Shudu, Waterfalls and the Mango Dance

Today was a wonderful Saturday and a great, exciting day in Pommern. We slept in and took breakfast around 8 am, leisurely spending the morning relaxing and hanging around the mission house. At around 9:30 am, Mimi and Eric walked down to the secondary school in search of a student who could escort us to the waterfall. They came back to pick us up and we all ventured out. We met our guide, Issac, when we got to the school, but he said we had to wait for someone…Simba walked out of the door and asked us if we were ready to go! I definitely wasn’t expecting to see him, but it was a very pleasant surprise! The “waterfall” was absolutely gorgeous…it’s more of a stream that twists around rocks with some small falls here and there…but it was a beautiful morning to spend outside with friends and the other volunteers. We came back from the waterfall in plenty of time for lunch, and realized that we needed to ration the available water bottles because Edward had gone to Iringa town and left his office (with all the water bottles) dead-bolted…oh Africa! We rested after lunch, and then I went down to the Secondary school around 3! We even powered up a generator in order to watch some of the Chelsea v. Liverpool football game. Around 4, I came back to grab Mom and Aidan (who were slightly delayed due to Aidan’s mildly painful encounter with a bee) and then went to the football ground to play a causal game of volleyball. Scott and Shannon joined in, and everyone had a great time! My team won (YES!) so that was definitely a highlight as well! 😛 We learned that when someone messes up or performs poorly, you yell “shudu,” which means chicken food, but basically has the connotation that that person is useless (like chicken food!). There was lots of laughter as we finished the games, tossed around a Frisbee (which we struggled to explain is a toy and not a plate for food), learned the “mango dance” and just spent time together.

Yesterday wasn’t super exciting…I was supposed to cover Mr. Kihoo’s class, but the teacher in the previous period went WAY over in time so I didn’t even teach – a very African series of events. I did finish marking the exercise books in the morning, so it was still a productive day. In the afternoon, we had a session with the Form II students to help them practice their conversational English, which was full of questions about bride price, dating, getting married, how Americans feel about having a black president, trade, the American education system, etc. Every student I’ve met here is very curious about the American lifestyle and is very interested in the differences between Tanzania and the US…it’s been fun to talk to them about it.

I’m shocked that we only have two more weeks here…I know that’s how long some volunteers come for, but for me, the past 4 weeks have flown by! I’m honesty very happy here so far.  I know that there might be tough moments in the next two weeks, but I pray that God will guide me through and that I will continue to learn from each and every event.  I hope that this continues to be an immensely positive experience and that we remain as healthy and happy as we have been.  We’re very blessed!

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Me and Edward…he’s a wonderful country manager and we’re lucky to have him!

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Patrick and Joseph — My Tanzanian brothers 🙂

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Check out this giant roach…there’s a reason we walk with flashlights at night! 😛

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On the walk to the waterfall

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Sibling love 🙂

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Waterfall pictures with Simba 🙂

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MADGAP Adventures conquer the waterfall!

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So glad to have found a best friend 🙂 [We’re not intentionally matching!]

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We love taking pictures with signs (especially when we have no idea what they say!)

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Representing American women by kicking butt at volleyball 😛 HA!

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Post-volleyball…we were tired!

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Me and my guys…I’m very lucky to have these great friends!

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Besties 🙂

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Practicing the Mango Dance with Simon

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SHUDU!

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