Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Back to a Place Where...

I've arrived safely back in Musoma, Tanzania after a crazy summer of travels and studying.  After making it through the Nairobi airport safely Friday, and a loooonnng bus ride down Monday, I'm settling into my "new" house as I finish up papers from my masters and prepare to teach some great kiddos in a few weeks!

It's been awhile since I've left and returned to the same location.  It was kind of a good feeling this time, knowing that despite having a new place to live (no more guano falling from the ceiling!), the people would be the same.  And for that, I am extraordinarily grateful.

So here are a few of my thoughts as I "return" back to a place (or, at least people) that is starting to feel a lot like home.

Back to a Place Where...
- dirt piles, dirt roads, and dust clouds announce your arrival
- chickens cluck beneath windows and roosters announce dawn with gusto
- closed-mouth showers and filtered-water regimens reign
- mosquito nets hang overhead and zappers lay on bedside action packers
- limited Swahili gets pulled out, and laughter at mistakes is always the right choice

- dust accumulates at exponential rates
- skirts and gauchos are the daily norm, and sweatshirts/jumpers are a luxury
- made-from-scratch meals ARE the menu
- group facebook posts excitedly announce when broccoli and lettuce are available at market
- fingers call out “mzungu” faces amidst the beautiful Tanzanian tapestry

- detailed conversations of tropical diseases are more than normal over dinner with friends
- hug-ful send offs and jumping-up-and-down-screaming welcome backs from kids aren’t rare
- “transition” is normal, and yet seriously understood, accounted for, and accepted

- palm trees thrive and ripe banana bunches fall behind your house
- rain is actually appreciated instead of bemoaned
- hedges of bamboo are serious landscaping options
- fresh pineapple is cheap and oh so sweet

- a small package of German chocolate chips is frozen and savored
- the most basic gifts (a scented candle, sticky notes) bring abundant joy
- even old “new” music is exciting
- dinner at student’s houses is normal
- parents of kids are Bible Study buddies, prayer partners, neighbors, support group, encouragers…
- friends are family and family is your support
- the people make this place feel like "home"

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