Mikumi National Park

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Salvation has come!!!

I am not sure what I thought it would feel like...the day when my children received Christ. I have prayed for it since the day, no BEFORE the day I knew I was pregnant with them. As an expecting mom (or for me, as one who wanted to be expecting for so long) people pray for lots of things, health is one of those top ones. But I prayed for their salvation, that they would know the Christ and be madly in love with him. Today it happened. Both Madeline and Carter prayed and allowed the perfectly illogical miracle to occur, the living God now dwells in their heart.

Just for a split second I am sad. Laurence and I were not the ones to lead them in the prayer. That quickly passed because we Know, that it will always be a sweet moment shared with a super sweet, kind devoted lady. Mrs. Rachel is the kids' Sunday School teacher. She and her husband have been in Tanzania for 15 years teaching and reaching the lost. They started their English language worship service about 6 months ago. We have been attending since almost the beginning.

Carter has a "Super Hero" vision of God. Since we moved to Africa he started saying things like, "But God can't pick-up this house, right?" We would gently explain that although God CAN it is not something He generally does, but he COULD. Then he would equate God to people or events around us. In the last few months he began praying, "and God I just feel you stuck in my heart, I love you so much", "I know you will always love me." and most recently, "I just want to give you a present but I know I can't." Don't think he is super spiritual. The other day at dinner he said, "God is like the best Jedi." We knew he was getting ready and it would only be a matter of time. He did give God a present. He gave him his life.

Madeline is a bit different. Her relationship with Christ is a little more personal. Not so vocal. She prays. But she does it in private. At our bedtime prayers she said the same memorized scripture for almost 2 years. Lately she just asks if she can pray silently. For all of the talking the girl does she has a hard time expressing herself in this way. For quiet some time she has understood salvation and her need for it. She has told me. She just wasn't ready. She was finally ready. We talked about it, a little. They are just different kids. Madeline just internalizes things a bit more.

Today is a new day.  

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Spit splat, sputter...

You would think that in a country where there is little electricity and few people have cars that it would be peaceful and quiet. Nope! LOUD LOUD LOUD!!! So this morning I awoke to a strange sound. Spit, spit, sputter. OFF. Spit, sputter, off. You see my husband is terribly considerate. Sputter, sputter.

What was it? Water. Or should I say, lack thereof.  We have run out of water AGAIN. I can pull up my grown-up panties and say that doing without power is OK, (we have actually had very little outages lately) but WATER. Really! So what does it effect? I mean it isn't like you can drink it. We don't even brush our teeth with it because, well, we have seen a tub full of it. Eeek. (So looking forward to a hot bath in a tub of clean water and my jetted {spelling word yesterday} tub.)

It means:
1. Running around telling your kids not to flush the toilet. (bet that has never come out of your mouth!)

2. No washing hands.
3. No washing dishes. (and by that I mean our housekeeper, living in poor countries does have its advantages :)
4. No cleaning fruit that we just bought at the gate.
5. A million reminders to be thankful.

It always comes back to thankfulness for me. I am thankful that this is a rare occurrence for me. It happens to my friend Shonna often. In many areas of our country people have to walk hours, daily, to get the water they need for cooking and drinking. I have plenty of bottled water sitting in the storage room. Clean, pure, disease free drinking water. This is only a temporary position for us and can return to the US and drink water out of the tap. Heck, we use drinking water to wash our bodies, clothes and flush our toilets. Explain that to this continent and they will think you are crazy!!!

So as my kids watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and my oldest still rests in her cozy bed covered in a mosquito net, and I hear screeching (LOUD SCREECHING) of the birds; I marvel at God's creation and give thanks with a thankful heart.

Monday, August 1, 2011

First Day of School!!

In April, when the new catalog came out, I eagerly ordered my new school material. We home school by choice. There is an International School here in our town. We know several families whose children go there. We just thought it wasn't best for our kids. From the start, Carter said he was NOT going to that International School, he was going to be home schooled until we went back to North Carolina and he went to Madeline's school. I'm sure it is a good school. The children I have met seem intelligent and well adjusted. And secretly I guess it was my opportunity to explore something that had been lurking in the back of my mind. I mean, so many of my friends home school. It seemed so cool. You get to teach your kids all kinds of cool stuff. Teach them scripture, be there with them as they learn, get to share in the excitement. And then after the sticker shock of education in a developing country ($$$$$) we decided it was best for us. I mean, what was I going to do all day with only one kid and a full-time housekeeper?

I ordered our material in April. It arrived at my home in North Carolina a week or two later. How was I going to get it over here? It is tons of books. Madeline has 25 chapter books to read on her own plus books I read to her and books we teach from and then there are Carter's books on top of that. My good fortune I overhead LT talking to the office one night, "Bill of Laden, blah blah, blah, Duty Free, blah, blah, VAT, blah, blah" Poking my head out of the kitchen, "Are you having a container coming over?" "Uhhh, yea." "Where from???!!!" "North Carolina..." "Can we put my school books on it?!" "Uh..yea, but it is leaving tomorrow." LIGHTBULB! "Deborah can do it :)" Well, Deborah did it. She went home for lunch, grabbed the boxes that had been delivered to our house but she had been picking up the mail since Emily was in California and brought them to the office. She contacted the right guy in shipping and Voila! They were put in the container ready to set sail. (Oh, we had to exchange a few e-mails about invoices for the Bill of Laden and then...Voila!)

Great right! All of my books were coming over together. Well most, I had an order from Amazon that wasn't included and my math books. She had my math books but LT didn't want to push his luck with the shipping guy. It took two months for the books to travel across the oceans. See, because of all of the pirates (try explaining to your kids that not all pirates are nice guys like the Veggie Tales) the boats have to go around the Cape of Good Hope and back up instead of going through the Med and then down. Yea!! It arrived in port. We can have it on June 20th! Nope, sorry, it will be ready Tuesday. You do understand that keshu doesn't really mean tomorrow right? Next Tuesday. I guess next Tuesday doesn't really mean THE next Tuesday. A month of Tuesdays later and our box had cleared port. It will be transported Wednesday. And Wednesday it was transported. Right past here and to the other yard three hours from here. (Yep, it just keeps getting better doesn't it.) "I saw it Mam and it is coming your way." We met LT for lunch Friday and I just knew he would have our boxes with him. The container arrived at the office and they were unloading it. Yep. I had really stopped asking a month ago (except for stealing his Blackberry sometimes and checking for myself, not that I understood any of the codes and what-have-you that these people talk in).

Box Day!!! The boxes came in a little red wagon! We were so excited!

So excited in fact, that Madeline couldn't wait to start reading her new books. She looked at the list and grabbed one of her "extra" books and stole off to bed and read by flashlight. Saturday she started reading one of the books to a friend as their nails were drying. Genna had had enough but Madeline kept on reading. Sunday when we returned from church she was ready to label all of the books and put them on the shelf. Then about four o'clock she asked if we could start school "Tomorrow!" Well, I guess if you want to. So I rushed around and got things ready and we started school this morning.

It is hard to believe I have two kids in school. Madeline is starting 3rd grade and Carter, Kindergarten. Lizzie had to have her own school books too! (Dollar Tree workbooks are GREAT!) She is 3 and wearing the outfit Madeline wore on her first day of Pre-School at Methodist. (Where has the time went?) The day went well. Carter was slow doing his handwriting and I didn't even attempt math with Madeline (I'm not THAT crazy!!) but all-in-all it was a good day.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Count Your Blessings

This morning started out great! I woke up early and new this was the day to start the next level of my new work-out routine. Lizzie got up and LT put her in bed with me but she got up again because she wanted Daddy. GREAT! Go get your Daddy :) Early in the morning is their special time. They eat breakfast together, he starts his computer, etc... it is a great time.

I get up, get dressed, put the laundry on and pop in the DVD. I am doing great. It is tough but I have my favorite 3 year old cheerleader cheering me on. "You can do it Mommy. Mommy like dis. You have to do it like dis." Cute little blond curls bobbing along. And then it happened...I was on the mat about to start crunches and  I feel wetness. "LIZZIE!!!!" I assumed she had peed. I turn around and the whole room is flooded. The living room, the kitchen, I get up, the dinning room. FLOODED.

I took off my shoes, plopped Lizzie in the only area that is not flooded, turn off the culprit (washing machine) and start mopping and baling. Madeline got up and started leading the kids campaign. They picked up their tent and started moving and drying Legos. I texted LT, he called back and came home. As we were almost finished our sweet housekeeper arrived. She helped out with the details.

Counting my blessings, name them one by one.
I am thankful that we have power this morning and are even able to have a washing machine. I am thankful that my husband was in town and his first thought was that he needed to come to help. I am thankful for Madeline. She is such a hard worker. She went to town directing (bossing) the children in taking care of their area. I am SOOOO thankful that all of our floors are tile and our furniture is all raised from the ground. Not a single thing was damaged (it is an Asian style with huge timbers sitting on the floor). I am thankful for the reminder to be thankful. Last night before I got off Facebook my sister-in-love, Jish, posted "I will praise you in the storm." I love that song by the way. We have so much to be thankful for, even when the waters come up. So thankful for the reminder to always be thankful.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

It's all Tobacco's fault

We have in our glorious town, three tobacco companies. Other than missionaries and our group, that is where all of the ex-pats come from. They do great things here. They provide a lot of jobs. They are the reason for so much housing. They built the Gymkhana Club (it is KIND of like a country club). They even provide the doctor that we go see. He is a company doctor for one of the plants but they allow the ex-pats to use him too. (Not sure how that works I just know that is who I have in my phone.)

But...it is all their fault that we have been out of electricity so much lately. You see, when they are processing, they use 1/3 of the electricity for our region. REGION Our schedule has gone like this: Out all day Saturday (7:30 am - 6:00 pm); Sunday out a few hours during church and around lunch. Then out again Sunday evening until sometime early in the morning. Out all day Monday (7:30am - 6:00pm). Out again Tuesday night (6:30 pm - midnight). We have had power all day today. So weird. I am sure it will be off another day and another evening this week. But here is the real shocker....it is NO BIG DEAL.

Thanksgiving was shortly after we arrived. The power went out as we were having an outside party. Anywhere else it would have been pandemonium. No one here even batted an eye. The party went on. Electricity was out all day for Madeline and Lizzie's birthday. We stayed at a really nice lodge on safari a few weeks ago and they didn't turn the generator on until they needed to make sure the beer was cold for dinner! It is really no big deal.

Let's think about it. What is the biggest inconvenience when the power goes out? Air conditioner or heater right. Power in the US usually goes out because of hurricanes in the summer or ice storms in the winter. Well, we don't have hurricanes or ice storms here and we don't have air conditioners or heaters either. (People in Dar and Zanzibar have a/c but not in the town we live in.) HOW ON EARTH DO YOU SURVIVE WITHOUT A/C? Well, you just do. Our house was built for it. We live at the base of a mountain and get a good breeze, our house has too many windows to count and they never get closed. There is a crosswind that is so strong that the solid wood doors slam closed routinely. Don't let me try to fool you, January and February are HOT! I drank A LOT of lemonade and in the afternoons I did as little as possible. We slept under fans and prayed that we could feel them through the mosquito nets. But right now, it is winter and many nights we are cold and searching for the covers. I have spent many days of late in long pants and/or my favorite GAP sweatshirt. But most days it is comfortable.

What about your fridge and freezer? Well, I was taught not to open them when the power is out and that makes good sense except that with it out so often you just can't live like that. So, I try to keep Lizzie out of the fridge, open it as little as possible and at this point don't even give it a second thought. Except for the ice cream. It melts and refreezes and then is a little weird. Not too weird. I mean, we still eat it just the same. Can't throw out ice cream.

We do have to plan our meals. Our burners are gas but the oven is electric. Carter and Lizzie are good with cereal or oatmeal. We make coffee with a french press. No electricity required, just boil your water on the stove. (We have been caught without beans ground. We don't let that happen any more!) Madeline loves toast and eggs. She has discovered the wonderful treat of toast made in the skillet just like my grandma made. Oh, my! So good. I have been caught with dinner planned to go in the oven and power go out. It only takes once. I now plan to have meals out of the oven before 6:30.

What do you do all day? Well, we count our blessings. I bought a laptop just before we left and in my husbands great wisdom he upgraded to a 9 cell battery. We can play games and watch movies for a very long time before that baby runs out. We watched a movie last night in the peaceful darkness. The kids run and play and I don't have to monitor how long Carter plays on the Wii. I love that part!! We read books and do art projects and color in coloring books. The day goes on and we are happy.

What happens when it goes out at night? We are used to the routine. We have candles in the dining room (they were first placed there to keep the flies away during the summer, but they are also there when the power goes out as we are having dinner) and in our bathroom. If it is light outside when the power goes out we hurry the kids to get ready for bed and pull their covers back. If it is already dark we have them all get ready for bed in our room. We even have a spot to put a candle in the bathroom to brush teeth. Why don't you just use flashlights you may ask? Well, the kids broke the bulbs in my two mini mags and the batteries run out REALLY fast in the flashlights we purchased here. We purchased a lantern here but it doesn't shine very bright or very long. I have seen those oil lanterns. My grandma used to use them. Love them! except the smell. It gives me a headache. Plus, I just really love candles. We have them in empty wine bottles. I love the way the wax drips down the sides. Don't know why, just do. Then I catch my housekeeper cleaning the wax off of them. Don't know how to ask her to stop. Oh well, let it go. (Part of my new, relax, it doesn't really matter attitude. It's working for me.)

We have had some of the best times when the lights go out in the evening. One night we sat around in the sun room (before we had furniture in the living room :) and made up stories. Someone started out and then each person got to add on. I will remember it forever. Especially how Madeline always made it a princess and a prince getting married, Lizzie wanted them to have a baby and Carter entered with the Big Bad Wolf and ate them up. No matter what scenario Laurence and I came up with theirs was the same. We laughed and laughed. Then they started stealing each others stories. Good times.

We have had power all day today. I better finish off the ice cream. It is sure to go off tomorrow. 

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Laughter in any Language

We are in Dar...again. We seem to be going to Dar a lot lately. That is OK. The kids and I have gotten the hang of it. We had to change hotels from where we used to stay. The new one doesn't have a swimming pool but there is a playground nearby. There is also a wonderful shopping area. That is when one can go shopping with three kids who LOVE to touch EVERYTHING in site. But, we manage. On our last trip we met a very nice lady who extended a hand of friendship that gave me hope and comfort beyond measure. We also ran into someone we had met earlier. He is a preacher from ARKANSAS! He was called to an international church here. They home school as well. Coincidence?? I think not. We "just happen" to run into them almost every time we come to Dar. Dar is a city of about 2 million and every time we run into them in a different place.

This trip we have the fortune of having some friends from the US visiting. We went to a museum on Wednesday but on Thursday we could not find them and my kids had to get out of the hotel. Lucky for us I am getting brave in my driving and my Sweetie left his truck for us to use. So, we went to an amazing shopping area that just so happened to have an awesome playground. Now, I really don't like the word awesome. Overused. Loved the song the first hundred times I listened to it but after we sang it in choir, and on a mission tour and...and...and. Overused. But this playground WAS AWESOME.

Let me put this in perspective. I have to resist the urge to be a helicopter parent. I could easily become one of "THEM". But I make a conscience effort not to be. In the US I would sit in close range of the playground to keep an eye on my kids and only try to intervene sparingly and quietly. I know that all along this trip that God has been protecting us and providing for us. So, the first night we arrived in Morogoro (the town we live in) we were exhausted and hungry and our friends swept us off to the local ex-pat hangout for pizza. "Come on," they said, "the kids will have fun," they said, "there is a playground for the kids." So we went. This was NOT a playground. This was a deathtrap discarded from playgrounds long ago. The ladder to the top tier is made of simple round iron bars. Any step ladder on the market is safer than this thing. When you reach the top there are no horizontal bars, only a hand rail. High hand rail, no bars to stop you from slipping in between and falling to the ground. The ground. Hmmm. The ground below. It is ground. Red dirt, rocks, roots. Ouch! But as I said, I was tired, hungry and completely disoriented. So the kids ran. And you know what!? They had a blast and not a sole was injured. How could that possibly be? They flew off the end of the slide, splat into the dirt, dusted themselves off and went for more. They jumped up and down and the structure survived. They went round and round on the merry-go-round with shrills of joy.

Back to the playground at hand. This is a certified, modern, western playground. Cushy rubber flooring, UV protection tarp overhead, not a screw or wire exposed and absolutely nothing made from discarded tires. There is a trampoline with a safety net, a fence that the best toddler can climb upon and still 1. not get out, 2. not make sway in the least. There is a bouncy castle and even a Step2 slide. There is an enclosed play place in the fashion of the best McDonald's playground you have seen. The attendant even spoke English and had a sweet smile on his face. (Most Tanzanians have sweet smiles on their faces. Such and incredible folk. We should take lessons :)

We were the only kids there for a while. Lizzie wanted me to come in and push her on the merry-go-round (complete smooth edges, plenty of ground clearance, molded plastic airplanes  -- think Little Tyke). So I stayed on the playground. After a while (a LONG while) some other small children started showing up. Madeline was sooo cute. She tried soooo hard to speak to them. Every little kid that came in she said in a sweet voice "Jambo...Jambo", trying to make friends. The kids were little and there was no luck. She didn't get frustrated. She just moved on to the next kid that came in and tried again. Then two brothers came in. One was about 18 months and the other around 5 or 6. They were black but had on Spider Man shirts and Disney shorts. Not that you can't get those here but still, they didn't look like they came from here. Madeline again tried, "Jambo...Jambo" Then he followed her onto the trampoline. They jumped....and LAUGHED. It was one of the sweetest laughter's. Sheer childhood pleasure. Jump, jump, smiles, smiles, laughter.

P.S. Later I said "Hey, Madeline, Why don't you speak English to him?" Sure enough, he speaks perfect English. Probably Kenyan. Later she started playing with a few girls. One was black the other was an Arab Muslim from Tunisia who currently lives in Rwanda. What did they play? Well, run away from the growling boys of course!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Nothing fancy

Madeline studied Iraq in home school last week. As it so happens, several of Laurence's co-workers actually re-built the power infrastructure in Iraq DURING the insurgency. I HAD to have them over and let her (us) ask them questions and see pictures.So I said, "Come over and I will feed you, nothing fancy." My first choice was pizza but when their schedule got delayed we ate the pizza and I made something else, BLT's and roasted potatoes.  Nothing fancy. But living in Africa nothing is ever easy so here is what it takes to make BLT's in Africa.

First, the bread. Now you could go to the local store and buy bread. Heck, you could pick up a loaf from a table in town. Just a guy, sitting on a bucket, with a table-like structure selling loaves of bread. I have had that bread. It is good for bread crumbs. -----dramatic pause------ I make my own bread. I have been making my own bread since about a year before we moved to Africa so this is not out of the norm for me. Mix, rise, punch down, shape, rise, bake, cool. I'm used to it.

Second, bacon. You would think that in a country so populated by Muslims that bacon, or any pork product for that matter, would be hard to come by. Not so much. There are actually several kinds of bacon-like product to choose from. After trial and error we have found the one that most resembles that which we are accustomed. Streaky bacon. Good stuff. The thing is it is sold frozen...in 1Kg packages. That is a lot of bacon even if you are having guests. It takes about a day or so for 1kg of bacon to thaw. After all of that is thawed you have to cook the whole package. I only have one 12' skillet. But in the end I am left with some good bacon grease to make cabbage and even enough for milk gravy to slather all over some southern biscuits - not to be confused with British biscuits (ie. cookies) (to go with all of the left-over bacon).

Third LT, lettuce and tomato. The produce here is abundant and small, small. BIG BUGS. Small produce. Still it is abundant and cheap. We are thankful, not only for ourselves but for the locals. The only concern is ...well...the doodoos. That is what they call bugs. At almost 6 months my kids are just now not laughing every time we say it. All of the produce has to take a bath in bleach water. When we first arrived I even skinned the tomatoes. Too much work. Just let it sit in the bleachie water a little longer. (Many words in Swahili just have "ie" added to them - cabbagie, saladie, OK maybe just a few). I have to actually inspect every leaf of lettuce to clean the dirt off and check for doodoos. As I drain the water there is a crust of black dirt in the sink and a few beetles scurrying about. "Bugs, Bugs, get it Mommy" says my little helper.

Roasted potatoes. Have you ever gotten potatoes from anywhere besides the grocery store? They grow in the ground. They are caked with dirt. I used to get irritated when I would buy a large piece of meat with the bone and wonder how much I was paying for that I was throwing away. I wonder how much dirt I pay for and wash down the sink? Potatoes take two washings. First you run a sink of water and scrub, and I mean SCRUB, the potatoes to get most of the dirt off. Then I run another sink of bleach water  and let them sit. I still peel them. Maybe I don't need the second rinse. Hhhmmm...I'll think about that. I go to the garden and get some rosemary - I just love rosemary. The lady who built our home was Italian and she had a garden in the back with my favorite. (Ahhhh...just being thankful for creature comforts.)

Drinks: I set out some bottled drinks, cokes, Kool-Aid (thanks NanNan), iced tea (thanks Emily who packed it and Sandra who brought it over) and milk for the kids. Milk. So thankful for milk. We have fresh (and I mean still warm from the cow fresh) milk delivered (in a used water bottle, we upgraded from the used juice concentrate bottle) to our door three times a week. Fresh. That means it has to be pasteurized. All that really means is that it has to be heated to a certain temperature and put into a sterilized container. SO! (I really use that work too much. Better than LIKE.) I clean a glass jar. ( I have broken three since we have been here.) I boil a pot of tap water on the stove, boil it extra long because it is tap water. I pour it over my milk container, lid and the spoon I am going to stir it with. Drain off all of the water. I then pour my milk into the pot and let it come to a boil while carefully stirring it - "Mommy, i have to go Poooottyyyyyyy." -- turn off the fire, put lid on so no doodooos fly in. Take potty trained but still not self-sufficient child to the bathroom. Re-light the stove, Yay!! It only took three matches this time :) Now, get milk to boiling for the prescribed two minutes. Place glass pitcher into sink and carefully pour it in. There is a little left so I pour that into a jar to make flavored creamer. (I haven't skimmed the cream off lately since I have been making flavored creamer. That is a whole other set of sterilizing and boiling but oh, soo good.) I won't go into detail about LT not using oven mitts and burning his hand or the time I was almost finished with this whole procedure and a FLY FLEW INTO THE MILK!!!! Ugghhh.

We have fresh milk and we are thankful. But even if I do skim the cream off the top it doesn't get all of it. When you don't get all of it it clumps in the pitcher. Clumpy milk. Chunks in your milk. Each time I pour a glass of this labor intensive milk I then have to pour it through a strainer for my lovely little darlings. My friend Joselyn told her kids to just get over it and they did.  Good missionary kids. Not my precious little chickens. My friend Shonnas kids have to have their milk strained too. Thank-you for redeeming me my other missionary friend.

Desert. Are you kidding? I offered ice cream but the only takers where my kids and husband.

Tonight Katie and Andrew are coming over. We are having hamburgers.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Unplugged and Disconnected

Wisdom would say to have a good blog you should post frequently. I have blogs I follow and sometimes wish they would post more often because I just really would like to know what is going on. So why did I make one post and then drop off of the face of the earth without even a post on facebook? It is called TTCL and "power shedding".

TTCL is the name of the Internet provider, or should I say the part-time Internet provider. The story goes that someone cut down a portion of the line and they would have it up by the weekend. That was over a week ago. I am typing this from a hotel just in case you were wondering.

Power shedding is something Americans have only faintly heard of. You see, here in East Africa it is the end of the dry season. What does that have to do with power? Well, much of our power is hydro. No rain, no power, therefore it is rationed. They even have a schedule that is (Ha! Carter just tried to get up to go to the bathroom, got confused about his surroundings and opened the door to leave the hotel room. Good thing I am still up!) sometimes followed. My friend got an e-mail (really??? If you don't have power you don't have Internet, not that we have had Internet anyway!!!) that told us when we would and would not have power. Monday out day, Tuesday on, out evening, Wednesday on, Thursday on, Friday out evening, etc..

Which would you rather have, Internet or power? I chose Internet. You see the only thing that it really effects is Playing the Wii and melting my ice cream. Yes, we have plenty of dairy products. The ice cream is wonderful and my milk is delivered fresh to my door. REALLY FRESH, still warm from the cow fresh, but that is the topic for another entry. We don't have Air conditioning so that is nothing to get used to. Our stove is gas so we can cook. And truth be told I detest the Wii. Wish we would had never bought or brought it.

Being in Africa and homeschooling the kids and a husband who works way too many hours leaves me feeling a bit disconnected sometimes. We have made friends here and for that I am thankful. The kids have regular playmates and some friends that just show-up to play. I have a friend upstairs that is sweet and kind and I enjoy her company. But not being able to call my momma or my friends on the magic-jack and chat endlessly about nothing just reinforces the fact that I am half way around the world and so is my momma.

As I type this I am sitting in a freeing cold hotel room. Freezing because I am no longer used to A/C. But I am so happy to have Internet I may just see what is up on ONE TREE HILL or maybe I will call my mom!

Monday, February 21, 2011

3 months

I should have started this blog BEFORE we moved. Jennifer told me too. She even had a name picked out. Can't remember what it was but we agreed that we liked mine better. So, here we are three months later. You see, it's not that I am afraid of technology, I just don't really care. I would rather just spend time doing things I know how to do instead  of learning new things. Then I stumbled upon my cousins blog and here I am.

This blog will be about our life here in Tanzania. To answer everyone's question, NO, we are not missionaries. My husband builds powerlines and we are here on a two year contract to bring power to the country. Only 14% of the country currently has power. This is not a figure I can wrap my head around. We have already had to deal with "power shedding" and my kids are just freaked out. They just can't understand the concept that we are out of power. They have even said "but there wasn't even a hurricane!" We go to church, we homeschool, we try to adjust to life in country where we stand out, can't speak the language and don't understand the things that happen around us. But we are trying, smiling and thankful for this wonderful adventure that God has called us.

I will try to back up and tell stories about our first impressions and other stuff but I am not making any promises!