I hope you are feeling better than you have for a long time and that you are seeing new good signs of life every day. I have been praying so much for you and for all that you have been going through. I pray that you will grow, and flourish and live and thrive again.
I am feeling very homesick for SA right now – missing the ease with which things can happen there compared to here! Our town has the second biggest population in Tanzania but it is so difficult to do shopping and get things here. To have mince we would have to grind the meat ourselves… if we can get good meet that does not taste too bloody! Today I long for biltong, cream soda, licorice… Aaah. Just a few days and we will be there! And to also meet Sandra, Andrew’s fiancé… I cannot wait to meet her and to see everybody else from the family too. The end of our three months is a long time…
But there is a lot of good in our city too. It is a beautiful city, set right on Lake Victoria: we can see a bit of the lake from our yard. There are several rocky outcrops all over the city, many that look like big giants’ toes sticking out of the earth in huge humps. There are many trees around and normally there is a good amount of lushness throughout the year, because of how close we are to the Lake. We have many birds around too, and it is a very beautiful environment. Our climate is pretty regular – it does not often get too hot and I very seldom have to put on a jersey. Really pleasant. Right now it is the middle or rainy season, so it is a bit chilly today. We have had a few strong storms and the black clouds over the lake gather into a massive mass of thunder and it must look quite terrifying to the poor guys on flimsy little fishing boats, so I am very glad to be inside a house. The roads become even more challenging than usual: there are many ruts along the dirt road that comes down to our ‘suburb’, but the all the little kids in the area love the chance to get muddy!
Probably the most wonderful part of living in Mwanza so far has been the amazing friends we have already made. We have joined a church which has brought us into contact with some good friends. There are several missionaries here and I have made friends with a few of them – it is great to have friends who are real, helpful and where we can laugh together. One family stay just one house away and have three kids. The two little girls are just gorgeous and we have taken a liking to one another. We have a trampoline in our garden and when the kids come visit one hears shrieks of joy and fun echoing off the walls… I love it.
We inherited 2 dogs from Tunza, the lodge where we have spent about 2 and a half months altogether this year, while looking for houses and trying to get our lives organised. The Mama dog, Tulip, is an Alsatian with a gorgeous temperament. I realized this weekend why they are called German Shepherds: one of the girls had fallen and hurt herself. Tulip tried to pick her up/ mover her to where the big people were sitting so that she could be cared for! The rest of the afternoon she watched out over the children – every time there was a hurt or she thought something was wrong she would bark and once she came to me and grabbed onto my clothes to pull me to go help. She is so gentle and kind, but has a bark of thunder (especially when cows and goats wander past – we stay near to some fields) and is a good watch dog to have!
Her daughter is just about 4 months old now and came along with her Mama. She is willful, intelligent and naughty. But such fun! Tuna loves to bite anything she can get her teeth into : we need to be very careful with what we leave around, especially shoes. Here it is common to leave shoes at the door when you go into a house and we need to warn our guests to put their shoes up on a ledge. Yesterday Tuna got into the house and took one of my shoes out. When I needed to put my shoes on I first had to go searching through the garden to find her, and the pair of shoes with a number of little holes added for design! Eish! We do not get very expensive shoes here: practicality is the most important factor, but still…
And then she grabs onto the skin whenever she can. Her teeth don’t often break through the skin, but she still has sharp teeth that can squeeze a bit of pressure: eina. She loves walking between my legs and this activity is improved by about 375% when I am wearing a skirt. She just loves the feeling of that. And then she starts a fight with her mom, and hides away between my legs, under the skirt. My balance is not brilliant so I need to watch my step very carefully! She is a sweetheart and she makes me smile so often. I am really glad for our 2 little sunshine bringers.
We will probably do a lot more traveling next year: there are some very interesting places that Deon needs to investigate. I will let you know about that when I know more.
This week is speeding by. We fly in to Dar es Salaam on Thursday – I am looking forward to a few decent shops, or a lovely meal at a favourite spot that looks out over the sea. Their food is good and the waters of the ocean smile back at us. Then on Friday we fly into SA. Whoohoo! Happy days.
We are missing our farm terribly too. We have shares in a game farm near Hoedspruit, with our own house on the farm. The stillness and tranquility are fantastic, and we get to be in the bush as much as we like… bliss. Truly.
We are both praying for your healing process. I pray that the work God does is thorough and that you will get to a place where you are totally whole.
I look forward to seeing you soon – we hope to get in a visit when we are in Jo’burg for Christmas.
Some doggie photos are attached for you.
Lots of love