Yesterday the girls and I were in a village shaking trees to get a bounty of sweet tangerines and sitting on mats chatting with friends. It has been a busy week. Like I am exhausted kinda week. Lots of hospital visits (for friends not us), visiting, finishing up courses, meeting with teachers, saying goodbye to dear friends, and having guests.
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
A few months back I was feeling a bit restless. My frustration drove me to start asking tough questions about where are we going as a family. Some of these were rolling around my brain.... How do each of us have a special unique place in this family and still in our calling as a whole family unit? How do we steer in the direction we want to go and not allow the days to slip away? How do we navigate the seemingly endless sea of "great stuff to do" to find the best thing for us? How do we make the most of the time we have at this moment right now? How can we foster an environment of acceptance and love and yet also challenge each other to follow God's call no matter where that takes each one of us? How do we follow where ever He leads and help raise children who are fearless of the world but fear God?
Each week we are also doing a family meeting that begins with some enthusiastic bell ringing by Annikah and ends with us eating ice cream together. But it is the time in between that has been life giving (even if we have to break up the occasional sister slap down).
We are recording family meeting minutes that already serve as a sweet reminder of just how good God is in our lives. We just take time as a family to breathe in life and try to help each other discern and understand and process. Our first family meeting Jason and I shared that for us the hardest thing right now was the sadness we feel about not being able to adopt from here. We were shocked when Annikah started crying and said she she wants the baby to come now too and feels so sad too. It was so amazing to process some of our grief about as a family and we honestly never would have known she was holding on to some sadness about it if we had not taken the time to just ask and listen.
Monday, November 28, 2011
Anni's class so pumped & waiting for everything to begin....
All the kids and teachers at Anni's school have been tirelessly preparing for the big graduation/plays/song end of the year performance for 2 weeks. And it was awesome!!
all the parents gathered and ready
her class songs
after costume change...I love the nervous faces ready to go on....
last scene with all the animals
and applause please......taking their bows
a skit about going to the doctor
my favorite animals
Sunday, November 27, 2011
Friday was my last day of our Basic English course and everyone received their certificates at a party celebrating all they accomplished. As much as some days I feel stretched thin and overwhelmed by teaching English on top of everyday life here I can say for sure I love my students! We become like family. They were so pumped to celebrate and they should be because they worked hard and we had fun in our little English for beginners class! It is a privilege to see how excited people are to be a part of something that helps them reach their goals.
the honored guests and some cute Wazungu kids who managed to nab a seat at the "important people" table
eating and drinking until we were stuffed!
automotive students with their certificates and Rich and Hans; 2 of their fearless leaders
Rich & Paula & baby girl Anna: you will be dearly missed at Pamoja and on this little island...Karibuni Tena!!!
Saturday, November 26, 2011
This past Friday was C-R-A-Z-Y!! I had my last English where everyone shows up an hour late because they are busy getting dolled up for the occasion of receiving their well deserved certificates (photos to follow soon). Then there was a going away party for our dear friends Rich & Paula who are leaving in just a couple weeks after three years of living and working and loving here (yep, photos soon). I actually managed not to cry that day (but don't worry I made up for it today by blubbering like an idiot through my little send off speech at our team BBQ in their honor). We had to leave that celebration at Pamoja early to head out to a wedding of Jason's dear friend's little sister. As we drove to the wedding we saw at least 8 other wedding parties! Cars packed full with kanzu clad men with drums and beautifully brightly adorned women making their way to celebrate marriages on the auspicious Friday before the Islamic New Year. The streets were jammed packed and I have never seen so many weddings on one day!! We were asked to take pictures (I of the women and Jason of the men- he was even invited inside the mosque to take pictures of the charge to the groom..pretty amazing!). Here is a glimpse at the celebration because I love me some wedding photos of the beautiful people here....
one of many wedding parties we saw on the road
the women chanting & praying
the men in the mosque
amependeza...she has made herself beautiful
making it official
obligatory sitting on the bed looking sad picture
the girls and I hanging out after the wedding waiting to catch a glimpse of the bride leaving for her new home
Friday, November 25, 2011
Thursday, November 24, 2011
1. It is Thanksgiving or so I was reminded when looking at FB posts about the wonderful foods everyone is cooking. It is... alas... just a normal day here-well, if anything about our lives is normal.... lots of work but we are eating our favorite curry for lunch! And we are exceedingly thankful which is what it is really about. Happy Thanksgiving all you 'Merican types!!
Monday, November 21, 2011
Our dear team mates Paula & Rich are heading back to the U.K. in just a couple weeks (sniff) and so in honor of squeezing in some girl time us ladies left the watoto with the man folk and headed to the coast to enjoy some long chats, laying in the sun, swimming, walking on the beach, watching a girly flick, and not cooking. Yeah, awesomeness....
Friday, November 18, 2011
and her wedding day....
amazing colors...everyone waiting for the groom to arrive
chanting and "dancing"
the men folk through ever present laundry and a really funky coconut tree
all that dancing in the heat was tiring for some
the men praying