for those of you who hadn’t heard yet, i am [finally] here safely. it has been an amazing adventure, but I am enjoying it so. i think i’m just about over jet lag, and i love the culture- i was expecting culture shock, and there for sure has been some. i speak just about no swahili, but i’m learning. our first night here, i ate a fish that still had it’s head on. our well collapsed, so last night i showered in “water conservation mode”- turn on the water, get wet, turn off the water, lather up, turn on the water, rinse. i honestly think it only took slightly more water to wash my body than it took to wash the dishes.

i’m teaching english here and working with the preschool class. the preschool teacher speaks almost no english and i speak even less swahili, and the preschoolers speak a tiny tiny bit of english, but yesterday in class we had a lot of fun. there’s one little girl named asha in the class who is deaf, and i felt like we had a special connection- she couldn’t understand a word of what was going on, and neither could i :).

tonight, i’m spending the night in a hotel room where you could sit on the toilet and be showering at the same time, but the people we are staying with in mangapwani assure me that this hotel has no bedbugs. in any case, it’s only $15 a night (and we’re working on making that lower).

God’s provision so far on this trip has been incredible. When we arrived in mainland Africa, we had to spend the night somewhere before we could catch a flight or a ferry to Zanzibar. Thankfully, Sanah had a friend in Dar es Salaam (the city we were in) and they fed us and put us up in their house and let us shower for free, and gave us a ride to the port so that we could take the ferry here. It would have been not only stressful but potentially quite dangerous for us to attempt that on our own. My ATM card has been working, my cell phone has been working (though beware, I think it costs quite a bit for you to call or text me…) and here I am using the internet for less than $2.50 per hour. And it’s air conditioned in here, which honestly I’d be willing to pay $2.50 for even if they didn’t have the internet. Sanah says they have great juice here, so I may splurge and spend $2.00 on a passion fruit juice in a little bit.

in any case, if you want to contact me, send me an email. we do have internet at the house, but it’s very slow and costs money, so i usually only use it for very short emails and replies. however, if you send me an email there, i promise to reply within a few days, and have a longer reply the next time we come into town. we have yet to go to the beach, but hopefully tomorrow it won’t be raining (except that the well collapsed, so rainwater is our main source of water right now).

i love you all