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Haydom

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Tuesday last week I flew out with another MAF pilot, Kirstein, to Haydom. Our schedule was full with flights out to even more remote villages, and we would not return back to Arusha until Friday. On one of the afternoons we needed to haul to the maximum capacity of the aircraft, and so I was left on the ground. 
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As I waited to catch a few pictures of Kirstein taking off to the villages, these two girls kept begging me to take a picture of them so they could see themselves. They were quite pleased, and a little shy, when I showed them my camera screen.
After he was off, I began my hike to the large hill beside the town of Haydom. Having grown up in the mountains of Idaho, I miss the tranquility and peace of being in the wild.
Being away from busy city life gives me time to think and process. I began to contemplate how different Tanzania is from the world I grew up in. For instance, it took me multiple visits to the Haydom airstrip before noticing the ridiculous amount of trash on the …

Beans and Dust Devils

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Above is a short video about what the boys and girls have been up to. Life sure is interesting with these guys!
Tivoli, caught in the act of escaping. She is very proud of herself because she managed to reach up and undo the latch above her head. 

They get dirty so fast out here. Soon they will be walking. That should at least save their knees.

Nothing like bananas!

The past two weeks have been very full with MAF standardization. This involved ground courses and flights in order to learn to operate with MAF International procedures.
My last MAF standardization flight took us to a few airfields which we fly into regularly. After crossing the escarpment, which is a plateau dividing very dry land and mountains covered in rainforest, we had a slight diversion to avoid thousands of flamingos which had taken flight over the rainforest next to Lake Manyara. One of those times I wish I had brought my camera!
One of the three airstrips we flew into that day was Matala. See if you can locate i…

Shule

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First day of kindergarten and pre-school! 
Shule (shoo-lay) meaning school in Swahili. We had thought we were going to homeschool the boys this year and already had done four weeks when God placed Christ Church International School in our path. It seems to be everything we wanted in a school including being only a 100 yard walk down our street!

Excited about the library and all the new books! You would think we don't have any at home...


All the students and teachers gather for morning worship, prayer, and devotions. It is a small elementary school with about 9 children per grade, K-7th.

 We had been looking for friendship opportunities for the boys and feel very blessed that the Lord has granted the desire of our hearts. 
Kindergarten and 1st grade combined (Silas is in the back left, orange shirt). His first friend is a Tanzanian named Daniel. He is very excited!

Jason, though a little more shy than Silas, seemed to have a wonderful day and enjoyed his new friends. Here they are…

Keeping Me Busy

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I was in the process of writing a little bit about what I have been up to when the boys came running to us with a baby tortoise. It was a big distraction and interesting enough to take precedence over my previous thoughts. 
From a little bit of research, this is a Sulcata Tortoise or also called an African Spurred Tortoise. They are the third-largest species in the world and live up to 100 years. Males reach around 200 pounds (90 kg) and females 90-100 pounds (45 kg). Of course, this one is not yet fully grown :)
The boys found it out by a dripping spigot. An interesting fact is that they are very susceptible to dying from dehydration up until they are two years old. They have to soak in shallow water to hydrate their skin and shell. 
Size and rate of growth depends mostly on the environment they live in. Based on what we read, it seems this little guy might be less than a year old.

The boys were fascinated with the turtle and were very distressed when they could not find it after I …

Saturday Medical Evacuation

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As you all know, I have been working towards transferring my USA commercial pilot license to Tanzania. The last thing I have left before submittal is to log six hours in a US registered aircraft. As it so happens, there is an organization which operates with US registered aircraft named FMS (Flying Medical Services). The plan is to log the hours during their medical evacuation flights.
This Saturday morning, I received a call. There had been an accident near Loliondo and two men had been severely injured. The first sustained broken ribs, a bad fracture just below the knee and a broken foot while the second had broken his arm along with other injuries. They needed a transfer to Arusha as the injuries were beyond the hospital's capabilities.
Upon arriving in Loliondo, we de-fueled the left wing in order to leave some fuel reserves at the airport. We had plenty of help.

The man was in a lot of pain and received a synthetic morphine shot to ease the pain. Besides taking off from a ro…

Freaks of Nature

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A picture is worth a thousand words. Jason, this is only the beginning.
Frozen fruit popsicles for the first time.



You see the baby gate on the left? Ya, someone left it open. They are supposed to be on the other side...
At least they are cute about it

The other night Carmen and I were on a night stroll when we heard something shuffling around in the bushes. Upon discovering the source of the noise to be a kurunguyeye (hedgehog) I attempted to reach my arm into the thorn bush to take a snapshot with my phone. This little guy, however, was not very photogenic or helpful. 
Now, I will take a moment to say that hedgehogs are one of Carmen's favourite animals. In fact, at one point while living in Texas she was in the process of obtaining one as a pet until we were informed of the no-pet policy in our apartment. Bummer.
Anyway, as you may imagine, we were both filled with tingly feelings of wonder at the beauty of cute and cuddly creation. So we decided to continue our walk through a…