Monday, March 23, 2009

Can I get a shout out for ChaCha?

Some of you seeing this picture will immediately begin salivating for some of the best chicken, and certainly the best restaurant ambiance ever known. Everyone else will probably say something to the effect of "what in the world am I looking at?" (Let's be honest, you won't say anything, because you're sitting in front of a computer screen. If you did say something, anyone within earshot would think you really strange. You can type it all you want, but I just don't believe you, you did not really just 'lol').

This my friends, is "Chicken on the Street". Our favorite local eatery in Morogoro. Truthfully, there's no posted name, and we have no idea what it's supposed to be called, so we use the obvious. Each night, these guys set up a grill on the street and cook the most succulent chicken in Tanzania. The man standing next to me is the owner, his name is ChaCha. I like to think that ChaCha loosely reminds me of my favorite golfer when I was a child: ChiChi Rodriguez. I should ask ChaCha about his skills in wielding a sword...

We just finished up a great visit with Sawyer's paternal grandparents, and we want to thank all who helped in getting them out here and who sent along with them some great stuff for our little boy! Now we're heading back to Kenya for one last follow-up, and then it's back to life as normal (right...).

Tutakula kuku!
lit: We will eat chicken!
slang: We will have a good time!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

A Round at the Local Club

Let me introduce you to golf in Morogoro, Tanzania.
1. Yes we have a golf course. I was not mentally prepared for that either.
2. No carts, must use a caddie, 3 players from one bag? No problem.
3. The rough is rough. The fairway is less rough. The greens... what greens?
4. The 'greens' are made from oil and sand, thus appropriately called 'browns.' The caddy carries a smooth piece of wood to smooth out the oil and sand in order to enable putting.
5. The view is amazing. Simply stunning. Doesn't get better than this!

Form: impeccable.
Ball flight: looks good.
Audience: attentive.
Scenery: breathtaking.
No, the ball didn't go anywhere near where I wanted it to.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

5 Swedish Girls and A Guy With No Pants

Today we took Mom and Dad on an African Safari. We did the usual thing... we drove, we looked at animals, we jarred across bumpy roads, we watched in wonder at God's creation, (being rainy season) we navigated some difficult mud-holes and major puddles. One thing we didn't expect though, came about mid-morning. We had ventured down a path less-traveled, and as noted above, we'd conquered some rather slippery terrain. After traversing nearly 30km and expecting to come to a turn to cross the river, we instead found an overflowed river surrounded in 5-ft tall grass and mud. Not going that way.

So we turned around and went back the way we came. However, coming around a bend and descending in elevation we saw 5 college-age girls jumping and waving their arms as if they'd been stranded on an island or lost at sea. We were not a rescue plane or boat, and we were driving down (crazy, I know) a road. So this was intriguing to say the least. I stopped the car and hopped out, only to be greeted with shouts of "We're Saved!" As I walked further down the path, I could see that all of the girls had pants rolled up to their knees, and they were standing by a Land Cruiser that was stuck in the mud with water up over the tires. In the middle of the puddle, water and mud up to his knees, was an old Swedish man... not wearing pants.

Their car was hopelessly stuck, and not being able to push them backwards, we decided I'd have to pull them out, and then we'd both have to turn around and careen back across and through the now deepened muddy puddle (or maybe pond, lake). And so we pulled their car out. Then to the audience and cheers of the girls and pantless man, two American residents of Tanzania with grandparents and 6-week old baby in tow splashed through the 2-feet deep muddy water and climbed out the other side to safety.

When all was said and done, they told me that they thought the puddle was impassable, but tried it only because they saw my tire tracks going through :). Never a dull moment on this continent!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Back in TZ

We're finally home!
We left Kenya last week, and spent about 4 days on the road, roaming around. We're now back home, and fairly settled in. Babu and Bibi H have come to visit, and Sawyer's quickly getting even more spoiled by the hour. Thank you all for your prayers over our travels. It's good to be home, and even better to get to share this with some of the people we love!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Animals Outside the City

Everybody says the first 6 weeks are the toughest. 5 down. 1 to go.

In all honesty, our little boy has already brought unmeasurable joy to our life. He's also taken some things (hopefully temporarily) from it, like normal sleep, confidence in decision-making, and the ability to watch a movie without a pause button or sound-blocking headphones. Still, we can't help but marvel at God's creation daily and thank Him for the family He's given us.

The past two months we've been living out of a hotel room, making almost daily trips to the hospital for a smorgasboard offering of doctors. Half of that was son-in-the-womb, half was son-in-the room. We expected to be home before now, but God had different plans. Sawyer has been struggling with some severe acid reflux, and Mama's been recovering from a fast labor and introduction to motherhood that severely shocked her system. Thankfully, we've been surrounded by wonderful people throughout our time here who have been nothing but help and encouragement. We think we're about ready to head home to the heat and slower pace of Tanzanian life, and we can't wait for a visit from the new grandparents!

Yesterday we decided we could take the claustrophobia and waiting around no longer, so we loaded up in the car and took Sawyer on his first official safari to the Nairobi Game Park. Yes those are wild giraffes with high-rise buildings in the background! We had a pleasant morning drive and were able to watch quite a few animals. Only once did Sawyer have a major pooping incident in which he left his mark on God's creation... and our car... and Daddy. We now have a couple more doctor visits and then a long drive home. Back in Tanzania we'll get to learn a whole new parenting style involving mosquito nets, village customs, electricity loss, and more rooms than one in which to live! Thank you again to so many of you who have been right there with us throughout. Your words, prayers, gifts, and concern have meant the world to us!