This past week, we were blessed to be a part of a few days of a free orientation with the Young Life staff here in Dar. We are partner missionaries with Christian Reformed World Missions. We have a wonderful Regional director who is stationed in Kenya who we may see 1-2 times a year, but there are no CRWM people in Tanzania to welcome us, train us, etc, like there are with many other organizations that HOPAC teachers come through. It was so nice to be invited to join one other new family who will also be working at HOPAC, the school chaplain and his family and YL staff who are ministering at HOPAC.Young Life has a strong presence in Africa. We have learned bits and pieces about the ministry happening here through YL, and both of us are anxious to see if being involved in YL is part of the Lord's plan for us while we are here. There are so many opportunities for ministry, outside of teaching at HOPAC, and we are prayerfully seeking where we should serve, trying not to jump into anything to quickly, but waiting on the Lord's leading. Please join us in praying for wisdom in that regard.
Throughout our three days together, we got to know one another and heard how God brought us all to HOPAC, learned some about the culture in Tanzania, studied a bit of Swahili (and had to practice it with local Tanzanians- yikes!), ate fantastic meals, toured around Dar to learn where some important places are and enjoyed fellowship together. To have such a strong sense of community already three weeks into our time here is an incredible blessing.Yesterday, we were able to all take a boat to the island of Mbudya and spend some time relaxing, flying kites, snorkeling and resting. It was a bit overcast and started to sprinkle a few times, but it was a great day together experiencing the local culture, beauty and food. When you get on the island, you can order a limited variety of food, but most people go with fish & chips (french fries). You place your order, the men go out into the ocean and catch your fish, come back to cook it and voila, lunch is served! And for those of you wondering, I just got chips, no fish. :)
One of the young girls in our group had an unfortunate encounter with a sea urchin. We learned that squeezing lime juice on the sting sites will help the spines dissinigrate, and soaking in warm water helps ease the pain. Rubbing Papaya on the site is also supposed to be helpful! Marc and Isaac both had run ins with little bitty jelly fish - they both got a sting on the knee that bled a bit, but neither of them noticed the sting until they saw them bleeding.
Overall, we had a great day and were able to take a few pictures of the island. Before we left, Marc and I were graciously given a very nice camera - a DSLR - which we had been wanting for our travels, but was certainly not in the budget. Yesterday we took this new-to-us camera to experiment a bit. Enjoy a few pictures of the island!
|Thanks for the kite, Grandpa!!|
|She looks happy here, but she did NOT want to get in the ocean!|
|Finally cashed out after a long walk on the beach!|
|He also found a dead octopus!|
|I met a local man, Samuel, on the beach who tried to sell these to me. |
I didn't buy them, but I did practice a little Swahili! :)
|Can you see the hermit crab back there? He was HUGE! |
Compare it's size to the bottle next to it & you'll see what I mean.