it has been a busy week. a busy one point five months, for that matter. i am at the half-way point of my anticipated time here in africa already. in some ways, i feel as if i’ve been here forever. and in others, time has flown by so rapidly. i have much work to do yet so i’m hoping that the last one point five months doesn’t go by so rapidly.
will i stay longer? honestly i do not know. part of me clearly sees the possibility…the potentiality of that. to complete what i wish to do. because living off the clock and calendar is a free-ing experience and lets your heart and spirit wander and explore. because the beauty of the land, the love of the people, the connections are strong. i realize that many, perhaps most of you believe that i’m staying. but since at this point i really don’t know, i’m choosing to live in the now moment and when i know, i will know. there is a point of reality – i have no employment and will need income at some point. there are those that i miss and wish to see and talk to. it’s no longer about jonesing for ice, A/C, clean feet, etc. those things no longer factor in. i even have become fond of walking everywhere! but i promise this. you’ll be the first to know when i figure it out. 🙂
here’s highlights of this last week….
SAFARI: beginning with this amazing adventure. if you are on fb with me, you have already seen the photos from each day, which was a different national park. i cannot express fully enough how precious and wonderful this was. the beauty of the land and the animals, being able to see them live and personal in their own element, hours in the safari jeep with the wind blowing in the face (along with the dust lol), the fresh air, organic-ness of nature. i never dreamed or considered that one day i would experience this and it was hands down the best thing ever. coming back the last evening, with the windows open in the jeep, appreciating mt kilimanjaro, singing along to mari’s ipod, i realized that in that moment of time, i was completely relaxed, content, happy. if you are not on fb, and you would like to see the photos, here are public links to my albums (hope this works)
Safari Day One: Lake Manyara (a great first day!)
Safari Day Two: Ngorogoro (the most fantastic place ever!)
FAREWELL! fond farewells to our scandinavian friends from norway and sweden (mari, madeleine, sara, monessa); in a hostel setting, we become like family in a short period of time. we have laughed many times about how we fall silent at meal times, passing food, the sound of knives and forks clinking on the plate demonstrating that at the end of the day, we are hungry, and serious about eating. evenings in common area, working on laptops, laughing about the day’s events, sitting outside with a beer. weekend walks to town, lunch, shopping at the market place. however, the end of may will start the busy season here and olga and i will be joined by volunteers from ireland, germany, spain.
GOAT/MBUZI ANYONE? monday before we departed for safari, 25 april (i am picking up the african and european way of dates), was a two goat day. our primary focus was to visit njia panda village again, to help prepare food, serve, whatever was needed for the village children (120 or so) that rarely have meals to eat. but..first johnson had the responsibility of killing a donated goat at msamaria, so this was the first goat slaughter several of us had experienced. hunters and livestock farmers likely would have no issue. this is meat for the children to get much needed protein. but seeing the grisly details…i’m happy that i didn’t have to participate (i did take pictures, is that bad? 😉
at njia panda, we shared in tasks of cutting up onions, cabbage, etc. oh, and the meat of the day? goat (mbuzi). just coming from the killing, it did take a bit of mind over matter to eat the meat. but it was a good meal and a great day. played and loved on the kids. danced with them to african music. shared blessings said by Pastor before we all departed. these children are often left alone when parent(s) must leave the home for various reasons. often they have no food for days. the surrounding country side is gorgeous but they have little in their life. but they are ready to hold your hand, receive your love and give to you their unconditional love. there are many needs here at njia panda, but two stand out to me at this point. you will be hearing more later. one is a little five year old boy that has mucho pain when he pees. apparently he has been seen by doctors and he was at a hospital for surgery. however, the doctors after closer scrutiny said that the issue was bigger than they realized and he would need surgery at the other (bigger/better) hospital. from what i understand, this will cost only $350 usd. i hope for more information tomorrow when we return to njia panda.
also, i have (in previous blog and fb) shared photos of a two room mud home, that has 11 people sleeping in it. there are a couple of ways to help the mama – get a team of volunteers to come to spend a couple of weeks to build her this shelter. or we need approximately $800-$1000 usd to hire local fundis (craftsman) to build the home – that would cover labor and materials and provide her and her children much needed shelter. if you want more information on either of these, you know where to find me.
love you all, miss you. thanks for the skypes, messages etc.
rafiki – friend
dada – sister (as is, I’m with ya sista)
kaka – brother
simba – lion
twiga – giraffe
nyani – baboon
oh, skype me at debmarshall77 🙂