Friday, December 12, 2014

Tanzania

Steve is home!
After a 24 hour layover in Ethiopia due to a re-routing of his flight ...
and much grumpiness.  =(
He got home on Tuesday afternoon.
Although he was completely exhausted, he stayed awake long enough to show us video footage.
Oh how it made me miss Tanzania.

It was fun to see how much building they have done ...
and to see the water tower being constructed ...
and the foundation for the 4th house.

It seems that they had a good time.
David really seemed to enjoy it and said he's love to go back!
Steve talked of how beautiful it is ... and green.

Here's a few snippets from the emails he sent us.

November 30th - Church was interesting.  Didn't understand a word of it, but they worshipped and danced and Dan read from the Swahili Bible.  They took offering and there is a cloth covering the offering basket so people cant see what others are giving.

December 1st - I am SO tired!  Today, we got up at 630, had a quick breakfast and then David and I had to move 200 big cinder-block bricks… put them on a trailer, drive the trailer about one mile, then unload them – but the unload spot was about 20 feet from where we could park the trailer.  And by then my fingers were all sore from grabbing them so I carried them one at a time on my forearms – which got all scraped up.  I was totally exhausted by 10 in the morning!  Then, we took a short break and I was told to cut holes in a sheet of metal with an electric saw – only two thankfully.  Then, Dan really didn’t have anything for us to do and he had to repair a water pump, so he looked around and says…. “go help those guys carry wet sand/cement up that big hill in buckets”.   I was like “are you kidding? Im 44 and Im exhausted!”  but I couldn’t really say no, so up I went.  By the time I made it up the hill 4 times I thought I was about to die of a heart-attack. I was covered in dirt and sweat – easily the worst job  I’ve ever had to do.  David is in better shape than me, so he went up the hill like 8 times.

Then we had lunch and God had mercy on me by having Dan send us with a Tanzanian guide to a private school nearby.  It was good, but all the staff and little black kids were looking at David and I like: what the HECK are you doing in our school??!?!  So we left. 

One thing that is hard for me is having to have bug spray on all time.  I feel sticky all over…yuk!  But it is better than getting malaria, I guess.

One thing that is good is how beautiful it is here and that Dan and Bethany want to give kids a good Christian home.  I hope we can help them.

December 3rd - I so wish you could have been with me yesterday on the safari into Serengeti!  It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life!  We woke up early to drive in the dark so we could be at the entrance for sunrise.   We right away saw wildebeest, zebra, baboons and monkeys.  Then, the driver took us down by a river!  Right there was a big family of hippos!  And then we saw……………….huge crockodiles!  I could not believe my eyes they were so big.  I was glad they were on the other side of the river or I would have run back to the car!  Then we drove and drove some more (we were in the car for 16 hours total that day) and all of a sudden, Mr VanDellen yelled “elephant”!  and WOW there was a group of big, amazing elephants!  We drove and drove…. More wildebeest and so many zebras I could not count them…baboons everywhere and then we saw wharthogs with their babies and I wanted to take a cute little baby home with me!  They were everywhere too.  Drove and drove a loooooong way and we saw…..a leopard sleeping in a tree….then a cheetah eating a dead animal right in front of the car!  Drove some more and saw two different groups of….lions!  so beautiful and majestic!  Then we came across a couple hippos walking by the car…the driver said it is very rare to see hippos out of the water….then we came across a huge group of giraffes- like a family of 25!!! The driver took pictures because he had never seen so many giraffes in one place at one time!  Driving back some more….at least 30 elephants right by the road!  One of the mamas didn’t like the car being so close to her baby and turned at our car like she was going to charge!!!  We were so scared that the driver stopped and backed up the car!  It was so thrilling my heart was racing!  Can you tell how excited I was?  Im trying to express my excitement by using a lot of exclamation marks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Can you now see how exciting it was??!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! 
I so wish you were all with me, so I took a lot of video to share with you.  However, my battery ran out by noon, so mr vandellen has some video of the cheetah and lions from is smartphone he will share with me.

We took two Africans with us who Mr Tanner is trying to minister to and they were really funny.  We were cracking jokes and having them teach us Swahili words and phrases…like the phrase for “silly American” and then they really laughed!  J our car broke down outside of the Serengeti and for time I did not think we would make it to mavuno village!  It was sort of nerve-wracking.  But, one of the Africans had Mr. Tanners phone number so we called him and he came to pick us up.  We got back so late I could not call you last night.  It was quite an adventure and one of the most memorable days of my entire life!  And I have some really awesome days!  While we were driving along, I just could not believe that I was on safari in the Serengeti!  Words really do not suffice. 

As hard as Monday was, Tuesday 1,000 times better and more wonderful!  Today is Wednesday and we got up, had a cuppa coffee and started working.  It is lunch time now and I am just flat exhausted.  It is so humid here it feels like working with a 100 pound weight around your neck.  I really am amazed that people get used to the heat and humidity.  I think it would take me like 3 years to get used to it.  Ugh.  We are helping mr tanner build a water holding tank up on a big hill – there are 5 African guys up there making a wall out of rocks and cement …in their flip-flops!  We had to pump water up there for the mixing of the concrete…a lot of work indeed. 


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