Monday, November 14, 2011

Kenya, An Arusha Halloween and Language School

Hello Everyone-

Sorry for the lack of updates- truly- I should have informed you I arrived in Arusha safely 2 weeks ago! SO sorry-- Alas I am here safely in Arusha!

The trip through Kenya went smoothly no real problems other than being antsy sitting in cars/ busses for a while – I also filled up my passport some- getting 4 stamps in 2 days! Things I saw on my trip : rolling mountains, chickens, goats, donkeys, cows, roosters etc etc.. Where Obama’s family lives- -okay.. we passed close by only like an hour away..), The Rift Valley (drove through it : ) Then up above the Rift Valley (simply breathtaking and no.. I didn’t get pictures dumb! Sorry) pouring rain and hail, and Nairobi (holy cow! Nairobi is huge especially coming from a couple weeks at Kiabakari- ! wow) I stayed overnight in a guesthouse for Scripture Mission which was nice and I was able to meet Geir’s family that was a blast! We played (some of you Than and Cambronnes) won’t believe it but we played Scottland Yard (the board game) together which was nice, good to meet his family.

The next day the journey continued I saw busy bustling Nairobi (which to me seemed kind of dirty and smoggy a big city) – and the Nairobi Marathon was going on that morning so I saw that- it was crazy!! I think I enjoyed the scenery for my marathon a bit more than I would have in Nairobi. Anways got a few more stamps in my passport and with all the items in Nairobi I was able to buy the “essentials” at a stop- the East African newspaper :- ) and chocolate crackers yumm chocolate!) The bus ride was about 6 hours from Kenya to Arusha – and pulling into Arusha finally, I was SO giddy to see my Arusha family – it feels like home here with these wonderful people.

My time in Arusha the following week I arrived was filled with fun Halloween Activities- Yes, Mama Linda made sure I had my Halloween since she knows it’s kind of a big deal where I come from (Anoka MN, Halloween Capital of the World..) So she saw to it that we went to the market, found pumpkins to carve, made caramel apples, dressed up in costumes, had a Halloween themed dinner with decorations, and I even did reverse trick-or-treating.. giving my medical friends candy wearing a nice costume : - ) yes it was a great Halloween in Tanzania- Linda said the Halloween Capital of Tanzania- I would say she was right!

I also had meetings with my regional representative in Arusha which has been great, she’s been so helpful and I appreciate all the work she does (which is a lot!) she’s been very supportive to me too so hooray!

Now, I’m at language school – and I started to write this many days ago.. but you’ll see why this did not happen in a bit. School has been great Ninapenda kujifunza Kiswahili sana! I I love studying Swahili!) It’s been really fun I’m making friends, learning Swahili and hoping that I will get a good basis and lots of vocab (which is being shoved down our throats a bit overwhelming ... but good)- The teachers are great too, I’ve enjoyed it- we split into small classes, so my class has 5 students to one teacher and we have class almost 6 hours a day 5 days a week, so it’s good. I know it’s working because the night I started writing this, I actually started feeling pretty crummy... which turned into really crummy, which turned into wanting to die a few times.. (but glad I didn’t!) I was down for the count so to say for about 4 days, fever, as my friend Erik Teig said “pooping my brains out” and of course some vomiting (my favorite ;( ) on top of it all- But I am happy to say after missing 2 classes, I am back in school and feeling pretty good once again, just tired and trying to catch up on missed work -

That being said- Things are going well right now – I better get back to studying- Wednesday we are going to be testing out our Swahili with a trip to the market! Wish me luck! ( I am pretty sure it will go better than previous trips – I just need to have confidence and do my best!)

Salama- miss you all lots!