Mikumi National Park

Saturday, July 14, 2012

In Moments Like These

It is nights like last night that make me want to stay in Africa forever. Mornings like this morning make me rejoice that we are moving home soon.

Last night some wonderful friends came over for dinner. Their four kids plus our three proved to be a great time. We enjoyed good food, had great conversation and laughed at each other out loud. We had serious discussion about our faith and our work. We laughed at each other (OK, mostly we laughed at Jeff) as we played with the kids and made funny voices. I promise he can sound just like the black preacher on "What's in the Bible". Which is funny since he preaches in Tanzanian churches on a regular basis. 

We have plenty to talk about. The men's work is totally different but they share some of the same struggles. Jeff and Wendy are missionaries with the Assembly of God church. Jeff teaches at the Bible College, digs water wells, build churches, coordinates with the convention in the US and a myriad of other things. He is one busy man. Wendy home schools their four kids and supports Jeff in his ministry. (Although her list is short her task is grand.)

We talk about the struggles of life here. We laugh about it. Jeff has great stories about his trips into the bush.  We shake our heads and laugh and conclude that it is just another day in Tanzania. We talk about what is going on in our home country and how our hearts break as it turns further and further away from God. We share our personal struggles but still remember that our God is bigger and stronger and He is present.

Our kids get along really well. That makes it easy to get together, right. We have people whose company we really enjoy but if the kids don't get along you are less likely to get together much. Our kids get along great. Our little ones adore each other and cry every time we have to leave. The boys play video games and love jumping on the trampoline. Our big girls love all of the same things and their daughter is old enough that Madeline doesn't try to boss her around.

It was a great night.

Then I woke up this morning.

Roosters were crowing. (They are sooo loud it makes me want to scream! I really have suggested our gardener eat the rooster but he just laughs. I am SURE he will eat it as soon as we move.) Windows were creaking in the breeze. Our window panes swing open (as opposed to moving up and down) and must be latched open or closed. All of the latches don't work and they swing and creak. I am trapped in my mosquito net and have to push my way out. My little one is in bed with me. The roosters wake her up. My husband is not in bed. Here they work EVERY Saturday. I can hear the pump whinning. The city water must be off. Laurence has to wash dishes so the kids can eat breakfast. We only have a few bowls. We used them all last night when our friends came to eat. We have no dishwasher. Our housekeeper will not be in this weekend because I gave her the weekend off so she could see her kids. I had to pay her bus fare and some school fees for her kids. The kids could not eat the few granola bars we have left from the US for breakfast. We are going on safari in a few weeks and we have to save them. No telling what the lodge will serve us. If we break down on the trip (highly likely) we need to have something to eat. Even if there is a cafe' to get something to eat it would take forever and no telling what sickness we could get from it. So the granola bars must be saved. As I go into the kitchen there are two guards sitting on my porch. They are speaking Swahili, which I still don't understand. (I know it is my fault.) It creeps me out.

Just another morning in Tanzania.

We really have enjoyed our time here in Africa. We have met some AMAZING people. To see what they do and how they live has been an invaluable experience. To live in another culture and see that although we are all different we all want the same things even if the definition of what those things are or how to achieve them is different has been immeasurable. (I know that is a run-on sentence. Get over it.) I have experienced it. It is not my life calling. I want to go home.



  1. Praying for your safe return. We have certainly missed you all. We look forward to hearing all about your experiences and seeing how much the children have grown!

    1. We won't be there for long. The reason we are coming back early is that LT took a new job in Mississippi. Know anyone looking for a house in our neighborhood?