Greetings from Kiabakari! I should have written sooner to let you all know- I survived last week’s chaos as Mwalimu wa Zamu (head teacher) – I also survived the multitude of Wazungus (white people) ;- ) It was good we had a good 30 guests from two different Bible schools in Norway.
Being Mwalimu wa Zamu is tiring with the extra hours you are in charge of various activities, but it was also nice to spend even more time with the students, and get time to both be teacher and to hang out a little too.
Teaching continues to be an up and down experience, most days are great but I still encounter difficult days- but I suppose that is with most careers, and I’m learning just as well as the students. Sometimes of my advanced class students like to push lessons into completely new subjects by asking not very related questions... which catches me a bit off guard and I try to both answer simply and tell them they are welcome to my office if they want further explanation... some of them just want to know everything about English right now.. even though we’ve had maybe 6 weeks of class- Hmm... I’ll do my best... I was also teaching family which made me miss my family a bit too... but I think that’s good if I didn’t miss them ever that would be a bad sign ;-) ( I am blessed with a wonderful family though). Luckily here too- so I don’t always mope about missing my far away family!
Anyways, we’re getting close to final exams- the week before Easter and so much of the time leading up to it is review which is very good for many of them.. they say practice makes perfect.
What else is new here...
Well- I had my second cobra at my home. By the time I got to my house to see it, it had already been killed though, but then I walked around with it on a stick to show others and ultimately give it to my gardener/ night guard John as a zawadi (present). I’m sure it’s just what he always wanted. It was a bit bigger than the last one in the guesthouse, and it’s right outside my door, near my water bomba – where I have to walk to go to the bathroom, so that’s unfortunate for the night trips I have to make to the toilet... Oh well... Maybe I'll make a "cobra's not welcome" sign or something...
I led Bible Study for the women this past week and I was SO nervous beforehand to lead it in Swahili! I think rightly so! I prepared a lot for it, but still was really nervous. It went alright- sometimes here in Tanzania it’s really hard to know how things go because people don’t always express if they’ve enjoyed themselves or not, it’s very different... so I asked many and they really said they like it and look forward to the next one I lead- which I get to branch out and try a camp bible study, which is exciting. It is frustrating though, to get lost in the discussion that takes place after questions I ask... that’s really hard for me, because I want to be involved especially leading it, but sometimes these women can talk FAST! (and no- not just the women!)
I was officially accepted into the choir, meaning they bought me a soda and called me into the cafeteria to have sodas with them, saying now you are officially a choir member. I really enjoy going to practices when I am able to. Yesterday they told me to try drumming... I said okay- and they seemed so surprised that I could do it, keep rhythm and even change the beat... I think it may not be my last time drumming : - ) I don’t mind.
Today we travelled to one of the student’s villages for church. He asked me numerous times if I would come, I think he was happy for me to come and see his family and home church. The church was small and hasn’t had a pastor for a year and a half. There are a lot of difficulties both at the church and for my student’s family. So the congregation and families of Olyio A- (I don’t know if the spelling is right but it sounds like Oleo..) would be appreciated. While it was a long day I didn’t get home until after 5pm and we left around 8:30, it was so good. The whole way there the students and myself were singing songs, it was really fun. I taught adjectives last week and it was nice for the students to tell me both I looked African and pretty in the dress I decided to wear (I don’t wear dresses to often but maybe I’ll start more since both of those things I consider as compliments.. although I always know I’ll be a huge Mzungu- even if I wear African clothing).
The service was also really good- and I got to witness my first baptisms here. I also got the opportunity to play with some children/ tease them for being afraid of a Mzungu (white person) and chase them around. It was fun. :- ) Then we ate a meal.. Ugali, Mystery Game meat.. ( I’d like to think it was Zebra, Elephant or Giraffe.. but who knows- it’s been dried and cooked.. I’m hoping I am not up sick tonight from it..) We also ate a fruit I had never seen before- a White watermelon, instead of being red inside it’s white-ish opaque and has reddish seeds. Crazy... I got one as a gift from my student and made the other missionaries try it... we all agree we like the red ones better.. much sweeter.
I think that’s all for updates for now- Thank you all so much for your emails, thoughts and support! I miss you all- it’s crazy to think I’ll be home in four months!
Much Love –
PS- Happy Birthday to my brother Nick! :- ) Good to chat a bit yesterday but so short :- (
PPS- I’m looking for good recipes for things to make here- Simple meals main ingredients include Potatoes, Rice, Beans, Lentils (yellow ones), Flour, Milk Eggs... Sugar... and other Vegetables and Fruit! If favorites or simple recipes I would LOVE them! I have two electric hot plates and a small electric oven attached to them! I just made American pancakes for the Danish and Norwegians, (their pancakes are so thin – they liked them!) :- )