Saturday, January 14, 2012
Today is Trevor’s birthday! We couldn’t take the whole day off, as there were posts to be set. So we headed off in the morning to finish off the pile that we have and hope that the last few we need would be delivered while we were there. They weren’t.
We only had to sink about seven more but it took quite awhile to do it, partially because we had to move some major piles of materials and partially because we were a little slow after our oversized day yesterday. We got them all in and when we realized that the new ones weren’t arriving, we decided to go on home and eat lunch, then regroup from there.
Before leaving, though, we did our traditional “thank you” speeches, with the Tanzanians wrapping up the day first and then our own birthday boy Trevor delivering our collective message of appreciation to our hosts. Each work day ends with speeches like this and it has become a nice ritual to hear what people will say.
One glitch in the day was that a pole we set yesterday was broken off by a neighbor who chose to cut down a tree very near the post. The neighbor turned out to be a young person who had been an orphan but who had been taken in by a family in the village. Somehow the village leaders knew exactly who had cut that specific tree and therefore exactly who was responsible for the broken post. The “adoptive” father had to come and make a formal apology to all of us for the behavior of his household and we just offered our forgiveness and our willingness to replace the broken post as soon as we can.
Despite this minor setback, we still had a good work day and even discovered a shortcut that shaved some time off of our long (uphill) walk home. We lounged around a bit, took showers then went into town to celebrate Trevor’s birthday over dinner at a hotel there. Our food has been excellent so we were afraid that it might not be worth the bother to eat out, but when plates of fried chicken showed up, we were sold.
The hotel even came up with a birthday cake for Trevor (actually a “bisthday cake” according to the writing on it), which, as we mentioned before, is quite an undertaking here. It was not the greatest cake we have ever had, but we all appreciated the effort that the hotel made on our behalf.
We came home just after 10:00 and found the night sky to be so striking and awesome that we set up some speakers on the lawn, dragged air mattresses out and just took it all in for the next two hours or so. There was a bit of giggling and talking, a bit of conversation about astronomy and astrology and a lot of “ooh’s” and “ah’s,” especially when shooting stars streaked across the sky. It seems like all of our wishes are coming true here in our African home and even though we miss all of you back in the U.S., we remain very happy here still.
Tomorrow we need to catch up on laundry, clean the camp, organize missing photos for the blog (assuming we can post, which has gotten more difficult once again) and then go back to Simon’s to swim in the waterfalls there. Work restarts on Monday. Stay tuned!
Gabe attempting to take pictures
Jesse taking a break in the forest
On our way to Trevor's birthday dinner
Trevor blowing out the candles on his birthday cake!
One of the little boys at the worksite
Alec dancing to the drums
An Avocado tree at Simon's farm
We finished painting the school!
Wilson showed us how to grind coffee beans
Two kids by the worksite eating lunch
All dressed up and ready to celebrate Trevor's birthday
Amelia and her friend making sweet beats with sticks on a tree
Adding a little flavor to the work day with some new accessories
Matt and Jackson moving one of the last remaining posts into position