Miaka Hamsini Uhuru!! (50 years of freedom!) Yes—today is Independence Day here in Tanzania- I celebrated by going to my new sessions of swahili studies – I kept telling my teacher, Leo ni Lakizo (today’s a holiday- -) but he would laugh and say... not for you American – haha ...
Hope this post finds everyone happy and healthy – I haven’t written in a while, and will do my best to keep this short... (although I say that every post) Thanksgiving was wonderful here- I got to eat all the wonderful Thanksgiving food, and spend it with lots of wonderful people! It was also a good reminder of what wonderful friends and family I have at home! (miss you all- thanks for your continued support...couldn’t do it without you rooting for me at home)
A discovery I decided it was time I shared: I have found SO much family here in Tanzania- it’s crazy. I found out I have LOTS of children, mama to probably in the hundreds of thousands of people. I have eve more numbers of brothers (kaka) and sisters (dada).... It’s funny- people greet or call you mama/ dada wherever you go- depending on the age difference ;-) Just a realization as I’ve been walking around much more - -
I have also fallen in love...
... with two dogs here that live at the dispensary near Jacobson’s. One’s named Rabies, and the other Mange. Don’t let their names fool you they’re super sweet- and they’ve stolen my heart (yes these dogs do, but no so far none of the men who’ve confessed their love to me on the streets have won me over ;-) Anyways, one dog- Rabies is named that because he has this weird twitch type thing where he snarls every few seconds, at first it freaked me out, but now I know it’s just his thing and well.. I love him. Mange - -well I’m sure you can figure that one out for yourselves. But they’re both great especially rabies will greet me with a wagging tail and kisses (on the hand). Yes, I let a dog named rabies kiss me, oh well ;-)
So yes.. I am in love—with Rabies. (if you are skimming this blog you will be utterly confused and concerned unless you read the previous paragraph!)
Since my last post, I have graduated my Swahili Beginners course, complete with a certificate and shaking the headmaster’s hand. Wahoo, two graduations in 2 years, I am impressed too, don’t worry ;-) I loved school – the people, language, food , and teachers GREAT experience, and I feel as though I’ve learned a lot! Now a few days ago I’ve started attending Swahili lessons for a few hours a day- it’s good, I love learning the language. Some of my friends from school and I went to a place called Mitumba one weekend, it’s basically a goodwill here but x 1,000, a huge used clothing market- I LOVED IT!! I mean- you all know I get all my clothes from goodwill, so I was overjoyed to find this great place! One more thing I REALLY enjoyed about Swahili school was the Aerobics class. Yes, for those of you who know me it’s hard to imagine but then I ask you to picture this: Abba’s Dancing Queen techno mix- -blasting, an extremely energetic, encouraging and enthusiastic instructor named Amadeus, friends, and lots of laughter ;-) need I say more – it was hilarious and a decent workout too!
I’ve also been on a few hikes here, a few with friends around language school where Alicia and I decided to let the boys Freddy and Alex find our way back to school a new way from that which we came... It was a tad frightening, but we made it back before dark and discovered some really cool places, and lots of Siafu (army ants that travel in herds and if you get in their way they’ll crawl up your legs and bite you!). And last weekend I went hiking up Mount Meru to a waterfall, I didn’t’ really realize it was UP the mountain.. nor that it was a good 6 hour hike.. haha ( I woke up to an invitation from my friend and decided I could be ready to leave in 10 minutes... haha oops!) -- but it was fun and pretty. We climbed a lot, it was SO steep for a good hour, then eventually a bit more gradual climb, then straight down a bit to a stream / through a stream to a waterfall, then on the way back up up up and down steep... it was POURING, I was soaking wet, and we were all fighting falling the whole way down (so slippery!) ;-) I got home and was soaked muddy and exhausted, BUT it was beautiful and lots of fun!
I also had the opportunity to house sit with my wonderful friend Jenny (no dad, I did not actually sit on a house ;-) it was fun! Basically meant eating and cooking lots of yummy things together play games and watch movies, like mini slumber parties each night Things we cooked get ready: grilled cheese/tomato soup, pasta with fresh veggies of course ;-), butternut squash, banana bread, chocolate chip cookes (YUM- I personally think they gave sweet martha’s a run..); homemade pizza –it was fun- of course guacamole.. (I am getting really good at making guacamole ☺ yum!)
I also Joined church kuwaya (choir)- :- ) We are doing Christmas program called Carols by candle light here on Dec. 22nd and on the 18th we’re going to go caroling at a few of the hospitals in town.. (and no- not in Swahili – mostly in English- -sorry) BUT it is SO much fun to be a part of – I am loving it!
Last update sorry to bombard you with so much writing, I didn’t want to write too much, I’m here in Arusha for the time being waiting on a few things to get figured out before I head back to Kiabakari to start teaching in January- My thanks for continued prayers! Love to you all!