Wednesday, 28 January 2009
Monday, 5 January 2009
I feel both excited and apprehensive…
Excited because there’ll be lots of new opportunities at work, with the chance to grow in reliance on God as we step out in these different activities in faith. Also looking forward to going home, seeing friends and family.
Apprehensive because there were lots of struggles in 2008, so what will the year ahead be like – will I have learned from them and changed for the good – dealing better with the struggles of the future? How will friendships develop? Will I grow spiritually? Will I develop better relationships with Tanzanians, a better understanding of the culture and a closer connection to it? My prayer: Jesus, be the centre, be my source, be my vision, be my satisfaction, be my reward, be the one on whom I rely, be my discipliner, be my friend and brother, be my all in all.
Out for a walk near my home, in the fresh green growth that the rainy season brings.
Eleven of us met up in Dodoma, the capital city of Tanzania, and stayed with friends there who have a lovely large home that could accommodate us all. We were nearly all missionaries from different Wycliffe projects across Tanzania. I went along with the Wisbeys (good friends of mine who I’ve mentioned before), who had been at language school together with most of the others there. Although I wasn’t at language school with them, I had met them all at our annual conference.
Christmas dinner was an amazing feat of good home cooked food – roast chicken and beef, home made stuffing, bread sauce and gravies, roast potatoes, veg and creamed corn pudding. Dessert was of a traditional American flavour - the most amazing pecan pie I’ve ever had (not that I’ve had very many, but it was truly scrumptious and dangerously more-ish). On top of that, someone made Christmas cake, and a few days previously I’d made mince-pies with Liz Wisbey (making our own version of mincemeat) which turned out really well.
Eating Christmas dinner (that's Liz on the right)
One of my favourite activities of my time there was walking up Lion Rock, from where you get a fantastic view out across the city and the surrounding countryside. However, this walk had to be taken fairly early in the morning to avoid the worst heat of the day – it’s a lot hotter than Mbeya. I also enjoyed going to an ice-cream shop, having crispy duck at a Chinese, reading, chatting and playing games (oh, and sleeping!).
Now back at home I am enjoying pottering around, doing householdy things (I get a strange satisfaction from doing housework) and doing up the lounge. On the way to Dodoma I went shopping with the Wisbeys in Iringa (where I went to language school), where there are several projects run to help people such as single mothers or the deaf. I was able to buy a lovely dyed cloth as a throw for the sofa, and a multi-coloured woven rug for the floor. It’s brightened up the lounge no end! The Wisbeys had bought me a lovely wall hanging for Christmas which just happens to match the colour scheme perfectly, so I can’t wait to get that up, make some cushion covers and so finish off the lounge makeover!