The last couple days of work have been a little bit slow because the jobs that need to be done only take a few people at a time, but we always find something for them to do. The biggest job is usually hauling water from the river for the concrete (which is about 2/10 of a mile away). When they’re not hauling water, they’re steel tying the rebar, making concrete, or digging holes. Some of them even got to lay bricks the other day. If they really need something to do, we send them into the fields to collect corn and sunflowers. A neighbor owns the fields but allows us to take as much as we want. Some of the kids roast the corn over the fire that we have for evening devotions and we’re currently in the process of drying out sunflower seeds to bring as snacks for our back-packing trip! Our goal before we leave is to have the poles set in concrete which in America may take a day, but Welcome to Africa, where everything takes three times as long!
James, one of the men who has been staying with us as security and an extra set of hands, is getting to know the team members well. They love to introduce new things to him just about every day. We gave him his first marshmallow the other day and he celebrated Canada Day with us yesterday. We only have two Canadians on our team (Jevon and May), but they made sure every one knew their pride with Canada flags and maple-leaf stickers. We tried to celebrate with maple flavored chocolate cake, but Ryan accidently put in three cups of chocolate flavor instead of three cups of brown sugar : ) His accident was our pleasure : )
Tomorrow we are celebrating the 4th of July and three birthdays. (We decided to do them all on the same day.) Happy birthday to Elijah, Ryan and Maddie!
We leave for the mountain on the 10th. It won’t take long to actually get to the mountain, but once the truck drops us off, it’ll take time to haul all of our kitchen equipment out and reset-up camp. Thanks to Ryan E. and Caleb H. we have a table that we can take out to prepare food on.
We’ll be on the mountain until the 23rd when we leave to head back to Debrief, but we’ll only be working until the 20th. We will be going out in Moshi and another local town to spend time seeing the culture and go souvenir shopping. We’ll also be doing some cleaning and packing up.
It seems like we’re gone a long time but time here is actually passing quite quickly. There seems to always be something happening, whether it’s work, classes, mealtimes, going to town for water and supplies, or bath and laundry, the team is always on the move. At least they have moments to stop and enjoy the beautiful country God has placed them in for the summer. He always has another surprise up His sleeve to bless His children. Today, Keri and I went to the river to bathe… and we were suddenly surrounded by monkeys! They sat in the trees eating and playing, and watching us as we watched them. How cool!
Here’s what the kids have to say about their experience so far!
Caleb Hubbell: I’m so glad to be in Africa. Everyone is relaxed, it is very different from America. Our camp has a beautiful view of Mt. Kilimanjaro and is surrounded by corn and sunflowers. I’m happy to be working on the BMW buildings and look forward to going to the villages too!
Kitty McKay: We have the best view of the mountain. It is absolutely amazing! We presented at a church (Sunday) and they thought is was hilarious. I had a good time : )
Joey Vincent: Mount Kilimanjaro is amazing. We went to church Sunday and it was so much longer than an American service. Stuff is also much cheaper here and everyone is really nice.
Jakob Voorhies: Here I am in Africa… Wow! God is doing amazing things here and I can only stand in awe of what God can do when teens say, “ Here I am Lord, send me.”
May Bunn: It’s crazy I’m finally here. I’m living off goat meat. Africa is so legit.
Rachel Maneval: I like it here in Africa so much more than Boot Camp. The people are amazing!
Emma Reynolds: I love the way Mt. Kilimanjaro is so close and constant. The people are awesome and hauling water a half mile isn’t as bad or good as it sounds.
Arianne Ensworth: Tanzania is an amazing country. The people are very fun to interact with. Nights are extremely cold. However cold and dirty, I’m still doing fantastic. The work God is doing is Amazing!
Ryan Ernest: Jaro is probably one of the coolest places on earth. The people are very unique. It is really neat to see all the things we learned at Boot Camp become practical in day to day life.
Ashleigh Niklas: So far Tanzania is all I imagined it to be and more. I love Africa and the people here, both on my team and in the culture. Great experience so far.
Jacob Ganzevoort: Tanzania has given me many opportunities by being able to witness and help construct a BMW building. Seeing Africa on TV is one thing, but when you actually see it, your view changes.
Elaine Hines: I am waiting for the culture shock. Maybe it’s just me, but this almost seems like home. I am already in love with the land, the people and the culture. I am always ready for the next day to start.
Lance Pikkart: Tanzania is so different from Togo, yet Africa is still so much the same. I love it here, the people, the country, and the culture. They are all amazing and I can learn so much from them.
Grant Headrick: I can’t wait to go hiking! I miss everybody and I hope you are having fun in Egypt dad! I will be home before you know it, love you all!
Elijah Farmer: Kilimanjaro is so amazing. It is weird that I am finally here though. I enjoy the countryside and the animals. Still getting settled in by everything is coming together. Can not wait to see what God has planned for us. Love you all, write if possible!
Callie Seeley: Hey guys! Africa is so beautiful! We are so close to the mountain and it’s amazing. I think we get more sleep here on the field. Our team grows closer and closer and closer every day! I love meeting all the new people in the new places we get to go. Wish you guys could see the beauty because the pictures don’t do it justice.
Maddie Weber: I’m in love with Africa. Everything is so green! I gave a little girl a teddy bear today and held a little boys hand : )