Warmest greetings from Kiabakari.. literally- It has been so hot here lately- everyone is hoping for the rain to come soon! Yesterday we put a thermometer in the sun and it hit up to 50˚C (a bit over 120˚F!) In the shade it’s often in the upper nineties and in the house its well in the eighties! Uffdah! So yes, you have my most sincere warm greetings!
Needless to say, I’ve made it back safe and sound! The trip back was long and tiring, but it was wonderful to arrive to such wonderful people- from landing in Nairobi- all the way back to everyone here in Kiabakari, it truly has been good to be back with the wonderful people here.
That being said, it has not been an easy transition for me, and it’s not easy for me to admit (feeling guilty since I do have such wonderful people here..). It was harder than I thought to have to leave my wonderful family and friends again, even though I am so grateful for all the time at home, wow, it’s hard to be around such wonderful people (yes, you)...and leave again! It took me a couple weeks to feel alright about being back, and still to think about the my time remaining can sometimes be daunting and discouraging, however... deep down I believe it will go by fast-- -and truly I have to remind myself how wonderfully blessed I am to have this opportunity. Not many people can say they have been able to have the experiences I have, so in the long run, I feel lucky... though I do have my moments.
Two big things that happened to me personally in the past week are, I got older and I reached my one year anniversary of arriving in Tanzania! So... the big 2-5, I can now say I’ve been around a quarter of a century... oh joy... My birthday was really great. Many people asked how people celebrate birthdays in Tanzania, but the truth is, most Tanzanians don’t celebrate their birthdays at all, in fact some don’t even know their exact date of birth. However, the other missionaries at school were not going to let me get away with not celebrating. I woke up early to go on a run and watch the sunrise over the mountains :) How can my birthday be bad with a start like that : ) Then I got home, wondering where my puppies as my back gate was open to my house.. I walked in, and almost got a heart-attack for my birthday- my family here decorated my backyard with balloons and pictures (the missionary children made—some are pretty hilarious, ie-the one of “me” in a bright bikini diving after a volleyball... oh if only I could wear that in this crazy heat... but if trousers are not allowed, certainly bikinis are frowned upon! :) It was great, a total surprise- we ate breakfast (and cake! : ) the students and other staff came and joined us- it was wonderful! Per Danish tradition I even got cinnamon dumped on me, because I’m now 25 and still single... thanks Inge-Marie and Simon...haha - Then Inge-Marie and Kjersti- my two cool big sisters took me to Musoma for the afternoon and we sat on the beach at Lake Victoria – it was a nice way to spend my birthday!
The evening after my birthday was an action packed evening, making me wonder if reaching a quarter of a century means you need to be on top of your game- survival of the fittest so to speak. First, I got called out of my house to see a nice big snake- between my house and my neighbors... Woah-- Okay – so my previous experience with snakes were all quite small, but this was a big FAT puff adder... not nice. It was killed, and ever since I am a little more careful walking around in the dark to look where I am going. (Bluck!) Then some friends came to place cement in the cracks where the ever-present bees have been entering my roof and building their hive. They’ve shifted some now, and have started coming in my sleeping room... having bees crawling on my mosquito net in the morning is not the most pleasant wake up call... They sealed the outside...but it made the bees a little less than happy- so they started flying around angry and coming through my ceiling boards.. there were so many flying around in my room- I followed sound advice and went elsewhere to sleep.... A good old bee evacuation. I don’t know what that means for survival of the fittest, but even though I gave up my house for a night, I survived so I think it’s okay :- ) I’ve also decided if the bees, snakes don’t get you, the heat will, or the tarantulas that fall on you (yes, that happened).. or the 8 young men visiting from Norway who have the ability to pick you up fully clothed and throw you in a kiddie pool... They’re lucky it was warm so I wasn’t too angry! ;)
Other than all of that, teaching is going well, yet it is proving to also be quite challenging. I’m working hard and trying to encourage the students (we’re in past tense mode and they’re not fans of all the irregular verbs.. at this point, neither am I!) Maombi with the women at church is going well, we have had a few weeks were there has been over a dozen of us! It’s really great. Uffdah..I think this blog is long enough for now, but I was long overdue for an update ..I will try to do better! Promise! Otherwise, before leaving I got a smart phone and am using that at the school for my internet- it has been working pretty well, skype is sometimes working, email is great and even facebook! It’s been wonderful to have for teaching and also I am loving keeping up-to –date with news! Or if you’re into hand-writing letters My address is: Shule ya Biblia Kiabakari
Thanks so much everyone for all your birthday wishes and all other support, I cannot begin to explain how much it means!
Miss you all- Mungu akubariki ! (God bless!)
Other random items:
1)Petey and Tubby are here and happily living in my backyard... I love them- but sometimes I get frustrated, it’s like having children sometimes!
2) A thank you to the Norwegians who took me to Kijereshi a nice place near the Serengeti with a pool! It was a lovely pre-birthday present :-) So relaxing and lots of fun! Thanks guys! See you next year!
3) Happy Birthday to my mama- love you :-) You are wonderful!
4) Eating veggies from your own garden tastes better than from the market, or store..
5) I split wood by axe- no further explanation needed.
6) Stove 3, arms= 0 yay burns!
7) The word hairisha (Moved or delayed) is very close to harisha- to have diarrhea.. don’t tell people the bishop had diarrhea... oops...