Here are a few quick stories. I’m sorry this blog has not at all been what I expected, but I still want to keep you up to date better than I have been.
Tylee and Ember have been introduced to bunk beds since we’ve been in Africa. Ember is still way too clumsy to get to sleep on the top bunk, but Tylee has been pretty good at it and it helps her to get some appropriate climbing in each day. But our first night at our guest house she was being really rowdy and hanging off of the edge and went toppling over. At first, I thought she bit all the way through her lip, but she actually just sank her bottom teeth into the inside of her lower lip and sliced the outside with her top teeth. Her upper frenulum was torn away from her gums and one tooth is still loose. I think she will have a scar on her chin, but she has recovered well and her pain tolerance still amazes me.
We took a trip to Dar Es Salaam to visit some friends and explore mission opportunities there. However, we had quite the adventure getting there. It’s rainy season here, and y’all, there is A LOT of precipitation. It had been raining for a while and when we were about 20 km from our halfway destination where we planned to spend the night, the paved road suddenly turned to mud beneath our tires and we slid to a complete stop. We ended up stuck in traffic behind a semi-truck who got himself jammed in the mud on the wrong side of the road. We stayed in that spot for no less than two and a half hours. The town where we had planned to stay that night was completely closed. It was a small town up in the mountains. In order to get there, you must travel on a narrow and windy road on the edge of a cliff with no guard rails. That sounds terrifying even in dry season, so I am especially thankful we did not even try. Anyway, Africa isn’t like the states where if one hotel doesn’t work out you can easily find another. We had to drive straight on through to Dar. We got to our friends’ house at 4 am and they were so gracious to help us find our way and get us settled. We appreciate y’all SO MUCH!
Dar is, well, let’s say–not exactly pleasant. It was so hot, and so humid, and so crowded! I think I had a bit of city shock our first day in town. But, it was SO good to see Jonathan and Brooklyn. This was the first time our kids have been old enough to play together and it was sweet to watch!
We took a day to play at the beach. There was a small island off the city’s coast and we took a boat across the Indian ocean (just part of it) to a beautiful white sand beach where we had some grilled chicken and lobster. The kids loved the boat ride, the beautiful water, and so many sea shells! It was a very good Mother’s Day, all things considered.
On the way back we stopped in Moshi–the home of Mount Kilimanjaro. The only touristy thing we did was a really cool coffee plantation tour. We were taken up to a small village where a local farmer took us all around his acre of coffee plants. He walked us through every step from planting the seed drinking the coffee! None of us drink coffee at all, but we tasted it and it was the least bitter coffee I’ve ever had! I might actually drink coffee if it all tasted that good!
When we got back to Arusha, we took some time to look into some projects in Monduli (about 1.5 hours from where we’re staying now). Some rain catchment systems and some sustainable agriculture. It was a cool adventure to see what so many people around here are doing. [you’ll have to check my dad’s facebook for pictures from the beach, coffee farms and Monduli]
Tylee and Ember can both count to ten (sometimes Tylee makes it to nineteen) in Kiswahili. They are learning new words every day. They have both also learned to swallow pills and every day they ask me if they can take a probiotic. Makes my plexus mama heart so proud.
Jonathan has been teaching Tylee to play Uno (or Moja if you’re playing the Swahili version) and it is adorable.
My favorite quote lately was at dinner a while back. We had just finished praying and then I said, “Yay-men: That’s what the twins always say!” and then Tylee said, “No–that’s what Memaw says!!!!” If you’ve prayed with my grandparents in the last six years you’ll know what she means.
More later. Thanks for keeping us in your prayers and close to your hearts. xoxo