Archive for January, 2010

Daddy

Hey all, my dad was in a horse accident. He was in the hospital all night due to a collapsed lung, but is doing fine and will be out soon. Please pray for a quick recovery! Thanks for all of the prayers and support so far. I never imagined it being this difficult to be so far away from family in a time like this!

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YWAM South Korea comes to Dar

On January 22, during our regular Friday assembly, we had some special guests. There was a group of about 15 students from South Korea, who are currently training to serve with YWAM, Youth With a Mission, in different areas of the world.  They put together some choreographed dances for the primary. The final song reminded me of the Turn Around skit that we used to use during youth group growing up. One student played Jesus and another student had given into the temptations of money, addictions and poor relationships. In the end, of course, she was redeemed by the sacrifice of Christ. My kids really enjoyed the dancing, and storytelling.

My kiddos with the YWAM team

Boy and his Chicken

Not sure why but I was fascinated by this. I guess it because you just don’t see it in Tucson. I couldn’t get a really good picture because I was trying to be as inconspicuous as possible while taking it.

Boy and his chicken.

Here you can see his feet, wrapped in rope and the plastic grocery bag covering his body. Every once in awhile the boy would readjust the chicken and then there he was staring us in the eyes, oblivious to the fact that later that day he would become a tasty supper.

I think what interested me most was that it was so normal for the boy to be holding the chicken.  Obviously, I did not grow up on a farm.

A note about chickens in Dar:

Chickens here are common but not as common as beef  (this is because of the native Masai peoples who are cattle herders).  Many men who ride bicycles to carry fresh goods throughout town carry chickens. They have them in baskets with a top layer over them so that they do not escape. Otherwise they can be seen walking around the road  here and there, not nearly as many as you see in Kauai.

Dar es Salaam: Officially the 8th Filthiest City in the World

Yes, it is true. This was the headline of the Dar es Salaam newspaper just a few weeks ago. Dar es Salaam is officially the 8th filthiest city in the world.

They ranked cities worldwide based on levels of air pollution, waste management, water potability, hospital services, medical supplies and the presence of infectious disease.

The streets really are very dirty here. Trash is everywhere. When we first moved here I noticed it all of the time but now I wouldn’t say it is something that I think about much. There is no public trash company, such as Waste Management, who comes to collect your garbage every week to be hauled away.  Sadly, most trash is burned. Even our trash is burned in the back of our compound. This is not something I am proud of. We do our best to recycle all that we can and to reuse everything as much as possible.

Although there are many people who have started recycling companies and who are trying to change this, it will take a long while before this is no longer an issue here.

I could not find the list that the Dar es Salaam Newspaper had released but I was able to find one from 2009. Here it is:

The World’s Dirtiest Cities
1. Baku, Azerbaijan (27.6)
2. Dhaka, Bangladesh (29.6)
3. Antananarivo, Madagascar (30.1)
4. Port au Prince, Haiti (34)
5. Mexico City, Mexico (37.7)
6. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (37.9)
7. Mumbai, India (38.2)
8. Baghdad, Iraq (39)
9. Almaty, Kazakhstan (39.1)
10. Brazzaville, Congo (39.1)
11. Ndjamena, Chad (39.7)
12. Dar es Salaam, Tanzania (40.4)

Looks like we are moving on up!  I am sure this makes you all want to come visit us right away.

Seriously though, this is a major issue that creates so many of the health problems in this country. Pray that this year something will be done to alleviate this growing issue.

Solar Eclipse

January 15th, 2010.

As we walked outside of our weekly assembly one of my students pointed to the sky and said, “Mrs. Baum! Mrs. Baum! It’s an Eclipse!”

I promptly responded, “No it’s not. I would have known about before hand if there was going to be an eclipse.”

However, I looked into the sky and discovered I was completely wrong! There was a Solar Eclipse, and it happened to be the longest one that will ever been seen by anyone living today. The next one this long will not occur until the year 3043.

We sat and watched it through a quickly rigged together, whole in the paper. Because I did not know about it before hand I had no preparation to really control the students and educate them on not looking at it. They were really amazed by it! The best part was that the clouds covered it here and there and we were really able to get a good glimpse of it.

After it was over we came back in and got a real lesson about what an eclipse is and how significant this particular eclipse was.

I remember so vividly, watching a solar eclipse in second grade, my teacher, however was a bit more prepared. I hope that this is an event that my students remember for years and years as well.

Check out some more pictures and info about it…..

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/8461625.stm

A Timely Delivery!

So for the past few weeks, I have been in a major slump. Missing family. Missing friends. Missing Tucson. Not feeling like a have a purpose in Dar.  And so on. Not to sound too depressed because really I am not, nor is life terrible here in anyway. On the contrary life is great here. The reality is that I am just in a homesick rut that hopefully will end soon with prayer and encouragement.

Anyways, yesterday when I went over to the Larmey’s for Bible study, Dyan told me that my packages had been picked up! YAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYY!

The packages!

These are the packages that my mom sent me for Christmas, 10 total. They were post marked December 14th and got here in a month’s time. Not too bad if you ask me.  We also received a package from Austin’s Mom, which took a slight detour in  getting here because the Post Office confused TZ for Tasmania instead of Tanzania. Careful with that one.

I am so grateful that they came now and not at Christmas time. Filled with lots of things I had asked to be sent and lots of things that were just fun to get including hand sanitizer, GOOD facewash, real vanilla extract, granola bars, Christmas goodies, Trader Joe’s Dried fruits, framed pictures of our puppies, and so much more. One of my favorites for sure was the birthday card my brother sent me. He pasted a picture of me and him with Dad when we were 2 and 4. So precious. He wrote the sweetest note as well. I can’t believe he is so grown up now! What an honor it is to have him as a brother! I love you DREWBERS! Thanks a million MOM! Love you!

Christmas all over again!

The Lord knows so well when we need a little pick me up!

” Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, His love endures FOREVER!” Psalm 118:1

The Heartbreaking Realities of Adoption in Tanzania

Recently Austin and I have been doing some investigating about adoption. We met with an adoption lawyer, the only adoption lawyer in town, no in all of Tanzania, and found out some startling facts.

Tanzania is a closed adoption country, meaning that unless you are a resident you cannot adopt a baby. This is unlike countries like Ethiopia, Rwanda, or Ghana where you are free to adopt internationally there.

There are over 2 million orphans in Tanzania. Of the 2 million orphans only about 50 of them were adopted from July 2008 to June 2009.

The adoption process is extremely drawn out and takes much patience, because the government is weary of trafficking. The laws in Tanzania just changed, and they make adoption in Tanzania much harder. Tanzanians are not likely to adopt. It is not cultural and people just do not do it for the most part.

It is no wonder with so many orphans that we have friends that have chosen to adopt. We are praying that these new laws do not effect adoptions too drastically, so that more of the orphans can be placed into good homes.

Check out more information at