Sunday, October 12, 2008


There's always parts about living in Africa that could be considered "inconveniences" or "problems" but that I am learning to choose to see as "adventures." And sometimes, I succeed.

Last week we saw two chalk lines headed down our road and around the corner. They also happened to pass directly through our driveway. A couple days later, when we saw workers digging a trench between those two lines, we got a little worried that the trench was therefore headed for our driveway.

And indeed, it was, as you can see from the picture above. The water company decided to put in a new pipe and figured our driveway was the best path.

Thankfully, after living here five years, I've had enough practice seeing such things as "adventures" that I actually saw the whole thing as rather humorous. After making friends with all the workmen by bringing them orange Kool-aid, they were all very helpful when it came to passing children and bags over the large trench in order to get in and out of the car and in and out of my house. And when it rained and the entire thing became one giant mud pit and I was still trying to get in and out of the car with two small children, it became even more humorous.

One thing is for certain: Life does not get boring here.

However, lest you think I am now an expert at being "adventurous," I am struggling very hard to take the recent news of more power cuts with an adventurous spirit. During the entire year of 2006, Tanzania endured a major power shortage and we were without electricity from 7 am till 7 pm each day. Now there is once again a power shortage, and starting last week, we are without power from 9 am till 6 pm on Mondays and Wednesdays. I'm afraid this will be only the is often the case.

It certainly is not the end of the world to be without power two days a week. There are many people in the world, including most of Tanzania, who never have electricity, but when you have it, you depend on it. All of the work I do at home (school projects, lesson planning, and work on my master's degree) is done on my computer. But probably the hardest part is no fans now that we are entering summer.

So. I am trying to remind myself that there are far greater inconveniences in life, and I should be most concerned about how power rationing affects the economy of Tanzania, since so many businesses and factories are reliant on it.

Okay. It's an adventure, right? We'll play outside in the sprinkler more; I won't have to worry about getting my computer work done since I can't do it anyway; and it will make me all the more grateful for when the power is on. Such is the stuff of sanctification.
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