Yesterday is not one that I will soon forget. It started at 2 in the morning when I couldn’t sleep. You see, I was anxiously awaiting 3:15 to arrive so I could Skype Carly who was waiting at the airport in Louisville with Emily and others for Adam and baby Micah to arrive home from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Adoption is hard. And long. And Emily and I are quite close so missing out on the big day was not easy. In fact, I’ve only had two real breakdowns since arriving in Africa and they’ve both been Emily’s fault (kidding, friend!). The first came when I found out the plane ticket had been booked and Micah was indeed headed home. The second came when Skype wouldn’t work. Y’all, this girl had gotten herself out of bed at 3 in the morning and the dang internet was not cooperating. For 15 minutes Carly and I tried and tried and I had about thrown in the towel. I’d like to be able to say I just started calmly praying, but this was more full-on ugly face cry begging mode that I wouldn’t necessarily call prayer. Thankfully, a call finally got through and I was greeted to a lovely image of Carly’s forehead! After better positioning, Micah and Emily were right in front of me — all the way on the other side of the globe! It was a bit glitchy, but perfect. And so very needed. I would have been one grumpy lady on safari had my morning gone differently!
After the airport homecoming viewing I got my gear together and headed out with 4 others to safari the day away.
Final count: 3 Alexes (plus 1 Alexette) and Glorias, Martys, and Millmans that numbered more than I could count! For those of you who haven’t watched Madagascar — or don’t have a nephew who calls the animals by their character names — that would be 3 male lions (1 female), hippos, zebras, and giraffes. Of course, there were many, many other animals hanging around the Serengeti, too. Baboon, gazelle, elephant, impala, water buffalo, wildebeest, hyena, and leopard (my favorite!). It was a very long day, but so very worth it. There is really nothing quite like seeing animals in their natural habitats. A few of the lions were so close we could almost reach out the window and touch them. No worries, mom and dad, I kept all limbs safely inside the vehicle! 🙂
So much has happened since I last blogged. It’s really hard to force myself to sit down and type away when there’s so much happening here. Plus, there have been daily electricity issues that have left my computer without enough battery to get much done. I can’t believe I’m already past the halfway point of my trip. Let’s just not talk about that fact, okay?
Anyway, I spent a week in Karagwe working with Educate Tanzania (check them out. Right now). The team was great and it was cool to see a very different part of Tanzania. Karagwe is in the northwest — up near Rwanda and Uganda. Had I done more research beforehand, I may have tried to fit a gorilla safari in another country into my schedule!
The past several days were spent at JBFC — the girls home Liv and I spent a few days with on my last trip. The girls are great and doing very well with their English. In December they decided to only speak English and that the punishment for speaking Swahili would be eating a hot pepper! I had one of those on my first trip so I can attest to the fact that no one wants to do that often. It seems to be working as I was able to chat with them at ease.
I have taken a ton of pictures, but have moments where I don’t want to see this place from behind a lens. It’s been hard to stay focused on what my goals are and also embrace every experience. There are a lot of things I wish I had taken photos of and plenty of unnecessary photos in my collection. Still, I have a lot to work with and plenty of stories to tell when I return home!
I should have more stable internet for the remainder of my trip. I’ll be in Mwanza through Monday and then Dar es Salaam (the capital) and Zanzibar (island off coast of Dar). Each city is pretty well established so my modem should be able to do the trick. The remaining days in Mwanza should be fairly chill so I’ll try to get some more photos posted and share a bit more than just quick recaps of what’s happening. Sound okay?
Love you all. Two and half more weeks to go!