To the ends of the earth…and back!

From blackberry to built-in flashlights!

Missing New York

This weekend, I went into town with Isaac to do some errands and make 525 copies. Yes, you read that correctly! Back in July before I left New York, I purchased some teaching books for preschool and grade level 3. Because Shalom does not have enough copies of exercise books for each child, I have made some small packets for each so as to make learning easier. Besides, I am not the best artist so I figure I’ll save them the joy or that! Having legible images in front of you is always easier PLUS having the lesson prepared saves about 30-45 minutes of class time.

After errands, I came back to the volunteer house and opted to relax a bit so put on ELF. Since two of the older girls from Shalom were there at the house, I thought it’d be nice to show them where I am from, the lovely Big Apple. Of course this was a fabulous decision because they enjoyed seeing it. However I was instantly overcome with sadness. Autumn-Christmas time is my favorite time to live in Manhattan and seeing Buddy the Elf frolic on the familiar streets of the City that Never Sleeps was bittersweet. Moreover, Ellen returned from her adventure in Dar so we watched Madagascar 2: Escape to Africa. All I have to say is only in New York could Alex the lion have a career. Furthermore, Moto moto…a name so nice you must say it twice.

 

Seriously though, I must admit, it is most odd to reflect on how different my life is in New York and in Karatu…yet I feel home in both places! In NYC, you’ll find me blackberry and coffee in hand, iPod in ears, fashionably dressed and ready to go. Here in Tanzania, I glance in my small compact, maybe once a day…I don’t have the luxury of easily gazing in the large windows that fill the streets of New York and are always used by passersby as their personal mirror, helping to make sure every piece of hair is in place. I think the locals will probably start to call me Simba soon, as the humidity causes quite the fro of my curly, short hair!  Furthermore, I’m only clean from evening time after my shower until I get dressed in the morning. My messenger purse is strewn across my body that is clad in some long-flowing and very figure complimenting skirt. Ha! A folded piece of paper is my new blackberry but at least the local phone I have boasts a built-in flashlight—a much-needed asset that comes in handy when the electricity is shut off at least one a week here of when I walk home from Shalom with Saning’o. Still pretty!

New BFF’s (Best Friends Forever)… and an interesting discovery: who needs tanning when you’ve got Karatu?!

Last week we had two newly-wed couples at Shalom. Both are very interested in lasting relationship with us : ). The first couple from Spain would like to send us some items, toys or clothing in a few months. The Canadian couple wants to help us make the website bigger and better! (www.shalomorphanagekaratu.org). So much has been changing since our arrival just a few weeks ago so we are more than excited to share the joy with the world! I don’t know why I was surprised, but after the two couples left, Mama Warra looked at me and said, “Maybe you soon?”—yet another suggestion for my much-anticipated marriage. Can a sister get a break?! …

Anyway! Ellen and I ventured up the road this morning (a very steep and dusty one) to FAME Clinic. [www.fameafrica.org] This clinic provides medical assistance so we of course want to become new BFF’s with them. After running into a herd of goats, two cattle pulling a big cart, two taxis and one HUGE truck going entirely too fast, we were a few shades darker. Ah, the joy!

This Thursday we are going to Tumaini School—the local English-medium institution where we are hoping to send our children once we have our Child Sponsorship Program up and running. Coincidentally I met one of the teachers from Tumaini at church on Sunday, Teacher Elli. She made me promise I come say hello! Much like many of the Tanzanians Ellen and I have met, she is super friendly! This reminds me…after Sunday’s service, one of the older girls, about 18, asked me to take a photo with her. Then about 5 other children insisted on individual photos. It was sort of awkward as they put their arms around my waist and smiled hugely…I wonder if this is how celebrities feel? Also, walking to town we’ll run into local school children who say, “Eliza!” upon seeing me. Watch out Angie!

Next week we will be meeting with CPAR, another local clinic started by Canadians. [www.cpar.ca]

We are all about the friend-making here people!

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