Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A New Pet?

When you find a hedgehog in your garden, of course your kids will want to keep it as a pet.

I must admit, he is pretty cute.

But, thankfully (for his sake), he was released again to forage and burrow.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Mom and Dad in Tanzania

It's been a few weeks now since my parents came to visit us in Tanzania. In some ways, it feels like they were here just a few days ago, and in other ways it feels like their visit was a simply a really good dream and I have to pinch myself to make sure it was real.

But it was real. And we had a marvelous time together.

We felt like we were able to introduce them to quite a lot of our life here during their brief visit. We traveled and did some of the "touristy" stuff, but we were also able to spend an entire week at our home in Dodoma, which was probably my favorite part. It was great for Mom and Dad to see a slice of our life: meet our friends, see our office, go to our church, and experience how we shop.

Here are some snapshots of the visit:

We spent their first day in Tanzania at the beach in Dar es Salaam. It was a nice, relaxing way to start the visit and help them begin to adjust to the time difference (8 hours head of what they were used to).

Josiah wanted Grandma to experience a bajaji (3 wheeled scooter) ride in Dar.

We also had to take my folks to T-Square, one of our favorite inexpensive restaurants in Dar, where you can get delicious Tanzanian food.

On our way out of town, we overwhelmed them a bit at Slipway, a tourist place where you can buy arts and crafts from all over the country.

Halfway home to Dodoma, they got to experience a "Tanzanian drive thru," buying pineapples and cashews through the car window.

At home in Dodoma, we took them to our church,

They visited our office and met our co-workers,

I took them shopping at our local open-air market,

And we had dinner with our house helper and her family.

But as wonderful as all of that was, I think my parents would say that two of their highlights from the trip were our visit to two Burunge villages and a wildlife safari at Mikumi National Park.

In the village areas, they were able to get a tour of some Burunge farms and homes,
And we had a lovely lunch with the family of one of our co-workers. Mom and Dad had so much fun!
During our safari, we all put our cameras to good use shooting photos of of elephants, giraffes, impalas, buffalo, and zebras roaming around in their natural habitat. We even saw hippos and lions, which are sometimes difficult to spot.

We all had a wonderful time being together again after 1-1/2 years. It's hard to think that it will be another 1-1/2 years before we see them and other family again back in the States. But we're so grateful to have these memories to hold on to until then!