Saturday, June 12, 2010

I think I have finally been able to post a few pictures! It’s taken over an hour to load them, but I wanted to be able to at least share a few visuals to go along with some of my stories. Time is flying by—I can hardly believe that I only have a little over a month left!

This is what a lot of Dodoma looks like

This past week one of our friends, Martin, had a birthday but no one has ever thrown him a birthday party. Leah, Leisha and I decided to show him what an American birthday party is like. (We were also celebrating my birthday which is next week, but since I have had a memorable party practically every 23 years of my life, I decided that it was more important to make sure it was his party, not mine). We made tons of delicious food, including guacamole and mango salsa, eggplant stir-fry, and even Thai coconut curry! Since we don’t have an oven, we had our friend Tiffanee (the other MCC volunteer) make a cake. It was a lot of fun, especially since our friend was so appreciative. I think he’ll be demanding a birthday party from here on out!

Mango salsa, homemade chips, and guacamole. We went with a Mexican team to honor the first World Cup game...

My main task here at work has been interviewing people who have taken out loans to gather information about their current situation. It has involved lots of walking around to nearby villages, home visiting, and meeting with groups of people. The other day my translator, another service worker from the church and I ventured out to find a client near the church. But, when we got to her house, no one was home. We did find lots of pigs though—about 50, including dozens of piglets! I enjoyed taking pictures of them, but one of the big mama pigs kept sticking her snout at my camera…

The pigs, my new friends. Not quite as cute as goats, though!

Last week I interviewed several people during a monthly food distribution at one of the smaller Mennonite churches on the outskirts of town. It’s nice having a translator because he can do most of the talking while I get to do other things, like take pictures and hold cute babies. This baby below that I am holding is named Thomas. At the time he was not only sick with malaria, but also had just fallen off a table a few days earlier… I almost took him home with me, but decided that his mom might not be willing to answer my questions about her loan if I did that.

Me and Thomas

Hopefully by the end of next week I will have most of my research done and then will be able to compile some reports for the church. I just learned that they also want me to conduct a seminar about making business plans and bookkeeping... two things I am not qualified to teach about, but we'll see how that goes!

Although I am really loving living here in Dodoma, I am starting to really get excited about coming back to Seattle. But I have no idea what I will do when I get back. Any suggestions?

Oh, and congratulations to all of you who are graduating--to all my cousins and Chris! Hongera sana :)


  1. You will come and be with me, that is what you will do. We have a lot of missed time to make up for... and you should bring Thomas too. I like him :)

  2. Love the photos, especially the one of you!!!! Miss you. pops