me.. I think they exaggerate some, but compared to here, with a toilet, nice electricity most times and internet.. I've even had ice cream twice for crying out loud... it may seem more bush-like ;) But who knows we will see. Anyways I'm still figuring how to get out there-- it's a good 11 hours driving through here and yup. that's all I will bore you with, there's lots of details like park fees and stuff that we're figuring out, but it will all work out :) when I know when I leave I will be sure to let you know!
I miss you all! Thank you so much for your encouragement, thoughts and prayers!! They are MUCH appreciated!!! Love you all!
PS - Sorry - I promised myself I would write shorter entries I saw my last blog and realized woah... hope this was good! I was just so excited by today- lots to write :)
PPS - Here's a swahili lesson for you all- greetings/ asking how things are... habari - response nzuri (good!), habari za leo- response: nzuri; habari za asubuhi response: nzuri; habari za mchana? response: nzuri habari za jioni: Response : nzuri...... (haha basically anytime you hear somenone say habari- you say nzuri back!) :)