Archive for September, 2008

Settling Slowly

September 17, 2008

 

A sense of normalcy is slowly developing in our home.

A sense of normalcy is slowly developing in our home.

I love so many things about autumn – going back to school and getting back into a routine, putting away the flip-flops, the cooler fall air that’s perfect for a sweatshirt and you still don’t need a coat, football season (even if I don’t really watch it!), apple pie, lots of snuggling, relaxing Saturdays, making soup – especially chili – and on and on.

Tonight, I felt like making chili for dinner. Dorothy gave me a gift of about 5 kilos of tomatoes and I wanted to make something that reminded us of home. Doug’s mom gave me her chili recipe – simple yet oh, so yummy. We ate chili and enjoyed a bit of home.

Though it’s not the beginning of autumn here (we’re actually heading into the hot season), we have many new developments on our end, including back to school.

 

Nyumbani Kwangu (Our house)

It took two months but we now have a home.

It took two months but we now have a home.

 

First of all, we have a house! We have been settling for the past two weeks and are slowly making it our home. We really enjoy getting to know our neighbors and nearby shop owners, and, since coming home from Arusha (where we attended language school), our initial language acquisition has definitely been put to the test! There is no teacher quite like necessity – as we navigate establishing a home and all the relationships and conversation this entails along with engaging in regular conversation and visits with our neighborhood shopkeepers, using primarily the Kiswahili we have learned.

 

 

The road outside our house.

The road outside our house.

 

 

Shule (School)

The Tanzania Team Kids on the First Day of School

The Tanzania Team Kids on the First Day of School

 

 

Aidan began second grade at his new school on August 25th and enjoys it immensely. The school day is quite different from the hours he has previously known – he wakes up at 6:15 and must be in class by 7:30, then home by 2:15. He is making lots of new friends and his favorite things about school are the TWO lunch breaks each day and swimming class on Fridays.

 

Elliott is now attending preschool. He goes two mornings each week, but everyday is sad if we tell him that today is not a school day. He loves going and playing with the kids and he really enjoys the walk to and from school.  Typically, he rides on Dad’s shoulders and points out all the things that he likes seeing as well as things that he would not see “in America” – things like chickens on the road, women selling chai and different varieties of fried dough as well as trash lining the streets and what he calls the “pee log”, which is a log that he has seen an adult relieve himself on (public urinating is a frequent daylight occurrence here). 

Dad Outside Elliott's Preschool

Dad Outside Elliott's Preschool

He also loves the chips mishikaki stand.  This is a very basic eatery that consists of two men and a grill. The younger squats on a small stool peeling and slicing potatoes, while the older, apparent owner of the stand cooks the “chips” in a large wok of oil that he skillfully keeps the correct temperature from noon until eight in the evening.  He also grills mishikaki, which are marinated beef kabobs.  One kabob and chips can be purchased for about 800 Tanzanian shillings, which is the equivalent of about 75 cents.  So this is Elliott’s new Wendy’s, which we like because although the chips are fried they are fresh peeled potatoes, the meat is not processed, and the price is amazing!  Elliott also knows the guys and likes to talk with them as we practice our Swahili while the food is prepared.  Our lunch providing friends often find random seats for us to sit on as we wait and they seem to enjoy our presence.

When Elliott is not walking to and from school and eating chips, he spends time with the dogs, the children in the neighborhood, and ‘helps’ us get things settled in the house.

 

From Dog Attack to Dog Owners

Vader (black and white) and Yoda's first day at our house.

Vader (black and white) and Yoda's first day at our house.

Aidan and Elliott are also the proud new owners of two puppies! Yes, we are moving beyond the dog drama that Aidan so bravely endured during our first week here, and even HE is excited to have these new buddies to play with. Vader and Yoda are a fun addition to our family.  Elliott spends hours playing with them and

 

Aidan loves the dogs and is getting more comfortable with them (or is at least trying to).

Aidan loves the dogs and is getting more comfortable with them (Well, he is at least trying to).

 

 

Aidan spends hours thinking about playing with them and playing with them, then running to what he feels is a safe distance.  But he is progressing and we predict that in a month or so he will be enjoying the dogs even more.

 

 

As our family becomes more established here we are looking forward to several things currently in the works. We’ll be starting a small group at our house next month and our team is also developing a community outreach that we hope to start next month – more details on that as it unfolds!

Thanks for checking in on us

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