S: Tanzania Bound 11/17/08 - 04-06-09
FC: Tanzania Bound 11/17/08 - 04/06/09
1: Introduction: It all started out on one of those normal Fridays...Oct. 3rd. We sat down for lunch and suddenly the unexpected came up. How would I feel about going to Tanzania for a length of time? My mind whirled, my thoughts zoomed, Within an hour I was going for my passport picture, and a week later I had tickets to go . WOW!! Is that what you call fast??? Our flight left Nov.17th 2008...the team, which consisted of Dad & Mom, Ben Esh, Mark Brubaker, and Jason Smith, was going for three weeks, and me....we didn't know! =) Experiencing the unknown...
2: We, along with Micks and Erma, traveled to Ivuna the day after reaching Mbeya, Tanzania. And that decrepit orange tarp...=/ Thankfully it was rolled up after a while. =) Erma and I crawled up on the rails. Wind blowing, chewing sugarcane, truly African!! The clutch gave out, and we sat there for another few hours...Twas one bone-jarred, weary bunch that straggled into Tim & Sheryl's courtyard at about 1:00 the next morning!! Our time in Ivuna was spent learning Sichela greetings, visiting the chief, pouring time over maps, talking heaps, doing piles of laundry, mandazi and chai...twas for but a grand, sweet 5 days. I tried to learn as much as I possibly could in that week, as I knew I'd be returning without any Kim or Sheryl to lean on!
3: Most of the rest of the team's stay was spent in Mbeya. We had mountains of laundry, lots of cooking, and many trips to market. What a great way to be able to break into this new, "scary" culture. Erma as my guide, language teacher, and her patience with my MANY questions really boosted me. Also one day we all went and explored a new house for Micks to move into. By this time, I was in love with Tanzania!!
4: Mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce, coleslaw, chocolate and cherry pies w/ Dream whip, & Peter Pumpkin Delight...these made up the feast!! | Thanksgiving Day in Africa... And then there was the day we all spent together at the Karibuni Center... | it took time, work, and planning, but was sure worth the bother!! The men so kindly offered to do the dishes afterwards, which we ladies gratefully accepted!!
5: After such a feast....volleyball was just the answer!!! Blitz, Rook, lots of talking, and just...enjoying each other were some of the other things we did together. After a real light supper of popcorn, and fruit we left for home. Tims and Kim left for furlough the next morning.... Twas the beginning of the next four months!
6: Two days before the team left, we all traveled out to Dar on the bus and took a ferry to Zanzibar. Beautiful weather, salty spraying water, lovely sunshine...we explored. It was a sobering reality as we listened to the many muslam prayer calls ringing throughout the city, and observed the dedication of the Muslams as we walked and toured. | Zanzibar
7: After spending the night, we had a driver take us to a spice farm...it was very interesting, although Erma and I were just itching to go to the ocean once!! | After the tour they gave us beautiful handmade gifts that they created out of plants!!
8: We FINALLY got to spend time swimming at the beach...What a great way to cool down our tired, sweaty bodies!! I don't have pictures of the actual swimming that we did, but it sure was fun!! | A few other things we did included walking through a fish market-octopus! Going to a barber and watching our men get much needed haircuts, (notice the worst one above=)) and....mm!! Strawberry Ice cream!! | Before | After | Because of it being dark already, Dad decided he needed to use his flashlight, and really look at the thing he was eating, so he'd be able to enjoy it better!!=) Funny Guy!! | The Wonderful Ocean
9: We headed back out to Dar on the ferry the afternoon of Dec. 9th. Notice the sun-burned people!! After supper at Hadees, writing notes to send home, the last dala-dala ride to the airport, which was the fullest the team ever rode in during their time there, and then waiting at the airport for time to pass, my dear parents, and the rest of the team, along with Erma were off--flying home to America!! A little gulp, a few tears, tight squeeze, and I wondered what I am doing here in this strange land with just my big brother!!
10: And so...the team was gone. I slowly found my way around with this new culture, even though it took me lots of courage to go out for the first few times to buy things!! Laura decided to do a Popcorn party with the children outside the door one night....it consisted of popcorn flying, hands digging, pockets being stuffed, and an empty bowl within a minute!!! I enjoyed spending lots of time with those children...
11: But the easy part couldn't always be, and soon I was as busy as a bee, with helping Laura, and then we had a big project. Cleaning the new house, and getting moved!! Lots of hard work, but oh so satisfying!!!! | One morning we headed out...Matthew biking, me walking with Timothy on my back, and Mick and Laura walked over a different way. It was an all day job, but we got finished!! | What a wonderful big brother!! Scrubbing floors, and tackling some of the not so fun things. Mick worked at the filthy cruddy bathroom, bless his heart!! Laura worked at the Kitchen, and I filled in wherever most needed!! | Timothy wanted to help too...of course it's not always the easiest way, but it kept him nicely occupied for a while!! And...the kitchen walls on the right...during scrubbing!!! Utterly filthy!!
12: We moved from Cobway... | ...To Sweto on Dec. 30
13: Market Time Along with moving came a different market. Although the fact is the old market always held a special place in my heart, and I loved when I had a chance to go back there. Market time was always a favorite!! Interaction, practicing Swahili...I loved that old market basket!!
14: But..moving, and a different market weren't the only things that changed. It also meant facing reality...heading to the boonies in the Rukwa Valley. Yes, Ivuna it was--the village where Tim & Sheryl live. My main reason for going to Tanzania was to be with Matthew while Tims were on furlough. Doing washing, cooking, being a big sister for Stella, and just | "being there" for the two...but because of various things such as the DELL being stolen, we actually spent over half of our time in Mbeya with Mick and Laura. Nevertheless, the time I spent in Ivuna holds precious memories that linger close to my heart. Lord, draw the WaSichela after your own heart!! Raise up a standard! | IVUNA
15: Transportation to Ivuna is via lorry most times, and because of how often I traveled between Mbeya and Ivuna, I kept track of the times. I rode a lorry 9 times, the piki-piki 4 times, and a dump truck once!! Quite interesting!! | Via Lorry... | ...or piki-piki
16: Ivuna Life...
17: sleeping with her "mosquito net" over her | Bath time!! Mwe Masa... | sweeping the courtyard...always helpful!! | Time to cook with friends. Puff blow, gasp, blow!! | ...the sunshine in my life!! | Stella
18: Visitors in January | Caleb and Daniel came a few days earlier then the rest of the family. Matthew, they and I went back to Ivuna for a few days to can mangoes, and catch up there. We then traveled back out to Mbeya and met the rest of the Smoker clan at Micks. We spent a fun few days together...including going to church, carrying water, and going to market!! | Jay & Amy Smoker and family
19: Visitors in February | Samuel & Maria, and Matthias Overholt...also Alvin & Anne Esh | We had lots and lots of fun with this crew that came, and it was during their time there that the Dell was found. Great Special memories. They brought totes with them from home including goodies, notes, pictures...FUN!! It was about a week total that they were with us. During that time the guys went surveying for a few days. It meant lots of cooking--ugali etc., and many map times....
20: Life in Mbeya... | Life in Mbeya...because of spending lots of time there, I enjoyed throwing myself into helping with house work, taking care of Timothy, carrying water when it was needed, and allowing Laura the time for language study, and rest.
21: birthday time. for Matthew..mug from market, trail mix inside, baggy as wrap, baler twine as ribbon...quite unique!!=) Happy Birthday!! | And then we have a conglomeration of Tanzanian friends, birthday, fun, and people!! Also canning mangoes in Ivuna!! Done over the brazier it caused for some tension, but they all sealed except for one!! Thank God!! Mom was on the other side of the world praying, and I was doing the same...=) He does hear!! | MISC...
22: Last Ivuna days... | Above: One of the last nights in Ivuna...big tears, excitement, tiring mixed emotions...lets just write it down!! | Two weeks before it was time for me to fly home, and for Tims to get back from their furlough Matthew and I made one last trip to Ivuna and caught up with some things, including cleaning everything as good as we could. Tim & Sheryl's bedroom was one big job!! The bats had taken over almost, and we just hoped they'd stay out and everything would stay clean for at least ONE week until Tims get back...heaps of dirt, piles of dust, filthy mosquito nets...well worth the effort in seeing it all clean!! | Above: "The Lord is my Shepherd" in Swahili..it took a while, but she slowly got it!!
23: The two middle pictures consist of waiting for the last lorry ride...#14 trip-which it turned out to be a dump truck!!!! Clipping fingernails, brushing teeth, waiting...we took Stella along out. Her first time in town, which was quite an exciting and thrilling experience for her!! April 4th 2009 | Sheryl, Christine Newswanger, and Melissa Miller reached Mbeya at about 7:00 pm. the night before I flew home. We decided to go carry water, and just enjoyed catching up. Tim stayed in Dar, so I'd have someone to assist me to the airport the next day.
24: Matthew and I sat down for a little bit in the office that last night after hurrying around and getting things together. Mick decided to try taking some pictures, which didn't really turn out all that great!!=) | Last pictures... | But there truly is no one like a real brother!! | gulp, smile, laugh, think
25: April 6th 2009 And the next morning meant Matthew taking me out to the bus stop at about 6:00. I was swept away in the big New Force, blinking back tears, and saying good-bye to Matthew, and to the land I loved. I met Tim in Dar that night after a LONG day of traveling. We went to a friends house for supper and I got a refreshing bath taken before we rushed off to the airport. About 11:00 that night I sailed away into the African skies!! Good-bye Dear Tanzania!! | Good-bye Tanzania!!