Today while I was in the shower I couldn't stop thinking about how much I would love some hot chocolate and beef jerky. I guess now that I have hot water and don't have to race to shower as quickly as I can in what feels like a bucket of ice, I have a few extra seconds to let my mind wander before the water runs out. Funny how, no matter how far from the western world I travel, there are just some things I can't seem to live without.
The shower, by the way, is my next project. It is in a small room no bigger than 3' x 4' and has an old wooden door that has pretty much swelled up and rotted so much that it won't shut. Most of the back of the door is dusted over with a light coat of mold. Needless to say, this is my next project. We've decided to remove the door completely, hang a shower rod and curtain and put in a couple of hooks for a towel and clothes. Locating a shower curtain here may prove to be as difficult as finding a bag of beef jerky in the supermarket - wish me luck! I'm not sure how much longer us girls can take hanging our towels on the back of a moldy door.
As comical as much of this may be, I am reminded daily of how much we take for granted back home. I know we say it all the time, but have you ever really stopped to think about it? If we want beef jerky, we buy it. If a door gets old, we replace it. Sometimes we may need to wait until payday, but it still gets taken care of. And even if it doesn't, things are never really as bad as they are here. Don't get me wrong - I'm definitely not standing on any soapbox here. When I was home this last semester I lived my life just like almost everyone else that I know. However, recognizing that we take things for granted doesn't necessarily mean we should refrain from dinners out or stop going to the movies. More importantly, I think it's a reminder that we should simply recognize how fortunate we are and remember to be truly thankful - even when life is tough and things are tight. God's provisions for us in the past are a reminder that He will be faithful in the future.
This week Jasen, Marianne, Margaret and I will be going to Arusha to stay at the orphanage for a few days. I can't wait! Many of you may recall that my visit to Good Hope was one of the highlights of my trip in January. Since then, the new orphanage has been completed and the medical clinic is nearly built. There are 128 kids in the school and I can't wait to sit in on classes while Jasen, Marianne and Margaret give each of the children a medical checkup. I'm also secretly hoping that while I am in Arusha I can find a shower curtain and a few candles to bring back to the house. As you may have seen in some of the pictures on the photo page, Fatuma absolutely loved the candle I brought - she had never seen one before. Hopefully I can surprise her with a few more!
A few other things: the weather here this time of year is perfect. It has only rained twice - both times after dark - and it hasn't been over 80 degrees. The power outages seem to occur more often than they did in January and last for longer periods of time. As a result we always keep a flashlight (torch in TZ) or a lantern nearby in the evenings. I'm riding the daladalas again and find that I actually sort of missed them in a weird, squooshed, circus car sort of way. Sumaya and Fatuma watched Beauty and the Beast tonight on my laptop during the power outage and they absolutely loved it. I think Jungle Book is still Sumaya's favorite though. We'll have to see if Aladdin can take over the #1 spot on our next movie night.
Thanks for your prayers, emails, FB messages, and comments - they don't make home feel so far away. I'll update you and be sure to add more pictures when I am in Arusha this week.