Friday, January 12, 2018

Head for the Hills

While the northern hemisphere is running to warmth this time of year, we down here in the southern part of the world run to the cold.  

Okay, so not actually cold, unless you consider 75 degrees to be cold (which we do).  Every year in Tanzania, we spend the week after Christmas in the mountains, to escape the suffocating humidity in Dar this time of year.  

We go with friends, and the kids run off and we barely see them, and the grown-ups read and chat and play games.  We get our jeans and hoodies out of storage and pretend that we're cold.   Beautiful, peaceful, soul-lifting.

Every year, "Aunt" Alyssa gives each kid the equivalent of a dollar and sends them into the market to see what they can find.  (As I recently blogged, Tanzanian markets are crammed with cast-offs from other countries.)  Whichever item makes Alyssa laugh the most is the winner.  

Grace's find was the runner-up:  A baby shirt which is obviously "The Letest Design."

But the winner was these (intentionally) split toddler pants, which apparently are a real thing in Asia to help kids get potty-trained.

New Year's Eve

Grace's 12th birthday--more on her later!

Good-bye, lovely Lushoto. We'll see you again next year!

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Medina Life, December 2017


So technically this was November and not December, and technically it wasn't even Thanksgiving Day (which is not a holiday here), but the Sunday before.  But we had pumpkin pie and stuffing and mashed potatoes, and everyone played Wiffle Ball, and we even had a two-year-old who wouldn't stand still for the group picture.  So it was Thanksgiving.

Then we descended into the Christmas season at HOPAC, which was pretty much just as crazy as the Christmas season in American schools.......

Primary School Christmas Party

And everyone dressed festively.....

And the classes had a "Decorate-Your-Teacher" competition, which was pretty awesome, though I'm not sure the teachers have totally forgiven me for it yet.  

Primary School Christmas Musical

Thanking our wonderful music and drama teachers who pulled all of this off.

Visiting my friend Lucy's house...

Our annual trip to the water park with my worker's kids....

St. Columba's Mbezi District Christmas Party

We rented out HOPAC for this event, and Gil was asked to plan games for the kids.  So he did, but the adults got into them a lot more than the kids did!

We are so thankful for the fellowship this group gives us!

Picnic-Style Christmas Eve Carol Service 
....the way we do Christmas on the equator.

Christmas Day!

We hung out with good friends on Christmas Day.  After years of making gingerbread houses from scratch, I decided this working mom couldn't hack that this year.  So we used crackers instead.  Oh my goodness--so easy and just as much fun.  I'm never going back to homemade.  

And when you can't throw Christmas snowballs, you make Christmas bubbles instead.