Thursday, January 27, 2011

We've arrived

We made it here to Moshi. The long flight to Ethiopia was actually pretty nice. The plane was pretty empty so we had room to spread out and sleep. We also watched a few movies each. The long part of the trip was from Ethiopia to Kilimanjaro. We arrived in Addis Ababa around 7am on Wednesday and were supposed to catch our connecting flight to Kilimanjaro at 10:30am. Our flight got delayed until 1pm. We finally got on the plane and left around 1:30 and ended up making an unscheduled stop in Mombasa, Kenya to drop off some passengers and pick up some others. We finally landed in Kilimanjaro around 6pm and found out that we couldn't enter the country without having proof of having received a yellow fever vaccination, something the travel nurse told us we weren't required to get. So a small argument and $100 later we got the shots, picked up our bags, and were on our way. Needless to say, we crashed soon after we were shown to our room.

Today we slept in (if it can be called that...the roosters start doing their thing around 4am right outside our window), took a cold shower because the electricity goes out about once a day, and went to the orphanage and new school with James. We were planning on buying bikes to get to the school every day, but we found out today that the new school is about 12 kilometers away so that option is out. We're meeting with James again on Sunday to figure out the transportation issue. We got home today around 2pm, had lunch, and slept for 5 hours. I guess we still have a couple days to get over the jet lag.

It's very hot here and we have to sleep with a fan right next to our bed. My feet are the size of watermelons because of the heat. Mark's not happy about it. Our place is right at the base of Mt. Kilimanjaro. We walk out our door and first thing we see is the snow capped top of the tallest mountain in Africa. Absolutely amazing. We went on a small walk yesterday and guess what we found? The Kilimanjaro Church of Christ, right across the street from where we live! What are the odds. We're excited to see what services are like on Sunday, and a little worried about the fact that they probably worship in Swahili so we might have just a little trouble understanding what's going on. But just being there will be a good experience.

We just had dinner and are sitting in the living room watching the news. We don't start work until Monday so tomorrow we might go out to town and do a little exploring. Saturday we've planned an all day hike to the first camp on Mt. Kilimanjaro. Hopefully I'll get to post some pictures soon. Despite the huge nap we just woke up from, we'll probably be going to bed within the next hour or so.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

A short farewell

Well folks, Monday is the day. We've slowly been preparing here and there for our big trip, but now that we're leaving in two days I feel like we're scrambling to get everything together. Our living room is currently littered with piles of clothes, toiletries, cameras and school supplies. I'm feeling a little flustered and unorganized, maybe even a little stressed. Mark, on the other hand, is calm and worry-free. I guess my obsessive-compulsiveness and his laid back approach to things balance each other out somehow because we seem to get things done pretty efficiently around here (even if it is at the last second).

We leave the Salt Lake airport around 5pm Monday night and stop for an overnighter in Washington DC. From there we have a very loooong flight to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and then on to Kilimanjaro. From what we hear, we'll be doing a lot of teaching and some building at the school in Moshi, but we're still not sure exactly what our days will consist of while we're there. We'll just take the orders as they come.

There are definitely some mixed emotions as we head out on this adventure together, but most of them are more on the positive end of the spectrum. This is a dream being fulfilled for both Mark and me and we're blessed to be able to fulfill that dream together. We don't know what our Internet access will be like over there, but we'll update as often as possible so you can all feel like you're traveling along with us! We've packed 7 cameras...all for different purposes, so don't fret, there will be no shortage of photos or video for us to share. Wish us luck and kwa heri!