I just got an e-mail update from him about all he's doing and experiencing, and it sounds like the trip is going really well.
He's there with the founder of Samaritan Village, the president of the American board, and a few other people who also joined them on the trip. It took a while for him to e-mail me because they are trying to get a new computer that was just donated to the Village hooked up with internet access.
It's almosthere, and all of the people here are working hard preparing for a new year's party. They are cooking a goat. Yes, a goat. That was alive this morning. They are expecting over 400 people. I wish I could just type and type and type, because I want to share with you how everything is going, but I don't really have time, so here is a chronological summary.
I took a ton of pictures on the way back, it took us about 1:15 to get back to the Village from the airport at Kilimanjaro. The first thing I got to see when we arrived was the dorm, where we are staying. It is huge! It's built like a condo or apartment complex, with two floors, two units on each floor (left and right) with stairs to the second floor balcony in between the sides. Each unit has three bedrooms, three baths, and a 250 sq ft living/dining/kitchen area. The rooms are a decent size too. The bathrooms aren't all the way finished yet, the shower is just a shower head sticking out of the wall, no pan or curtain. Only the first floor is finished, and even then the kitchen area only has a sink right now.
I got to walk around and meet everyone shortly after that. The kids are beautiful, and so happy and smily all the time. I will have a lot of pictures, but I'm really really really wishing I had remember to bring our video camera!!
From the front porch of the main building you can see Mt. Meru (MAY-roo, I got that wrong), and it is stunning. It is so beautiful here, the weather today was a little cool when I first went outside (maybe 65-70 degrees) and it warmed up to 80 this afternoon, with a cool breeze under partly cloudy skies.
Last night we went (along with some of the kids) to a Bridal send off party. (For the fiance of the father of the orphanage) The best way to describe it is a combination of a wedding reception/rehearsal dinner/bridal shower. It was at a banquet hall (the large back room of a place called "The Police Officers Mess Hall". There were about 150 people there, and the party lasted from 6:30 until 11:30. I will tell you more about it when I get back and show you the pictures, but it was really neat to get a glimpse of their culture.
We got home at midnight, and slept soundly...until 5:30am when the Swahili praise music started blaring from the chapel, and I heard Josephat preaching loudly for the morning service. So sleeping in wasn't an option.
This morning I had pancakes (pan fried corn-flour sweet thick tortillas) and a banana fresh from the market for breakfast, then I spent some time journaling, walking around taking pictures of the place, and helping out a little with cleaning up the grounds.
This afternoon we went in to Arusha to do a little shopping; we went to a handmade craft market and I bought small gifts for you and sylvie.
Oh honey, there's so much here that I want to tell you about, so much that I can't even fit it all in this email. But there are two things that I haven't mentioned yet that you need to know. 1) I haven't seen a single mosquito, even last night as darkness fell and I was standing in the parking lot of the police officer's mess hall. and 2) the well water here is safe to drink! I have been drinking it for 24 hours now and I still feel fine!
I'm feeling well, though a little tired. I am glad to be here in this beautiful place, and I really need to learn swahili. That phrasebook and Tanzania book were very helpful to me, as I already had the basic conversation pieces (hello, goodbye, how are you, good, fine, yes, no, please, thank you) down before I got here!
I love you, I miss you, and I have already taken 350 pictures. kiss and hugs to you and my beautiful daughter!
I can't tell you what a blessing it is to get these e-mail updates! It is also such a blessing for him to get to go there to see Arusha, the orphanage, and to meet the people before we actually move there. God has given me so much peace about all of this, even just through this one short e-mail.
Anyway, just wanted to share the update! Hopefully there will be more soon, and of course lots of pictures when he gets back. You're prayers are so appreciated!