After the longest 34 hours of my life I finally arrived in Mbeya. So far it was definitely worth it, however two bus journeys and three flights really took it out of me and I dropped my bank card (which was returned to me by flight staff) and just under half of my money. Good start. Nonetheless we all know this must have been Gods plan and someone will find that money and appreciate it more than I ever could.
Sorry to be so typically British but the weather.. it’s fantastic, so glad to get away from winter! Not too hot, not too humid. And the children, so many smiles.
After showering and generally trying to gather myself up after the travel we went to a feeding programme, being mobbed by children definitely wakes you up. Children all shapes and sizes, some so small they looked as though they’d get squashed in the lot, and others almost adults. They were so excited to see us I didn’t expect it at all, I had a child on each finger one of them was gripping at the skin on my elbow they were all so desperate to touch my skin. It was surreal, they all lined up to have their hands washed (by me) and then rushed off to get a plate of food. After eating ourselves we headed back outside, I have to say I am quite enjoying being hugged from every angle as soon as I step out of a building. The kids loved having their photos taken, some of them started singing and I swapped hair bands with a little girl. On our way out they held onto the back of the van until a leader told them to step back, they waved to us till we were out of sight, some even chased the van. It’s impossible not to join in with their laughter, their excitement is contagious.
I have been picking up bits of Swahili very quickly and I find it very easy to play with the children, some of the more confident have been teaching me phrases and dancing with me.
The interviews have been a lot simpler than I thought they would be, they are not serious and intimidating like they often are in the UK. The room was colourfully decorated and the translators were easy to chat with. Each and every person has something interesting to tell me about their lives and common interests are not sparse at all.
I can’t wait to go to church tomorrow and celebrate with all of these awesome people, it’s so obvious the Lord is working in these people and I feel very touched by some of the things I have heard yet it’s only my second day here. I have made a great friend in my roommate, I definitely have a lot to learn from her – God is so active in her life.
The only thing I could complain about would be the insect repellent, every time my roommate and I use it a drowning sensation arises. The roll on leaves sticky streaks if you don’t rub it in, but if you rub it in then your food tastes of insect repellant and you can’t stop sniffing it every time you brush your hair back or itch your nose.
Sad as it is, I initially thought that living without internet connection and other western luxuries would be a struggle, difficult for me. IT HAS NOT BEEN. I am interested in everything around me and excited by the opportunities to learn that are put in front of me which seem to be endless!! There is is always something to do.
I am missing my family and friends, I hope the first few weeks back to school & work has been okay. Lots of love xx
In conclusion, everything is going swimmingly and I am having a great time.
(MY SWAHILI NAME IS IMANI)