Mambo!  I have been in Dar es Salaam for quite some time now, and I think it is super cool!  Well, I guess I should say hot....I am sitting in our living room and sweat is rolling down my face!  It isn't even that hot yet!  One day in December, the heat index was 109 degrees.  We walk into the store and guess what music they are playing: (are you ready for this?) I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas, Jingle Bells, and Let It Snow!!!  My first thought: "Are you kidding me?!!?!!  109 degrees outside and you are playing THIS?!!?!!?

Other than the twisted sense of humor that resides in some stores, Dar es Salaam has turned out to be a really friendly place that was just cursed with bad weather for the entire year.  We have just passed through the short rainy season and wow, was that a shock.  We woke up one morning with rain pouring down in torrents.  We got ready for school and sprinted to the car.  When we got out the gate, we see large puddles starting to form, but we kept going.  We reached the bridge that we were supposed to cross, and encounter a large traffic jam instead.  The river had completely covered the bridge and washed away part of it!  I had friends who sent pictures of cars that were completely submerged with people standing on top of them, waiting for help!!  When the big rainy season hits Dar, the entire city is just one big traffic jam because there is nowhere for the water to go!  I can't wait for the longer rainy season in March...!

                      This is about the equivalent of what is on many motorcycles in Dar Es Salaam.  Three people on it, cartons of eggs, a person holding a dining table, a lawn mower....motorcycles are pretty much used for anything!!

School has been going well and everyone says the class has matured a lot since last year.  I consider myself lucky that I came this year....  I'm sure you agree with the fact that every class has something that they are known for, right?  Like, the sixth grade class here is the sweetest class ever.  The senior class forever left their mark in middle school- and not in a good way.  The ninth grade class, well, their latest escapade ended up with two people jumping out the window and breaking some part of their body.  Our class, hmm, let's just say we hold the record for most things broken.  Over seven chairs, three tables, a ceiling light, a toilet, an entire tray of expensive science test tubes...the list goes on and on.  Now, to set the record straight, none of this was me!!!  (Just wanted to make that clear!!)

After Christmas, our family went up to the mountains with some other missionaries for a little cold weather!  Now, it took seven hours to drive up there, but when we averaged it out, we realized that we were only going 28 miles an hour!!  The reason being that every half a mile we had to slow down because of a village, but it is still frustrating to be in the car for seven hours!

 But the seven hours drive was worth it when we got see the beautiful views!!

When we got there, one of the missionaries had gone into the house ahead of time, and came out with a solemn expression and said: "There are four rooms, with two beds in every room, but there is only one working toilet and no showers."  Now, you have to understand, there were eight of us staying in that house for four days!!  With only one working toilet and no showers....that would have been a nightmare!  In America (at least in most places) that would have been an obvious prank, because not many places are like that, right? Well, this is Africa.  And most of the time, toilets don't work, showers are broken, and boards are missing from the beds.  So, you can sympathize with my ten minutes of horror while I was trying to decide if I should ask him if he was joking or not!  I didn't want to ask him, because if he said he wasn't joking...I was going to start crying!!  It turns out that he was joking, and there were working toilets and bathrooms!

                           Here is a lovely little picnic spot that we found!
On New Year's Eve, the electricity went on and off for quite sometime.  I'm going to use a quote from my friend (I hope he doesn't mind).  He said that after having so many power outages, he's waiting for a text from the government saying: "We're sorry for the inconvenience of no electricity, but we are still saving funds to pay for the business jet."  Other than that, we had a great Christmas break, and we are back in school!

                         You can't celebrate the New Year without marshmallows...so while it is ninety-five degrees outside we are inside trying to make a fire.  Needless to say, we got some weird looks from others!

As I say goodbye, I have one comment I would like to make.  For those of you that are going through a cold winter, maybe with some nice snow....please, please, please: Don't complain!!  At least you can put on more clothes, it is not like I can take off anymore clothes!!  Kwaheri!!

                                          We went on a hike, and some of us  decided that instead of stopping at the pools, those who didn't value their life highly were going to climb the slippery slope and pose on the waterfall.  No one died, but we got a great picture!!


  1. Abby, I am very interested in the culture of babywearing. Could you tell me how the moms wear their babies over there?
    What do they do for diapers? I just imagine being covered in pee after having your baby attached to you all day with nothing but cloth between you and baby.


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