After Kenny came back we saw amazing things that could not be captured on camera. One day a lady walked past our house with an entire tree on her head. My friend John Schmitt (I am sending this blog to him) promised to send me her picture, but has not done it. She did not look in distress and she balanced the whole thing right there on her head! Hope to send a picture sometime.
Also, our new askari added variety to their weapons to protect us. This past week, I saw an askari pass with a bow and arrow. And he looked like he knew exactly what to do with it. It was amazing. His partner had a huge club. I thought, ok well, maybe Jean's Jack Fruit will be safe!. And then right in front of them was an askari with a gun. As much as I want to be safe, this all seems a bit of overkill, but hopefully if the thieves are within the compound they are shaking in their shoes. (and we definitely think most of the thieves are inside.) I like this group and just hope that the company will not move them away. (which is what happened with the last security system.)
Another change to our system has been the relentless police who stop us at the bottom of our hill. In the last 2 weeks we were stopped when I had hired my lovable and smart project driver Carol and they did not like his lights. I'm not sure how to describe the events that occurred, but they very typical Tanzanian. Apparently now, you can be arrested for having a dirty car, a car that has ripped seats or (as ours has) foam coming out of the seats. Ultimately Carol was able to leave and we were able to continue our trip to Marangu to see our carver Lawi who is amazing.
|This is a crown bird being made by Lawi Mushi for his new 'garden" where he has life size giraffe and other animals.|
I am stopped every day by these same police but they are actually really nice to me and just say, "Tuenda" (go)
Thank heavens, I was stopped by the police before the marathon and after the "Tuenda" I asked what time our road would be closed. I was told saa Mbili (8 o'clock am). On Sunday, the day of the marathon, I left promptly for church at 7:45 and arrived two 1/2 hours early. It was perfect. I chatted with our priest for a 45 minutes and then took pictures of John and our friend Bob coming down to the last 2 K of the race. They were pretty exhausted but they did it. The contrast of the exhausted half marathoners and the Kenyan full marathon runners was also pretty incredible. The Kenyans did not look at all exhausted and with their long legs and tiny thin bodies, they soared ahead of this group of half marathoners.
|Blurry John and Heiko|
|Heiko and John|
|Bob, 15 minutes ahead|
|John coming in to stadium|
|Here are three happy old men!|
I can only put a few pictures on this blog because we have a new confidentiality agreement for pictures of our youth group,but here are a few that were taken. by one of our group leaders.
|Beginning of the 42 Km marathon just at dawn|
|view of massive marathon stadium|
|One of our wonderful Study Coordinators Dr. Peter Karoli (life savior)|
The weather has been unusual because it rained all week. Though it used to be common, I have not experienced this early in March. It was almost impossible to see the mountain, but occasionally we would see a piece or two. I have not yet seen it for the last two weeks.My friend says that she feels a little "unhitched" if she doesn't see it everyday, and I understand what she is saying. So you will see the best that we had this week.
|If you look carefully you will see Kili|
|Not great but the snow is even heavier now.|
Our last few days are always hectic and I hate that they are over. Of course we are excited as our new grandchild is coming and we have a wonderful wedding in store, but how I love my home in Africa and our friends. My Dadas ( we had lunch but no one got a picture) and my baby Patricia who at 4 months is weighing in at 9KG, and smiling all he time when she is not screaming. It is also planting time here so the tractor should be coming any day.
We went to dinner with our friend Oneko who is in the OB/GYN department. I thought it would be just an ordinary 10 to 10 dinner but this beautiful (obviously well accepted) cat strolled though. I had never seen a cat with swirly markings, so I spent some minutes getting her picture.
John just showed me a movie that some medical students made about him in the marathon. It reminded me of all that has come about since we started this journey in Moshi.