Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas in Africa

 Christmas Eve: I celebrated with Lilli, Sarah, and their two German friends visiting from Kenya. We delivered popcorn to the nannies on night shift downstairs, visited the tiny babies in the nursery, opened some small gifts, lit Christmas candles, ate chocolate that came from one of Lilli's Christmas packages, and played Christmas music. I stayed up until 3am waiting for my brother to arrive! It was an exciting evening :)

                                                                             Christmas Day
Jhana with her delicious onion chapati

Christmas dinner at Sonya's house! Mashed potatoes, elk roast, salad, chapati, goat, rice pilaf, ice cream, German chocolate cake, and pumpkin bread. It was original and very yummy!

Beth & Beau & Jen & Jon

Kellie being herself

Sarah the spinning doll


We had fun taking pictures out on the porch after the Christmas rain. The rain left beautiful, glistening, drops on every little leaf and pine-needle.

After spending a cozy Christmas night at Sonya's we walked over to her neighbor's house and milked his cow as a creative boxing day activity. It was an experience to say the least. When we were finished, his wife boiled the milk and served us fresh coffee made from beans off of their own coffee bushes. The next course was fresh goat which was a special holiday treat. The broth had small chunks of goat and a nice sprinkle of goat hair in it. We managed to choke most of the soup down, but Jonathan was the only trooper with the actual goat body parts that were gray and revolting. Ephrahim, the owner of the cow, had two beautiful children who provided us with much entertainment and smiles. We had a blast that morning with great conversation and fellowship. 
 4-year-old Emmy

2-year-old Edson

first time milking a cow!

The four of us!


                                                    Jennifer                                               Sonya
         Their kitchen is on the left and the baby cow is finally taking his turn milking the cow on the right.

Sonya's house

View of Mt. Kilimanjaro on the way to Sonya's house

Carrying pots and pans back to our house...we stopped at the little shop to rest our feet

Our Christmas crowd! 
-2 Germans from Kenya
-2 Americans from Malawi
-2 Germans from Tanzania
-1 Canadian from Tanzania
-1 Canadian from Canada
-3 American's from Tanzania (One of them is behind the camera)

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Babies

Amity, Rehema, and Wema



Chubby George on the left and serious Gloria on the right.  (Gloria has a beautiful smile, but she didn't feel like sharing it at the moment)

Georgie-porgie again

We get a lot of clothing donations here at Cradle of Love and somehow, we've collected quite the stash of Christmas clothes in and among it all. Since we never use these outfits, Claire and I decided we should dress up some of the little ones and do a photo shoot! Aren't they simply adorable?!?

By the way, the picture at the top of my blog is of David and Silvamos. In one of my first blog posts, I have pictures of them premature and only a week old, weighing barely 2kg each. They lived in our apartment for two months and grew strong and healthy. Now they're almost 5 months and the cutest little chubby boys ever!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Kait & Saumu's Visit

We brought candy for the children and the picture above is of Saumu distributing it. Her brow looks a little furrowed because she's running out of candy and I think that stressed her out a little...

The children seemed to think it was fun to hold their hands up for all the pictures. I don't know where they got that idea from, but it was cute. They get so excited to see pictures of themselves and ask for more and more.

Kaitlin and I got in touch with each other just before I left for Tanzania through a mutual friend attending Walla Walla University. Kaitlin has been to Tanzania multiple times now doing projects with an orphanage and school in the town of Tanga. The purpose of her most recent visits have been to check up on and spend time with Saumu, a 13-year-old girl she sponsors to attend boarding school. If it weren’t for Kait’s sponsorship and love, Saumu would most likely be living on the streets as an orphan. Her father is alive, but he is a drunk and takes no part in her life.

When I found out Kaitlin would be coming to Tanzania to visit Saumu for a few weeks before Christmas, I thought it would be great if we could get together! Tanga is on the coast and about a 7-hour drive from Arusha, but Kait and Saumu decided they would endure the trip and get out together on a little vacation to see the babies at Cradle of Love, to visit me, and see some new sites in and around Arusha. Since we had only been in touch by emails, it was exciting for me to meet Kait for the first time as well as her beautiful friend Saumu. While they were visiting, we drove out to the Maasai village as well as the hot springs. On our way, we ran into a heard of camels (we think they use them for milk), as well as some other wildlife. It was so much fun to have my first visitors here!

Kait has done many other travels and keeps a great blog. You can learn about her work in Tanga and catch a glimpse of it in her pictures. While here, she took some beautiful pictures of our babies, so I would encourage you to check them out at