It's a lovely Saturday morning. I just made cappuchino muffins from scratch. I'm sitting down for a cup of instant coffee (meh) and thought I'd update you all on life the last few weeks.
* Geneva started standing on her own - about 5-10 seconds at a time. She's starting to seem more like a toddler and less like a baby. She'll be 10 months on 9/4!
* Marc and I were able to take 3 - 3 hour long Swahili lessons. We learned so much in a short time, and now have some great resources to do some study on our own. We both have a desire to learn the language to help us as we attempt to engage our neighbors, people at the market and the duka's (shops), and our community in general.
* Marc and Isaac started school this past week! On our way to school Wednesday, Marc mentioned feeling a kidney stone coming on. So, his first 3 days of teaching were spent on pain meds and not feeling 100% at all. We're not sure it's passed yet, but he's doing better.
* Isaac is loving Kindergarten so far! He is 1 of 3 Americans in his class- how cool is that? Marc was able to look up where all his classmates are from - Canada, Tanzania, UK, Zimbabwe, India, Korea, South Africa, Denmark, and Austria. He loves the playground at HOPAC and so far that's his favorite part of school. :)
* Our new daily routine is Marc and I getting up between 5:45am - 6am. We get the kids up at 6am to dress, eat and pack the backpack. They certainly take after me in the morning...SLOW. We're out the door about 6:50am to get to school. Marc heads up to his classroom and I've been waiting with the girls for Isaac to go to class at 7:20am. I'm still learning what to fill my days with and where to volunteer, but I come back to school by 2:15pm to pick them up. We're trying to eat dinner around 5pm, have some family time, baths, Bible story & prayer time and bed around 7:30pm for Isaac and Hope. Geneva is usually in bed at 6:30pm.
* We went to a church, God's Tribe, this past Sunday. It was our 6th Sunday here, and the 3rd church we've visited. We felt home. We both had tears in our eyes at various points of the service as we listened to a Biblical, gospel centered sermon and really caught the vision of the church. It's a church plant, and actually launching on September 8th, so we're really 'getting in' at the beginning of things. Take a moment & check it out! Here is the link: http://www.godstribe.or.tz/.
* We've had power outages, which is expected. They haven't been bad - a few hours at a time. I'm thankful for a gas stove, so I can still cook when the power goes out. New friends of ours had power out for almost 4 days and actually came to stay with us. The kids LOVED having 3 other kids staying with us - they were a bit disappointed when the family left!
* We hosted dinner for 21 people last night at our house - 4 other new teachers from HOPAC, their spouses and children. We had a great night of fellowship and have really enjoyed how quickly community and friendships are forming here.
* I (Gretchen) am co-coaching the primary school swim team. It will be 2nd - 5th grade and we will practice on Monday & Friday afternoons from 2:30pm - 4:00pm. We have 2-3 galas each term. While I prefer working/ministering with middle/high school students, at least I'll be a step or two ahead of the primary students when it comes to swimming! I fear the older kids would know more than me! :)
* Overall, we are truly adjusting really well. We are joyful, sleeping well (finally), remaining flexible, and learning the ropes of life here. The peace we had leading up to the move has continued. I've maybe mentioned it before, but we are truly thankful that Marc was able to come here in April for a week and get his bearings. Now that we're here, we see the many ways in which that was hugely beneficial to our whole family feeling settled. Thank you, Plymouth Heights GET team for your support of that trip!
Thank you all for your support, your prayers, your emails/comments and love! We miss you all & the calendar is WIDE OPEN for visitors. We've got a guest room...just sayin'.