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Parents Moving to Tanzania in 10 Days!

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A few weeks ago we found out that the Christian school which Silas and Jason are attending was in need of a principle. Carmen's parents are both teachers and having cross culture experience we mentioned in passing that they should come...

We could never have imagined, but they will be coming to Arusha in 10 days! They will be staying in a house that is less than a ten minute walk down the road. At first, this sounded too good to be true, but it is quickly becoming a reality. We will actually have family in Tanzania!

This has been a very big step of faith for them and we would encourage you to help them out if you can. Below is their letter with more information. 

Dear Family and Friends,
Recently our work at ProCare Physical Therapy came to an end. With this closing of a chapter in our lives God has opened the door to an exciting new opportunity to serve Him in Tanzania! Moving to Africa in Ten Days!After much prayer and consideration, we have accepted an invitation to work at Chris…

Navigating the Shortcuts

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Getting to work has been an adventure of its own. Sometimes I drive, but lately I have been walking or riding my bicycle. It is a great  way to go over all the Swahili greetings (there are many) and get some fresh air (or be thoroughly dusted by a large passing vehicle).
Many people walk great distances as few own cars and the public transportation does not go everywhere. 
Below I have taken a video of my bicycle ride to work. I hope you enjoy!


Some Blog Changes: I have aimed at keeping up a weekly blog but it is difficult to find the time to continue this aspiration. As such, we will be changing to a bi-weekly schedule. 
Please let us know if there is anything you are curious about and would like to see a post on! We appreciate your feedback. We want to keep you involved in what we do even though we are half way across the world!
Be Praying This week I am in Nairobi, Kenya (four hour drive North), visiting the MAF Kenya team in a day of prayer. Thus Carmen is alone with all four kid…

Cake Fixes Everything

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A Year of Joy On Thursday the girls had their first birthday. The girls have had an exciting, event filled life as they have traveled countless hours by car, train, bajaji (motor tricycle), and plane. Through it all they have been a joy. Their is nothing like sweet, happy little people.

They say that the first year with twins it the hardest but we are grateful to have survived mostly unscathed! There were times of tears, overwhelming exhaustion, and feeling like we were failing at the juggling act. However, we have found God's timing of giving us twins as an unexpected blessing.

No other time in our lives so far have we been in such a good position to help each other, be at home often, and now kpp;l[98'-[-l;o0have help managing four under five years old. It has taught us a lot of patience and given us a fresh dose of joy each day... the smiles, the cuddles, the sweetness, the love and kisses.

Two Personalities on the Move Their personalities are starting to unfold the older t…

Brokenness

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As the new pilot for MAF Tanzania I was able to go on a medical outreach to the village of Gorimba for the first time last month. I was deeply impacted. Hundreds of mothers crowded in a line leading into a small room where I and a Tanzanian nurse sat to fill out paperwork (in Swahili) before these women and their children could be seen by the nurses and doctors. Sweat poured down their faces as they held their babies under the harsh sun, waiting for hours before it was their turn. They had already traveled far across the dusty bushland of Tanzania to get here. Flies buzzed around the babies' faces attempting to drink the moisture around their eyes and mouth. As sad as this is, they are used to it. The dust, the dry seasons, the hard manual labor, and the struggle to survive and raise a family. Life is harsh in the remote villages.


A month had passed since that first experience, and we were scheduled for another clinic in Gorimba. I looked forward to my second visit - to help the nu…

In the Kitchen

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This blog post will be different than our normal posts, but we wanted to share with you one of the most common and most simple dishes to prepare here in Tanzania. It is eaten almost every day and is called mboga majani.

Translated directly, it is called vegetable of leaves. Each family prepares this dish with slight variations. Joy agreed to let me video how her family likes it! 
We made it with an equal amount of these two greens. I do not have the names of them in English but the small ones (as seen above) are a slightly bitter like kale. 
The large leafy one (above) is slightly prickly and very similar to spinach or swiss chard. You can substitute any leafy greens! It will taste more like the one prepared here if you use at least one semi bitter green. 
I only had one tomato today, but usually there are equal amounts of carrots and tomato. Some families also put in a bit of thick coconut milk when available. 
All in all, the recipe is quit simple and is composed of the following: 2…

Through Jason's Eyes

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Most weekends the boys and I go for a ride on my bicycle to run errands or just to grab some street food or a snack. At any rate, it is a great time for the guys to get out of the house and have some male bonding. Today Carmen needed some meat from the butcher which is down the road from us. Unfortunately, the camera turned off shortly before the butcher, but we got some awesome non-stop narration from Jason on the way there. He was pretty proud to be the cameraman!


Reflection on Three Months

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As I sit here writing, I am refreshed by the rain from last night. The dust is down, the air is fresh, and the plants seem a bit revived. As the rain in moments past has molded the future, I believe we can look to our past and see ourselves today as an awesome testament of God's faithfulness and involvement. I am reminded of a verse:
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23  God has been faithful. When we were married almost seven years ago, we had no idea what God had in store for us. We could never have guessed that in our first seven years of marriage we would undertake completing college, work at six different jobs, be involved with four different mission organizations, learn a new language, and bring four children into the world while transitioning through sixteen moves to four different states and three countries. All we can say is God has provided the strength we…

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. 

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 s…

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 …