Skirt Spinning and the first week of school!

Well…. Where shall I start? Everything about this adventure thus far has been so new, so overwhelming and yet wonderful at the same time!
This week we completed the first week of school. I felt a bit shaky teaching at first but quickly got back into the swing of things. My students all seem great, a bit talkative but I can handle that. I am excited to be teaching again and eager to see what God has in store for me and my class this year. Every week we have an assembly, at the beginning everyone sings the Tanzanian national anthem. I am not sure why but it gave me the chills hearing it. I just think it is so cool that kids from sooo many different countries come to this school and how unified it is in purpose!
Our house is pretty good besides the waterfall of a leak coming outside of the house every time we turn the water heater on. Hopefully this will get fixed soon because literally our entire bathroom floor is completely soaked underneath the tile. Not so good. Other than that we are liking it a lot and it is beginning to feel like a home.
On Thursday we took some time to go to the beach. We are going to try to make this at least a weekly habit. Up until this point in time we had been walking, getting a ride from our friends or taking a pagoge everywhere but this day we decided to finally take the Daladala (Bus). This is not exactly what you picture when you picture a bus. It is more like a VW Bus with as many seats as possible shoved in it. They drive around town honking at everyone seeing if they need a ride. Everyone packs onto them like sardines. For our first ride we had the pleasure of sitting next to a woman who had been fishing all day. She had two large buckets of dead fish. Needless to say it was not the best smelling ride but it was cheap! I think we will be using the daladalas more but I am a little nervous about them still.
Ramadan has started this past week and with the presence of many Muslims there are lots of celebrations in the evenings. Our friends, who have taken us under their wings, invited us to a special Ramadan dinner at a place called Moveinpick. Here they put on a huge buffet spread every night of Ramadan after the sun goes down. The food was incredible roasted lamb, hummus, tabbouleh, salads of all kinds, beef mishkaki (shishkababs), and an amazing assortment of deserts. The place was decorated super fancy too! Like an Egyptian palace with cloth tents and mats with pillows to lay on. The entertainment was great as well. It began with some traditional African drummers and dancers. Followed by an Egyptian guitarist. Followed by some African acrobats who do all kids of crazy tricks with no trapeze or equipment just their bodies. Pretty impressive. Ending with an Egyptian Skirt Spinner. He began spinning with these plate like items. spinning and spinning and spinning. Making all kinds of shapes and patterns with them. I got dizzy within the first few minutes. We were all impressed at that point but then he light up his skirt with blue Christmas lights and started spinning it around. He looked like a human top. He did all sorts of tricks and eventually even gave us all a chance to try it for ourselves. None of us lasted very long but it sure was a unique experience. I guess they originated from the ancient warriors who would pray to Allah about war. They would work themselves into a frenzy while praying and would start spinning. They would spin for hours as a form of prayer. I don’t know about you but I like to keep my feet pretty planted or at least moving in a forward motion while praying. The whole thing was quite the experience. I am so grateful we were invited to join the fun.
Then we celebrated Zoe and Caleb’s 12 b-day with a Carnival style party. Complete with ring toss, balloon darts, face painting, and Austin as the Make me Laugh guy. Lots and lots of fun! It amazes me that that my friend Dyan is so on top of it that she had things sent from America months and months ago so that they could have such a fun birthday. They don’t have balloons, or streamers, or silly little dollar store prizes here.
Well as you can see things are good here. Please keep praying for my health. Still not 100% well. Thank you. Thank you! Miss you all!

10 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Mom on August 30, 2009 at 8:03 am

    What a wonderful description of this past week. So many new things you are doing all the time. That Ramadan celebration sounds very interesting. And the ride to the beach-I wonder if it reminds Austin of riding the bus with chickens and people and….! The beach must be restful after all the new sights and sounds you are experiencing.
    I pray you both will have a good week and especially pray you will feel better very soon. Love you always.


  2. Posted by Sarah Kelly on August 30, 2009 at 8:56 am

    Wow! Sounds great so far! I am really looking forward to hearing more about your adventures! Love you both! xoxo Sarah.


  3. Posted by Mom on August 30, 2009 at 10:46 am

    I’m going to hage to me one of those skirts! Sounds like you are having a great time. You both are in my heart and my prayers. All the much love, Mom


  4. Posted by Mom on August 30, 2009 at 10:46 am

    I’m going to have to get me one of those skirts! Sounds like you are having a great time. You both are in my heart and my prayers. All the much love, Mom


  5. Posted by Lisa on August 30, 2009 at 10:48 am

    AMY! I just found your site, yay! It looks amazing. I love the name tag that they put on your front door. I saw your moma, daddy and drew at Cazuelitas on Friday. Your mom was laughing hard like she does. Drew looks so grown up! I cant believe hes a senior. Let me know if you need anything- Im pretty efficent in the teaching department. Have fun and stay away from stinky fish! Love, Lisa


    • Lisa Merowm!
      So glad you saw my parents. I know I cant believe my brother is that old either! Ahhh!
      So far so good but if I need any teaching things I will let you know.
      Miss you!


  6. Posted by Cecelia Terry on August 31, 2009 at 2:09 pm

    I am so happy to finally get to your website and see what is going on. I do not do Facebook but love reading about your activities. There was a show about Africa and Tanzania on Channel 6 last night but it was on the side away from the water (do you call that east or west?) so I didn’t spend much time watching it.

    Lauren and Sam are back in school and that creates a schedule for all of us and I really do like that. As a teacher you find this funny. When Matt picked the kids up from school on Friday Sam said, “Dad, we had a test today.” Matt asked, “what was it on?” Sam’s answer, “Paper.” Bless his darling heart.

    I spent the weekend watching part of the funeral for Edward Kennedy…who was not one of my favorites by a long shot……but so many of the pictures reminded me of Grandad that I just stayed inside and cried. I had an appointment at 4:00pm on Saturday and had to put ice on my eyes. Was just a basket case and missed your father’s and Ariana’s birthday celebration.


    • Cecy! Miss you!

      I am so glad you found our blog. We are trying to stay up on it but it is as if we have to schedule time for it! Hopefully more pics will go up soon!

      We are on the East side of Africa and they do separate it as East and West. They are very different.

      I love the comment Sam made and I completely understand the busy school year. However, it is nice in its own way.

      I thought of Grandpa when I heard Ted Kennedy had passed. I know it would have been something he would have been watching non stop no matter how he felt about him. I miss him a lot too! Sorry to here you missed the celebrations though. Well shoot me an email if you ever want to Maybe sometime we can set up a time to chat. I can call from my phone or computer. It works just like a phone call.
      Love you so much and miss you!


  7. Posted by Dylan O'Larney on September 1, 2009 at 4:34 am

    oh my goodness… i’m laughing so hard reading your blog.
    spinning and spinning and spinning some more…
    hey can i post your blog on my FB page?
    thought it might be fun for folks back home to get a peek of Dar life through your freshy fresh eyes.
    i’m so glad you fell for the ‘fishing-all-day-lady-with-bucket-of-fake-dead-fish’ prank!!!!


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