Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Fundi Beatrice

One of the things I love about living in Tanzania are the tailors. It's difficult to find workable clothing here, but beautiful fabric is plentiful, and so are tailors. The tailor I've most recently been using has been way too flaky, so I've been looking for another one. I was thrilled to find a young woman last week that's just a few minutes walk from our house. Her name is Beatrice, and her shop is made out of one half of one of those big shipping containers. She uses an old-fashioned foot-pedal sewing machine. I've already had her make me a dress, a skirt, and curtain ties for my kitchen curtains--all for the equivalent of about $12. Made to order; done the next day. Can't beat that!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Learning to be Mom

This week I got a taste of what my life will look like a few years from now! Christa (grade 7) and Victoria (grade 5) were staying with us while their parents were training new missionaries in another part of Tanzania. At the beginning of the week the car broke down. Which is usually not a big problem because there are lots of taxis here--but things are much trickier now with Grace and her car seat! Then Christa got sick, then Gil got sick. So that meant getting up in the middle of the night to take temperatures (we don't treat fevers lightly here because of the threat of malaria), taking Christa to the doctor, keeping track of who took which medicine when, figuring out how to get Victoria to and from school without a car...whew! I'm respecting my own mom more and more!

Thankfully, after a couple days we were able to borrow a school car, and everyone recovered by the end of the week. Victoria even got her research report on jaguars done on Thursday night, by candlelight because the power was off! We do enjoy having extra kids around, though--and are already ready to start working on our second adoption! (though we have to wait until Grace's is finalized).

In the midst of all of this, Grace started walking! She is certainly quite proud of herself.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

The Highlight of a 5th Grader's Year

Friday we returned from our 4 day trip to Amani rainforest with the 5th graders. Four years ago, I took my sixth graders on this trip; now it has become a 5th grade tradition. Gil and I chaperoned last year as well, and this year was just a bit more interesting because Grace came along! A fabulous time was had by all and we were able to spent great time building relationships with the 5th graders.

Grace did fantastic--she was in a good mood the entire time, up until the bus ride home, where she cried for about 4 of the 7 hours! (That was not fun, but you couldn't really hear her crying above the rest of the noise in the bus!) She was extremely popular among all the 5th graders (as always!) and rode on Daddy's back for almost all of the hikes.

We did all sorts of wonderful activities--this trip builds so many memories for the kids! My former students (now 10th graders) still talk about "our" trip and have asked me SO many times, "When can we go back?" Playing in a waterfall, visiting a butterfly farm, exploring a tea factory, roasting marshmallows....all a kid's dreamland!

This particular 5th grade class is an absolute riot! Almost every kid in the class is overly dramatic. Their teacher let them put on a talent show one night, and the performances they came up with had us all cracking up! They would have gone on all night unless we hadn't dragged them off the stage.

And of course, I can't end without posting a couple of gorgeous pictures taken by my very talented husband!