Sunday, July 28, 2013

Vagrants no longer!

*ahem* Is there something wrong with this post??

We have a home AND our belongings are inside!  We really did not expect to be in our hoped for home until halfway through August, so we were thrilled when we invited to move in.  Not yet unpacked, but inside nonetheless and we traveled to Mwanza (6 1/2 hours north) to buy appliances for our empty house.  We have also placed an order with a local carpenter to get a bed made for B, a few bookcases and pantry cupboards.

This week has left us feeling so blessed: getting into our home, getting orders placed, buying all of our appliances from a distributer for good prices and finding out that they only want $12.50/appliance to transport them down to Tabora in two days, our landlord will not be raising our rent, the list goes on.  Please join us in thanking the Lord for our smooth transition!

It may seem impossible, but some of the crucial parts we have been waiting for on our vehicle have still not come in.  So, instead of moving in our Land Rover, we have moved in the borrowed car.  We needed to overlap with some missionaries who will be leaving the field and glean from their years of working in Tabora.  And we have had such a wonderful time with them, learning from them, and being an encouragement to one another.  However, it does mean that in a few weeks when we expect the parts in and the work mostly finished Mike will travel back to Iringa to complete the work and trade the vehicles.  

This is just the beginning of the story here- the much anticipated beginning- and we are sure the Lord will continue His good work both in us and through us.

Thank you for praying with us on all of these things,

Stephanie and Mr. Motorcycle

Monday, February 11, 2013

A few new pictures

Our family
B and a chameleon

Buzz trip to Arusha

Things are going well here in Iringa and as you may have imagined there is a lot going on. Over the past week I have been taking what time I can to work with the people we are buying our vehicle from in between class, homework etc. We have also been keeping very busy with the language learning as well. We have continued to grow our ranks here at the language school as two single gals from various mission points have joined us along with three couples and one single guy from SIL, another gal from Australia and one from England, two couples with Soma Biblia who are all from Denmark, another three adults from Denmark and last but not least three couples from Church of Christ. With the influx of adults there have been a total of 10 kids 5yrs and under- which tends to keep everyone hopping and more than entertained. There is a pedal tractor here that I am sure if we had installed an odometer would have logged well over three hundred kilometers already. ☺ The language training itself is many things and brings with it a wide range of emotions. It is fun, hard, funny, challenging, brings a tear to the eye, humbling, hilarious, brings loads of comic relief, discouraging and lastly and most important, encouraging, Please continue to pray with us as we plow through all of these emotions and our homework while we strive for the goal of good communication through Kiswahili with our new friends and neighbors. This weekend has been a big weekend. First, our teammates  arrived in Arusha, Tanzania on the 8th of this month! All of their travel plans went well- all luggage arrived safely, etc. Secondly, Stephanie’s dad Burt, flew into Arusha and is spending some time there with work. 18 hours later (34 broken down semi trucks, and almost as many police stops (nearly half of which we had to stop and show our information to), we were able to drive up to assist where we could and to welcome our teammates to the country. It has been such a treat to see Burt as well. B (to whom didn’t tell who we were meeting was priceless), his reaction, “Is that Papa?! Where he came from?!” It didn’t hurt that Papa brought many special gifts and treats from America (thank you Grandma M and family, Care Team, Small Group, and others who heard Burt was coming). Please pray for our travels back from Arusha and all the details there. We took two days off of our studies, so please pray that we will be able to fit back into our classes without too much struggle. Between the driving here taking so much more concentration than we are used to and our two year old, we weren’t able to effectively study on the road. This has been our first trip in this vehicle and we have been discovering several issues that need to be addressed during the initial ‘shake down’ on the way up. Please pray that it performs well for our trip back and that any necessary adjustments we were not able to make in the 1 ½ days in Arusha will be able to wait until we get back to Iringa! Please continue to pray for: 1. The adjustment of our teammates in Arusha. 2. Special last moments with Burt before we leave. 3. The hearts of each person we come into contact with. We have had several really good conversations with Tanzanians in relation to questions that they have had. 4. Pray for open hearts with fertile soil and that we would be able to plant new or water existing seeds that have already been planted here in Iringa. 5. Please continue to pray for our work permit as it has been approved, however needs the finalization and printing of official documents with delivery to us in Iringa from Dar es Salaam. Mr. Motorcycle

Sunday, January 20, 2013

*update on B*

B stopped vomiting after 1:30am this morning and
proceeded with fever.  He is currently resting and had a small
breakfast.  Please pray for wisdom and that we will not worry.  P.S. I
was not able to get this update sent by email originally, so I posted
to the blog- sometimes it seems one works and not the other (just fyi)

Monday, January 14, 2013

Huge praise

Latest update at 3:30 while Stephanie and I were doing our homework we got a phone call saying that our work permit has been approved.  They should receive the paperwork in the next day or two.

Thank you, Lord!

Kiswahili update

This week we learned question words, how to negate verbs, two more tenses in addition to the regular present tense from last week, three irregular verbs that don’t follow any of the previous rules- along with a number that follow most rules but have some exceptions, some of the different possessive pronouns that agree with some of the different noun classes, object infixes for verbs and nouns, as well as adding in a ton of vocabulary.  Below is one of the charts from this week that I made in my notes:

Habitual Tense Chart






In addition to this, we have been working on communicating with Brogan’s teacher and the workmen and guards around the campsite who speak Kiswahili almost exclusively.

Until yesterday we have been the only steady students.  There have been two others- one here for a week and the other beginning his second and final week.  We have enjoyed interacting with them.  Yesterday three families joined us and will also be here for four months and have kids all around B’s age.   I am hoping this will make it easier for him to spend the day with his teacher- being able to interact with them. 

We felt very thankful that we attended a volleyball game yesterday with a number of expat (some missionary, many who just work in the area) families when Mr. Motorcycle began to feel very poorly.  They directed us where to go for a Malaria test.  Perhaps we tested too early because they were negative, but Mike has all the symptoms (and feels the same as the last time he had Malaria).  So, we decided to treat rather than to wait until he had enough built up in his body to test positive.  He has been in bed since, mostly resting and this afternoon venturing to eat a few bites.  Please pray for him to get better soon and be able to attend classes again this week so as to not fall too far behind.  Mr. Motorcycle’s head, which he cut open on a dull fan blade in Dar, has healed up quite nicely.

B also has developed an interesting health issue the past few days.  I noticed he had some mango left on his face an hour or so after lunch a few days ago then he developed some red spots on his one cheek (possibly a slight reaction).  Nothing we haven’t seen before once or twice.  Then we went on a really long walk yesterday and when we took off his hat he had some wider and flatter sores all along his hat line.  I thought perhaps they came from being overly hot, but they are only on the one side where the ‘mango sores’ are.  I thought I’d wait and see if they just went away, put a little anti-itch cream on them as sometimes they seem to bother him.  It’s debatable whether he’s any better today, but there are two sores which have crept across his chin line to the previously unaffected side of his face… 

Other than that and the usual occasional stomach bug of just continuing to adjust to being in Tanzania, we have been fine.

Please pray for Mr. Motorcycle and B to both heal and for me not to worry but to know when to act.  There is probably more to say, but we’ve had a rather full weekend and I need to get to my homework while the guys are sleeping!  Thanks for keeping up with us!


*Update* Mr. Motorcycle was able to stay in class from 8:30 to 1:30 today with just a 30 minute nap at breaktime.  He was not up for lunch, but was able to eat "normal" foods (as opposed to sick-y foods) when I brought them.  B's face is looking much improved and it is thought that he probably got a sand flea into his hat on our long walk inside a sand canyon.  Hopefully we will be able to post pictures someday because it is really very neat and they have found Stone Age tools in a similarly eroded sand canyon maybe 15km from here.  However, our internet connection barely enables me to send out updates and do this blog post within an hour... :)

Monday, December 31, 2012

December Update

Word of the day: Wait: v. 1: to delay action until a particular time or until something else happens.  In Swahili ‘kusubiri’ means ‘to wait.’

Two weeks.  Six guesthouses.  One home.  Two buses.  Twenty-four Land Rovers.  Approximately 2014 Christmases.  Zero internet. 
"Welcome back to Africa and stay tuned for more of our adv…”  Hard to keep up with the news when we can’t get online, right?  That’s pretty much exactly what we were thinking!
You wouldn’t believe how two weeks without internet will set your teeth on edge- whew!  Not one of the guesthouses we stayed at made good on the promised online connection.  And the language school we are moving to tomorrow does not have access either.  I’m sure they feel that with 8 hour days, 5 days a week we won’t have a lot of time to get online anyhow.   
However, we did purchase a usb modem that will provide us with some internet access.  In part because we were able to answer a few emails on our phones (thank you for the retired iphones- they have been so helpful!), but not able to do group updates. 
So, no promises for the next four months.  We will try to communicate periodically, but are unsure what that will look like.  Besides, what will we say?  “Jambo!  Poa.  Karibu.  Asante sana.  Pole.  Samahani.  Tafadhali.  Habari!  Mzuri sana.  Kwaheri!” 

Mr. Motorcycle’s trip to Arusha:
Things are going fairly well however very slow.  I am very disappointed with the vehicle hunt.  I went to Arusha because that is where the majority of the 4X4 vehicles are located. I looked at over 20 Land Rovers that could not be made roadworthy without extensive work. On a positive note when Samson (an AIC member based in Dar who is helping us) and I went to get the TIN number, Tax Identification Number, we had to do a double take after we walked out of the office. I was able to get my TIN number in less than 20 minutes - unheard of.  Praise The Lord!  
I was informed that before I can get my drivers license I must have my Residence/work permit finished and in hand.
 I had a number of leads on vehicles here in Dar that I have followed and have come back empty.  I am confident that the Lord has the right one for us at the right time however am struggling with waiting as I see this as a key piece in moving forward here.  Please pray that the Lord will show me His will in this as there seems to be something I am missing.  
We have been blessed to meet many missionaries- including the couple who took Stephanie and B in for the week I was in Arusha so we didn’t have to pay double rent!

Not only does he not seem to notice the high heat and humidity of Dar es Salaam, but he also does not recognize the language barrier.  In crossing a few continents he has made the leap from babyhood to boyhood and now is extremely interested in “the kids” and wants to participate in whatever they are doing.  Every time we take a walk he asks to stop and see the kids we run into.  B babbles away, almost oblivious that he is not understood.  We came across a group of five kids the other day- from younger than him up to maybe 7 or 8 just sitting on a little stoop.  He asked if he could sit with the kids and, despite his two year state, just sat very still beside them and lamented when I said it was time to move on!  Poor kid.  Soon we will be forced to take random kids home with us!

Bjaje are an Indian import.  They run much like a motorcycle with a lever start, one wheel in the front and two in the back.  You can squish three adults across the seat in the back (or more) under the metal covered bubble.  This is B’s favorite transportation.  We also don’t mind the ‘personal breeze’ your experience versus the shared one on the bus.  Unfortunately a vehicle found mostly in Dar es Salaam and not much elsewhere.  We heard of a single woman missionary who purchased one to get around the city.  Mr. Motorcycle’s new idea barring a Land Rover purchase: Steph and B truck around town in one of these babies!