29 December 2014

remembering our year 2014.

One year ago today, we were saying goodbye to dear family and friends, knowing very little about the adventure that would soon begin. We're happy to say that after one year in Tanzania, we've survived! We've made it! We've had our share of ups and downs along the way but here we are.

So it's time to bid a fond farewell to 2014 and to welcome in 2015! But first, let's take a look at the ROY 2014 (Remembering Our Year) - a really awesome summary of what we've been up to since we took off on a jet plane and landed in Mwanza, Tanzania. Enjoy!

22 December 2014

poverty of things versus poverty of ignorance.

There was a time when I warmly greeted the notion of living more closely with the poor. Having less. Living simply. Surrounded by those consumed only with meeting their basic human needs. And I was going to use my skills to help them achieve their goals and reduce the amount of poverty in their life.

How romantic it all sounded. Or how foolish.

Eleven months in Tanzania has taught me a whole freakin' lot. One thing I have come to discover is that there are (at least) two distinct forms of poverty. I will call these (1) poverty of things and (2) poverty of ignorance. The experience with each has been so different.

15 December 2014

five ways i have… and haven’t adapted to tanzania.

Wow, friends, it’s officially December. Or Desemba, as Tanzanians say. Maybe where you’re sitting, the snow is falling, you’re cozied up by a fire with hot cocoa, listening to your first Christmas song.

For us, the holiday season looks a little different. The weather is still… hot, with some long, tropical rainstorms interspersed. Mangoes are being sold everywhere, piled up in huge mounds at the marketplace, sorted by size.

december in tanzania.

And we've almost been in Tanzania for a whole year! So instead of posting about a weighty cultural issue, I thought I’d share with you five ways I have and haven’t adapted to Tanzania since we moved to Africa.

08 December 2014

tanzanian weddings: hot dogs but no cake.

Ashley and I recently attended our first Tanzanian wedding. I would sum-up the experience as life-changing. Okay, maybe not that. But it was a ton of fun.

Who was getting married? The brother of one of my Tanzanian co-workers.

How well did I know the groom? Didn't know the man existed.

Why were we even invited? This is Tanzania. Don't ask questions. Just live.

Much like how I broke down the marvel that is a Tanzanian graduation, I'll take you step-by-step through the experience of an urban Tanzanian wedding.

01 December 2014

the dream: an aids-free generation.

At Shalom Care House last week, a young girl walked into the classroom where I often work. Her name is Mary* and she's about twelve years old. I smiled when I saw her, because I always enjoy having her around. Mary is smart but more than that, she's very persistent. She rarely complains.

I hadn't seen her in awhile, so I started teasing her. "Where have you been?" I asked her. "Did you get lost?"

"No, I've been really sick," Mary told me.

And then, I remembered that she's HIV positive.