Sunday, June 19, 2011

Hot Chocolate and Beef Jerky

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.


  1. I thought of you today. We were riding all of the roller coasters at Great America and I was thinking how can we help those you are with experience the feeling of falling (in a controlled atmosphere, of course) 14 stories and rounding it out with a few loops. Once I realized that was impossible, I began to wonder why we seek thrills so much. Is our life here really that boring? No. I have come to learn (in the last few hours of my life, well not really until I started typing that last sentence) that we are just so used to the everyday craziness and fast paced life, that the only way to find a thrill is to chance our life to some geeked-out engineer, who happened to be on drugs when they created these rides. When really, if we just sit still, COMPLETELY STILL, can we find life's greatest joy. The provisions that God gives us, without all the bells and whistles.
    We are spoiled here. The fact that I even can find a soap box to stand on, is truly a blessing! I mean seriously... can you even find Dove there? But, then again, why would you? Until you can hang your towel on the back of moldy door and come to terms with the fact that you are still fortunate, is enough to clean your soul.
    I am inspired, once again, by you. Thank you for reminding me that my burnt out tail light is no big deal, I shouldn't stop going out for Sushi, I am blessed that my husband knows how to change/fix not only a door but ANYTHING, and my Bible is still the best go-to around.
    I hope they enjoy Aladin. Seeing them fly on the carpet might be as close to a roller coaster that they will ever get. (Unless you and I have something to say about it...)

  2. You say Dove and I immediately think of the chocolate! Snap out of it, Beck. Soapboxes - we're talking about soapboxes here. One of the best things about writing this blog is that it forces me to take a moment to stop and reflect on what I am experiencing. Sometimes it isn't until I start typing that I, too, recognize some of the things that are staring me in the face.

    They're building a round house in the backyard. I've been taking pictures daily...I thought Allan may enjoy seeing how they build things over here :)

    Tell the girls I can't wait to get to go to Great America with them - and Naomi! Africa may be a thrill, but it's nothing like flying through the air like Superman.

    And Tara, never stop eating sushi! When you come here you will only eat raw fish by accident - and it's nothing like back home.