Saturday, November 2, 2013

Monkeys for lunch

"How was your day at school?" type questions are much more interesting than they used to be before we moved to Tanzania.  The answers often involve monkeys.  The first week Natalie was in school, she told me over skype that a monkey had peed on her!  She was giggling so hard.  It was pretty cute and gross too.  Now the constant concern is if the monkeys are going to steal their lunches.  I guess they eat outside and the monkeys (which are small) are getting bolder and bolder.  They are at times (per Natalie) one table's distance away.  And her teachers have to scare them off.  The cuter part of the whole thing is that a lot of them have little babies hanging onto them for dear life.  The not so cute part is that they are still monkeys and can be known to not be so gentle in trying to get what they want.  Natalie and Isla telling me about the monkeys at lunch every day is a highlight I think as I reflect on how much their lives have changed in two short months. 

They have adjusted to uniform wearing and going to school with an almost completely international group of classmates.  None of the three girls have any other children from the U.S. in their classes (though there are some kids at the school in other classes from the U.S.).  It's been interesting to watch them form new friends.  They (like us) form friendships quickly with children that speak really good english and are from a similar culture.  It seems to matter less what color skin the child has than how they speak and how they can understand each other.  I feel very fortunate that they have such lovely friends and classmates.

Swimming daily has been so good for all of them.  Especially the twins.  Seriously, how did we survive in the states when they didn't swim daily?   No wonder I felt a little crazy all the time.  They have so much energy and getting it out in the water has been good for all of them.  Today we took off the floaties from the twins and they just took off swimming.  That was a shocker!  And totally made me cry (and Natalie almost cried she was so proud of them!).   

I am still shocked by how little culture shock we are all experiencing (Mike and I most of all).  I really think that given we have lived more overseas than not in the past almost 7 years, really makes a difference in adjustment.  And the fact that well, it's just awesome here (well, I still don't like burning trash next to us and when the internet goes down..the little things).  This is quickly feeling like home.

We consider ourselves very very fortunate that we were able to send over a container this time abroad.  When we were in DRC we had our suitcases and some trunks.  This time we actually were able to pack up our house!  It is still on it's way.  Right now, we are living out of 14 suitcases.  And it is totally okay.  Part of me wants to just keep it simple.  We have some legos, matchbox cars, and a few baby dolls/stuffed animals.  That and a ream of paper, pencils, markers, tape, and scissors and the girls are in heaven.  As much as I want to keep it simple I actually am looking forward to the container.  I think the biggest reason is that we are in a bed that is exactly 6 feet long.  Given Mike is a bit over 6 feet tall and I am an inch under 6 feet tall (and that it is a double), we really are considering throwing the foam mattress on the floor and giving up with the whole bed frame concept.  (Though I will admit that having a bed frame is one of those things that makes me feel like an "adult", that along with a real wood dining room table, and a couch that isn't a futon.  We were still 2 for 3 until this year.) 

A friend encouraged me to try to post more personal stories on my blog.  We'll see how it goes.  I have used this blog for Reeds of Hope and DRC IA ethics advocacy so much over the past two years that I am still trying to figure out how personal stories fit here.  Anyway, thank you for following along.

Isla and Natalie





1 comment:

Anne said...

While I enjoy al your posts, I think we are gonna like the personal stuff, my kids do not have monkeys at their schools here in Italy! :-)