We have been in Tanzania for about a month and are beginning to see some routine patterns get into place. There have of course been good day and rough days, but overall, honestly they have been good. I have to attribute that to one thing…the power of prayer. Our family has an army that stands, sits, and kneels in prayer while singing, whispering, speaking, and reading prayers specifically for our family.
A little over a week ago, I felt like I was stuck in a hopeless situation. Negative self talk combined with a brand new place to live where very little resembles where you came from can do this to a person. I moped around the house all weekend, attempting to carry on with tasks that felt familiar, and asking God (and eventually Randall), “what are we doing here?” I would lay down, have a good cry, pet my children on their heads, eat a little, complete a task, snap at Randall, and repeat the process. This valley is a place that I seldom go, but always when I visit, I have a whopper of a time being lifted out. I could not do it on my own. I spoke with a few folks back in the states about how things were going, asking for specific prayers, and then Sunday evening (the 20th), something happened. I could literally feel myself being lifted up, the dread feeling that I was choking on in my chest and wrestling with, slowly loosed itself, being broken up by the prayers of family, friends, and a few new acquaintances. By Monday morning, I felt washed over with joy and began to go about my day with Christ paving the way while at the same time sweeping up any messiness I had left behind. So, I write that part to say thank you and encourage those that think prayer is hogwash. When you are on the receiving end and nothing else can explain the 180 degree turn around, consider welcoming it when it taps on your soul.
Here is the knitty-gritty for those of you looking for the next Indiana Jones sequel to be inspired by our families undertakings. We have dogs, that’s right, two dogs that we acquired before arriving. They are actually really sweet for hairy mammals and I think I can appreciate them more because they are outdoor animals that have the purpose of protection. My adventure with them comes from parasites and bugs, inside and out. We met our pups three weeks ago today. They traveled to our home in a bajaj, a three wheeled motorcycle with a cover. Tazama is our girl and has the sweetest disposition of any doggy that I have met, I mean that. Roo is our younger, more rambunctious boy who is slightly crippled. His back legs were deformed at birth, so they splay out more like a ducks and when he runs, his back legs move in a rhythmic sweeping motion together. It is a sight. Anyhow, he too is sweet.
On about day three, I was finishing up feeding them (we homemake our dog food with a protein powder, (not the body building kind), maize flour, and these tiny little dried fish called dagaa), when I had the privilege of watching Roo leave a poo. It was infested with flatworms. (by all means look these little buddies up if you have a strong tummy or are medical personnel that enjoy that sort of thing.) There is medicine here, for pets and people alike. So, they have both been de-wormed. They have also both been bathed and about 100 ticks have been removed. I hate bugs especially ones that make it a point to come along for a ride.
Speaking of bugs, Randall tried some roasted grasshoppers yesterday and Ruby and Shiloh quickly followed suite. I held one for a moment and contemplated, but then I realized it was looking at me still and gingerly placed it back) We had to close the container because Ruby could not get enough.
One more bug story. After it rains, flying ants or termites or something like that emerge from the ground, fly, and then die. We had a good rain a few days ago and that evening, there was a bug fest on our front porch. They were everywhere. My sweet team leader sent a text informing us of what they were and also shared that we could easily round them up by placing a bowl of water under a light, as they are attracted to the reflection and then they will drown. If only she had stopped there. She said that they are a really tasty treat if we fry them up in butter. A sweet and savory pop. Like caramel corn. We did not collect enough this time, because we did not put the water out, but it will rain again.