Friday, February 24, 2012

B-day Party

Using Pidgen Swahili with our gardener Gasto, I learned a few weeks ago that his 2 children had back-to-back birthdays coming up. (My dad's birthday is the day after mine and I've always felt that makes our b-days even more special.) When I told Gasto that I would like to make a cake for Veronica and Albert, I wasn't expecting much more than giving them a couple of presents and watching the kids play in the yard. However when people started arriving mid-morning and Mama Albert began cooking over the fire, I realized we had a bona fide party kicking off!
Need more proof?

Party hats!

Stroller Rides for all. Our double wide fits way more kids than a pony.

A cow made an unexpected appearance. When farm animals come crashing, you know your party is hopping.

The cake didn't hold up too well while we enjoyed a delicious meal of goat, roasted bananas, fried rice, bananas and Fanta. Note to self: butter cream icing may not be the best choice in Africa.

I was worried that I hadn't made enough until it came time to eat. Then Mama Flora cut the slices into bite-size pieces and the birthday duo fed each guest a bite. This was followed by each guest being given their own spoonful of ice cream! Do you know, it was surprisingly satisfying.

Gus didn't get any cake but he made a new friend!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Mama Josephine's

We have so much to be thankful for about the community we have returned to here in Moshi. Within walking distance
from our home, I can stroll with the boys to a small grocery store (It has 4 aisles and I swear almost 2 of them are
taken up by really bad cereal knock-offs.), the international school and its wonderful playground, and Townes's
preschool. Mama Josephine is from Kenya and she opened this preschool in the fall. It is a delightful place for 2 1/2 to 4
year olds with an emphasis on play. Townes has been going 2 mornings a week and returning one afternoon for football club
and another for his Swahili lesson.

I've been impressed with the things that Townes has come home talking about and it is obvious that he enjoys his school and
classmates. For the next 6-8 weeks, Gus and I will have the chance to see a lot more of what goes on there. Mama Josephine is
traveling out of TZ to attend to some unexpected family situations and she has asked me to come in a few times a week to teach
so that other mothers will feel more at ease with her absence. Frankly, her helpers are completely capable of teaching but I've
agreed just to help maintain the positive atmosphere that she has built up.

This week's focus- oceans and the letter 'Z' which is being pronounced the British way, 'Zed' As if my dad's eyes hadn't already
rolled when he read football instead of soccer! Gus seems pretty content to go anywhere:

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Road Trip!

This weekend we decided to get out of town for the first time since Christmas for two reasons: to show our friend more of Tanzania
and to get some relief from the heat! Rakesh has made it into the Buckley record book as our first visitor and we have greatly enjoyed his company. Hopefully ten days of close proximity to the emotional roller coaster of a 3-year old has not completely turned him against the idea of fatherhood. Or at least it has been balanced out by Gus's continued sweetness.

Marangu was our destination without much in mind other than relaxing, swimming a bit, and enjoying a good meal under the stars. Marangu is known for being the base town for Kilimanjaro climbers and the Marangu Hotel was originally a coffee farm that was started in 1907. By late afternoon on Saturday, it was beginning to cool and we played some bocce ball on the lawn while hoping that the clouds would clear for a view of Kili. The next morning I pushed for a family photo and this was about as good as we could manage!

After breakfast, we hiked to one of the seven waterfalls in Marangu which now has a 'Chagga Musuem' with sculptures and stories from the biggest tribal group of northern Tanzania. Townes impressed us all by hiking on his own for about an hour and a half but no one was surprised when he wanted to spend the same amount of time throwing rocks into the water. Not everything changes when you move halfway around the world!