Saturday, April 26, 2014

Happy 11th Anniversary to the Hubby

Remember when we looked like this? Wow! Happy 11th, babe.

Friday, April 25, 2014


One thing I can't do without is my translator App on my iPhone. It's nothing fancy but I go everywhere with it and use it a zillion times a day. I decided to create a Wordle out of the most recent words that were saved in the App's history. Thought it would give an interesting snapshot of what words I'm using (and failing to remember because I've looked them up over and over again!).

Monday, April 21, 2014

Happy Easter

For the second year in a row, we (me and the Rossers) dyed Easter eggs and had an egg hunt with the neighborhood kids on the Saturday before Easter. This isn't really a custom that Tanzanians participate in, so it's hard for the kids to fully understand what we're doing and why we're doing it. But that doesn't stop us from having a great time!

Caitlin helping Steve to dye his egg and pick out stickers while Steve manages his lollipop.

Check out this little egg.

I think my favorite part of the day was when one of the girls saw David walking back from the duka with juice he just bought for the kids to drink and she says with glee, "ARE WE GOING TO HIDE THE JUICE NOW!?"

Dogs, kids and chickens all race around the yard to find the eggs.

We had to keep a close eye on the dogs and chase them away a lot because they were keen to get the eggs and eat them before the kids could find them!

Counting the eggs to be sure we found them all.

After the hunt was over, all the kids were able to eat a few eggs and a glass of mango juice.

Enjoying the fruits of their labor...well, I guess that would be the fruits of the chickens labor.

Smokey waiting for an opportunity.

Hope everyone had a wonderful Easter Sunday and wishing you continued blessings for the whole Easter season.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Two Weeks of Workshops

The past two weeks of Lulu have been quite exciting. Last week all of the Lulu participants in all 5 of the groups around town had the opportunity to study different hand craft skills. We offered crocheting workshops, workshops on making gift cards, on sewing different stuffed animals, and on making rosaries. The girls were able to chose which of the handcrafts they wanted to learn and then they traveled to another group for the class. This offered the participants the opportunity to learn about other Lulu groups and to meet girls from another area of town. I had a great time hosting new girls at the Mabatini workshops and loved just sitting with them as they quietly worked away.

A participant from our Mabatini group learns how to sew animals out of fabric.

Sikudhani, the teacher, is showing off the "mifano" or examples that the girls are learning to sew, a ball and a lizard.

This past week the regular Lulu participants had the week off for holiday, but the facilitators and we coordinators were busy with facilitator workshops. All week long we had sessions to help the peer educators develop new facilitation skills, learn new topics, and increase their skills to be better at their jobs as Lulu facilitators.

Listening intently. Photo by Corine 't Hart.

On Monday I had the opportunity to facilitate a 90-minute session on healthy relationships and domestic violence. Did I mention it was in Swahili!? It my first time presenting this topic in Swahili so it was a challenge. But all-in-all I thought it went well and I was really proud of myself.

Facilitating my workshop. Photo by Corine 't Hart.

Facilitating my workshop. Photo by Corine 't Hart.

All week long, it was so wonderful to see the girls laughing and enjoying each others' company, asking insightful questions, challenging each other and the facilitators, and expanding their minds and world-views. It makes me so happy to be here and so honored to play even a small part of facilitating this change in them.

Our whole crew for the week. Photo by Corine t' Hart.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

How's Bubu?

I haven't posted much lately. Things are busy with the normal stuff of work and rest.

But how's Bubu, you want to know.

Chilling, as always.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Another Year, on to 36

It's hard for me to believe that a year ago I was in the US on a quick, last minute trip due to ongoing illnesses. The year has really flown by and here I am, still in Tanzania, celebrating another birthday, my 36th. I am so happy that this past year I have been able to put a lot of my health issues behind me  and concentrate more on work and enjoying my life here.

Thanks, everyone, for all the well-wishes, emails, Facebook messages, notes, etc on my birthday. It really means a lot to me to be remembered. I had a very nice day. I spent the morning at the one and only nice coffee shop in town for a work meeting. It was much nicer than it sounds because my coworker is also a friend and I enjoyed a cool iced tea while we planned and chatted. I also spent a few hours with these ladies.

Then I got to go out to dinner with this guy.

Here's what was on the other side of the table.

Wuw! I can't believe that I actually look like this because this is what I still think I look like.

Anyways, here's to another great year of getting older, to health, happiness and meaningful work!