Wednesday, April 4, 2012


Bwana Yesu Asifiwe ! _- Amen!

This is a common phrase any church occasion you attend- it means Praise the Lord!

Hello from an empty Shule ya Kiabakari- ALL of the students have returned home for Easter- now campus is quiet- and weird... I guess I enjoy the students- even when they’re giving me lip and don’t want to do work... kids these days... wait some of them are 40.. yes- my students range in age from 18-40 ha- okay- well students these days ;- ) Sometimes it truly is a challenge being a young, blonde female- I just wasn’t made exactly to fit in here... but I do my best- and try not to let it bother me.. I think it’s importance to bridge those gaps... building bridges... one of my jobs here- -

Things are well here- I have a nice cold that makes me sound strange and look a bit like Rudolph – although it’s not quite the season for that- and getting bad colds when it’s 85ish degrees outside- never does make any sense to me, but many of the students had colds- so they decided to share with me- how nice- ;- )

Another pesky thing is the new visitors in my house... I have SO many bees.. it’s awful.. SIPENDI nyuki! I don’t like bees- many of you know that bout me.. well I’m getting accustomed to them.. but I still hate them...They’re building a hive in my roof.. and I see hundreds swarming my roof daily- also some find cracks to come inside my house- how lovely.. so I guess on the bright side- I now have many visitors in my house... I just would rather have others.. You know it’s bad when you find yourself in bed one morning at 6am- the bees have woken you up- and you find yourself yelling.. “I want the fleas back, I want the fleas back...” Not a sentence I ever dreamed I would utter, let alone yell at 6am- yes this is a true story! Haha.. I guess it’s mildly funny... My mom doesn’t think so though... Hopefully I’ll figure out some way to get rid of them- with help of course... My students laughed at me- because for Fun Fact Friday- and Maswali Monday (Two short ice-breakers to warm up their brains for class... ) have been about bees... One of them was about how queen bees can lay 800-1,500 eggs a day.. (NOT comforting) the other was about bees have 5 eyes... (yes.. my random facts have found a home here too) Now- however my students make fun of me saying my house has many eyes... and the bees are all watching me with their five eyes... Har har har..

Oh well- This past week again I taught/ led bible study again for the women at church- we started studying one of the camp’s bible studies- it was a lot of work translating bits and pieces and making sure the questions still make sense- but it went well – really well, there were only four of us this week, but one of the women reminded me- where there are two or more, God is with us- so let’s take time to study his word.. how can I argue with that! :- ) It went really well we all had things to say- and I felt I understood a lot better today when we were discussing things!! PLUS I took the school bicycle to Bible Study because I was running late and it’s about a 30 minute walk.. when I got on the bike the principal’s wife said... do you know how to ride that? I said oh sure- I do it all the time at home... still concerned.. Annie- - that’s different this bike is not good- and the roads are quite different... ah, nah I said.. no problem... hahaha.. She didn’t mention the difficulties I would have riding in my SKIRT! Boo.. next time it’s trousers and a kanga for sure-! But I made it and it was so nice- I can’t wait to pick up my own bike from Musoma (thanks to the TTF/ MD- DE Synod- who gave me money to buy one as a Christmas gift :- ) I’m pretty excited!)

At church two weekends ago, I played drums with the choir! I was nervous but it went well- I felt pressure because I am the mzungu- playing the drums? Can they do that? Haha – I think they found out it’s possible.. I also had a row of children sitting right in front of me staring at me intensely... Oy! Sometimes here I feel like a safari animal must when people just stare and say mzungu mzungu—like elephant look an elephant! Or sometimes when I’m next to small children at Kiabakari church- I feel like I’m at a petting zoo, because every so often I’m next to bold children who just like to play with my skin and from time to time grab my hair... I think maybe some of them think they can rub off my mzungu skin.... hopefully they give up on that soon- - sometimes it’s endearing but others it’s not pleasant... haha

On a reflecting note... one of my friends asked me if I was happy here and if I’ve adjusted.... and I thought... woah big questions... I think as far as adjusting goes... is it’s a constant – something that will be constant for the next few years... there’s always something I’m learning and don’t think I’ll figure out everything in the next two years...but as far as being comfortable with my surroundings- most days! (lately- not as much with the bees!) As far as being happy- something I’ve been shown/ learning here is that happiness is a really a state of mentality, a choice we can make- we all deserve to be happy but I think so many things in American society teach us not to be happy/ content... producers/ advertisements want us to think- we don’t have enough, we need more, we’re not good enough - - But I really try to think about being content with where I am/ what I have, and also live with everyday experiences here, the people, the place- the culture, the flora and fauna- (Buuuut maybe not the bees....) – I mean- if we take time to think about things we are thankful and blessed for – we have so many things to be happy about- even if 90% of our culture tells us not to be happy/ content... What if Jesus came to earth and put up a fuss, was not happy or content...Jesus definitely did not have an easy life either hmm an uncontent unhappy Jesus.. that would be a whole different story... Anyway that’s enough rambling- !

After a nice hiatus-- I have started running again!! I love running- it’s so hard to believe how much I need to train again and really difficult to believe I ran an entire marathon- - but I really enjoy it- My first day back at running was one day in Michezo- only one student came... so I said let’s run... we did.. and he laughed at me.. I followed him and he kept saying Mwalimu- umechoka... Teacher you’re tired.. (Yes I’d love a piece of humble pie while I run.. thanks ;- ) haha- oh but it’s been fun- I have even convinced another missionary to run with me some days- and I have been running many mornings at 6:15! If I’m alone I stick to the school/ or school shambas (fields)- But with the other missionary we go on the roads, which is nice! It’s so BEAUTIFUL up here- If I haven’t written about the landscape- it’s very hilly- I would call them mountins—but then again I am from Minnesota... it’s also rocky–yet green with lots of shambas- fields to farm :- ) It’s pretty there’s also lots of kinds of trees (many banana trees- which look like bright green starbursts (not the candy...) and lots of kinds of flowers!) It’s very pretty and to run and see the sun come up is always something I enjoy-- (more-so when I go to bed around 8 or 9... ;- )

Other Fun Tidbits/ Experiences
• One of my banana trees surprised me when they produced baby RED bananas- I had a red banana in Arusha- nice and sweet- and now I have little baby red bananas- yum! Yes- they’re gone..
• Innge Marie had her baby- just April 2nd in the middle of the wee morning hours- : - ) which is pretty exciting! Can’t wait for them to return from Nairobi- to meet her!
• I had some bad milk- when I boiled it (I boil all my milk it comes straight from the cow ☺ ) But when I boiled it.. it turned into crazy weird- cheese like substance... I didn’t eat it- but fed some to the cat who’s still alive!
• I started cooking some things and two of my ladies from Bible study are coming over to bake cookies this afternoon : - )

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