The first picture is of Hope and Lazaro in the mulberry bush, thoroughly enjoying themselves. They are best friends and always have fun together at whatever they're doing. They can't be separated. If you take Hope somewhere, she'll be asking where Lazaro is and why he isn't with us the whole time and same with Lazaro.We've been taking Hope and Lazaro to church with us every week and they absolutely love it! They sing the Sabbath school songs all week long and teach them to the other toddlers. The second picture was taken at church and the third picture is of Sarah, Lilli, Hope and Lazaro and I after church. Every Sabbath, we would take them upstairs to have lunch with us which was something special for them. The last picture is of Sarah scraping out the bowl to feed them the last little bits. They're funny twins and though I only knew them for 3 months, they had a big impact on my life and I will always remember them.
Hope and Lazaro left Cradle of Love today. They're four-years-old now and it was time for them to move on. They came here as premature twins four years ago because their mother died and their father did not have the means to take care of them. If they went back to their father's village even now, they might not survive. So they've moved to the SOS children's village where they will grow up and go to school. I know this is hard on them and it brings tears to my eyes thinking of them lying awake in their new beds right now, confused about what's going on and not knowing anyone around them. But they have each other and I believe they will adjust quickly and make friends. They created a lot of life and energy here at Cradle of Love. They were like two of the main characters here. Hope loved to help out with the little ones and Lazaro loved to entertain them all. They are fluent in both English and Swahili and could even translate for me, which is quite impressive. They are beautiful, brilliant kids and I will always keep them in my prayers. I would love it if you did too. They are dripping with potential and I want to see them excel in life and know Jesus as their number One friend and Father. I hope to visit them in their new home every now and again while I'm still here.
Now I will proceed to share my day with you...
This is Head Teacher, Minja, at her desk. There are many bulletin boards full of rules and schedules in her office (all hand-written...there's not a computer to be seen and none of the teachers use one). Many stacks of books live in her office also. The stack of books to the left are some of the Class 6 English exercise books. They're made out of various things like newspaper, magazines, and tape with some lined paper sandwiched in the middle. Most of them are torn and falling apart.
Hanging out with some students during break time. I was sweating buckets in the hot sun and I'm wearing summer clothes. I do not understand why their uniforms have to be sweaters. You definitely don't need a sweater to sweat here in Tanzania. I suppose they're used to the heat, though...it doesn't seem to phase them no matter how many layers they are wearing.
After teaching at school, Sarah and Lilli met me in Usa for lunch. We paid 1500tsh ($1) for a big plate of chips mayai, a popular dish in Tanzania. It consists of french fries with fried egg all fried together in a big pancake shape. They bring you some fried cabbage to go on top as well! With some hot sauce drizzled on top, it's all delicious, although extremely unhealthy. I'm pretty sure if I saw the kitchen they made it in, I would not want to eat it, but....that's why I don't look!
Here are some chips (french fries) being deep-fried outside of a shop. This is how pretty much ALL food is cooked here. They deep fry potatoes, mandazi, cooking bananas, and much more. If it's not boiled in oil, it's at least fried or cooked with a lot of it. Chapati is fried with an awful lot, cabbage is shredded and fried in tons of oil and added to rice or ugali. Even rice and beans are cooked with excessive amounts of oil. Now, I'm not really complaining, because I actually kind of enjoy all of this greasy stuff, but at the same time, I know it's not good for me and it often leaves me feeling gross and gives me pimples, which I don't care for. The pictures below are of some fresh fruit being sold along the road. Now the fresh fruit here is great, inexpensive, and leaves you feeling fresh and energized... and it doesn't give you pimples.
After eating lunch, I rode the dala dala to the post office fully expecting there to be an empty mailbox, but to my pleasant surprise, it was full! I got two packages and a letter!! This was the cherry on top of my day, so Sarah took a picture of my excitement :)
Preschool went well in the afternoon and it was an uneventful evening at the orphanage. After tucking the kids in, I came up to the apartment, opened my packages, read my letter, ate a bowl of oatmeal, and did this blog post. And that was my day!