A Thankful Thanksgiving

Last week I celebrated Thanksgiving for the first time, thanks to living with a number of Americans here in Musoma!

This year, I’m very thankful for the friends that God has given me.
I’m thankful for the new friendships that have grown here in Tanzania.
I’m thankful for the old friendships, with people back home, which God has helped to sustain.
I’m thankful for the modern technology which enables easy communication with friends and family far away.

I’m thankful for the recent visit of a friend. I’m thankful for God’s beautiful creation in and around Musoma which we were able to enjoy:

 

I’m thankful for this group of new friends who introduced me to an American Thanksgiving last week:

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Praise God for his wonderful provision!

What are you thankful for this year?

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Then the rain came down.

In Musoma we’re enjoying one of our rainy seasons. Everything is so green!

Here, when it rains, it really rains!

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A couple of weeks ago, when my house-mate was away for the weekend, I was enjoying cooking in the kitchen on the Friday evening. It started raining pretty hard, but that’s fairly normal at the moment.

When I’d finished cooking I went into the sitting room, only to find what had previously been a small hole in the ceiling (caused by the resident bats) was now a much larger crack!

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There was water and bat poo, washed in from the loft, all over the floor!

Praise God, it could have been so much worse. The week before we’d moved all of the soft furniture elsewhere, for totally unrelated reasons.
When the ceiling cracked, it would have been right above our sofa; however, as it was, nothing at all was damaged! Praise God for his careful timing!

I was able to elicit helpful advice over the weekend, and on Monday morning a colleague came over with a local “fundi” (handyman), who had already been booked to be working at my colleague’s house that day.

They investigated the loft …

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washed out the gutters and replaced missing nails in the roof…

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trimmed the trees whose branches were in danger of damaging the roof further…

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and replaced the damaged ceiling board…

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all in one day!

We’re now thinking of potential mural ideas for our blank canvas!

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All in all, a pretty adventurous weekend, but one that I actually quite enjoyed and which left me feeling very thankful: for helpful colleagues, for hard-working handymen, for my Swahili holding out all day, and for God’s perfect timing and provision.

A weird kind of normal.

Recently I’ve noticed a few things, which would certainly have been classed in my “weird” category this time last year, that have become normal for me here in Tanzania.

Here in the office we get a number of visitors … not all of them human:
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These cheeky monkeys are playing and fighting on our office roof almost every day: amusing at times, but they can be so noisy!

When I open my curtains in the morning, I have to try to remember to do so with care, otherwise I may end up with someone landing on my head …
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Geckos love to hide between the layers of my curtains! I mostly don’t mind them, and they help me by catching insects. However, I prefer it if they refrain from climbing on me.
I managed to catch this little guy who was hanging out on the inside of my mosquito net one evening:gecko3

Another animal related one … our neighbour found this hanging out in her yard:
chameleon1Chameleons are fairly common here, but they’re not usually so orange!

Last weekend I visited the local second-hand market with a friend:
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You can find some great things there, although I was pleased that I was with someone who knew her way around … it feels a little like you might end up in Narnia!

I also realised last week that there are some things that used to be normal, but now seem very strange …
Our short rainy season has started, and so the weather is a little cooler than normal (getting as cold as 19 degrees Celsius at night!).

Last week I walked to work in the rain, and wore a jumper! Weird or what?!
rain2This was taken from my office during a midday thunderstorm; I was very pleased to be inside in the dry!