Saturday, May 23, 2009

6 Drips

So yes, the 6 drips from Tatesbrook have arrived. A week ago actually. And I've been bullied into making this post. So here it is. We're having a blast people! We've been busy! I feel busier than I've felt in a long time, and as I type this I am exhausted. Just a few hours ago I was talking with a student, and in the middle of one of his sentences I actually fell asleep. Yeah. He suggested that I take a quick nap while he went to help in the kitchen! Kim on the other hand, told us today that she's had more sleep and rest this week than she can ever remember. And yet everytime I look up she's running around doing something. Perspectives.

So our team of 6 people arrived last Saturday, and we've been busy meeting students, discipling, praying on campus, taking trips up the mountian, hanging with Maasai, and experiencing full-force culture shock. But when I searched their cameras for photos to post, this is all I could find:

Here's your "children, spouses, youth leaders, brothers and sisters."
All are mostly alive and well.

We have a week to go and much much much to do and see! Pray for us all!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Name that Spice!!

While on our Zanzibar trip, we did a spice tour and saw many of the spices we use everyday and many we rarely use all being grown in their initial and natural stages. Can you name the spices and fruits below by their pictures? 10 points for every correct answer!

Hint: 1, 3, and 6 are fruit, 2, 4, 5, 7, and 8 are spices.

1 (a&b)
(bread fruit - identified by: Jenni)

(nutmeg - identified by: Ashlee)

(starfruit - identified by: Ashlee)
(ginger - identified by: Ashlee)
(pepper - identified by: Kevin Eby)
(litchi fruit)

(vanilla - identified by: Ashlee)

(chili peppers - identified by: Jenni)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Coffee or Tea?

I read in a book another traveler's experience of flying within my current continent of residence, an account of the welcoming hospitality that will always tell you what you want to hear. This traveler was flying on a local airline when approached by the flight attendant. "Would you like some coffee or tea ma'am?"

The traveler thought, why yes, that would be nice. "I'll take some coffee please."

"I'm sorry, we only have tea."

Makes perfect sense, right? Why offer it if you don't have it? Because people want the choice, it sounds better to offer it... ok, I really don't know why.

Last week, while visiting Zanzibar, we arrived at our hotel and were taking in the sights, smells, sounds, eagerly anticipating all that our vacation had ahead of us. The packet on the hotel we'd read had told us of two restaurants on-site. One a sports cafe with simple meals such as pizzas, sandwiches, etc. The other a finer dining restaurant. Our reservations had promised us a dinner on the beach at candlelight the first night, served through the main restaurant, and we were very excited about it. When we checked in, the manager at the desk gave us all that we needed to know. He pointed down the paths and gave us directions, straight to the pool, left to the cafe, and right to the restaurant. He even provided us with the times each place served every meal through the day.

When the sun went down, dinner time neared, we prepared ourselves and took a walk down the path to the restaurant. But we arrived to find an empty and dark building, with only a small sign in the middle next to a security guard, which proclaimed the restaurant to be closed for maintenance. We later found out that it was right in the middle of a 2-month closure! And yet still, our booking (put together specifically for this season, rates change monthly) included meals from said restaurant, the manager gave us directions to it and told us all of the standard meal times, and we had not a single indication that it was closed until we actually arrived!

Some parts of a different culture are just hard to get used to...

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Allure of Zanzibar

This week, between some heavy work and business, we took a short vacation to get off the mainland of Tanzania. We went to Zanzibar, the large island off the coast which is heavily Muslim, a former slave trade center for this part of the world, a former and current spice trade center, home to the famous Zanzibar doors, and a current tourist destination for pristine water, beaches, and much history and culture. We stayed in Stone Town, a city full of stories from past and present, and loved by many.

The journey was a big part of the fun in this trip! It was Sawyer's first plane ride, and what a ride it was! Here we are checking in, formal indeed. Then getting on the bottle rocket, here called an airplane. Our comfy little ride held a total of 8 passengers on the flight out, 12 on the return flight. Here inside the vehicle you see a full house. Notice the gentleman sitting just to the right of the pilot. The co-pilot you ask? No, just the last guy to board the flight and the only seat left available. The pilot did at least ask him to please not touch anything. JJ was quite frightened throughout the flights, really. But when I asked her to give me her best "freaked out" face, this is what I got...

When we arrived on the island of Zanzibar, we stepped off the plane and walked around somewhat aimlessly between other tiny aircraft looking for the terminal. But we were immediately distracted by a large mass of nice vehicles and a multitude of men in red uniforms playing what sounded like marching band music. In front of the band were some arches and a literal red carpet which ran up to some stairs obviously awaiting a plane to reach them. Then outside the airport in our taxi, we passed streets filled with schoolchildren waving Tanzanian and Iranian flags. We were told that someone of importance from Iran was coming for a visit, only minutes behind us. A vice-president or something...

Around Zanzibar and Stone Town we had a great visit, here taking in the weight of some heavy history, seeing a memorial to the former slaves and the rooms in which they were held awaiting auction. Most would go to Arabia, some to the west. We also were able to roam the streets, visit the markets, and tour some old and well-preserved homes, palaces, hotels, and forts. A spice tour and evening on the beach sampling fresh seafood (we had shark, blue marlin, red snapper, and shrimp, all tasty!) rounded out the trip. Here, a local Tanzanian climbs a palm tree to retrieve some coconuts, and mama and baby wear their fruit from the tour.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

First-Century Diaries

We are finishing up a series of books that have been not only a lot of fun to read, but really good for our walk with Christ and enthusiasm for the church. Gene Edwards' First Century Diaries are a collection of novels which tell the stories of Paul's missionary journeys and subsequent work in training up church planters and leaders. The books run first to last as The Silas Diary, then Titus, then Timothy, then Priscilla, then Gaius (we've read Titus through Priscilla). Technically listed as fiction, these books are more like facts from the Bible with creative conjecture to fill in the gaps and make a storyline. There's plenty of conjecture... like the thorn in Paul's flesh being a man set against his ways and going to all lengths to thwart Paul's attempts at raising up a Gentile church, or like the dialog and banter between Paul, Barnabus, Timothy, Priscilla, and others. But the stories really are a joy to read, and the more we read into them, the more we notice intricacies of the events in Acts and their relation to Paul's letters to the churches.

As an amusing side note, while reading we couldn't help but wonder if Gene Edwards was contracted by our company in writing some of these, as many of the quotes out of the books seem to come directly from our company's manual (or at least generally accepted principles of church-planting)!

So grab one or two or five and give them a read. We think they'll spur you on to a deeper walk with Christ, and you'll whip through them and enjoy it at the very least!