It's been a busy couple of weeks, with a quick trip home and lots of catch-up once returning, and more to do in the next couple of weeks than time might allow (but I'm always up for a challenge). To keep everyone up to date...
I've created a rapport with some of the guys here, and made some friends with a few of the ladies... it feels like I'm
becoming the sweetheart of the mine site (hey, I'll take it, but I'd
prefer internet). I also was informed of the LIBRARY. Shut up, there's a
library. I haven't seen it yet, but it exists. And that's enough for
now. Though, again, lest it be forgotten, I'd also like reliable internet. Coming back wasn't easy, but it was nice to reconnect with some of the folks here. Soon, I may even miss them when I'm away.
I was finally issued a Tanzanian cell phone. Of course, I received it two days before I got on a plane to come back to America, the most perfectly reasonable time to get me a phone that works in Africa. Anyway, I'm issued a Tanzanian cell phone with an icon menu much more challenging that my fancy iPhone (now reduced to a $400 alarm clock) and instructions in Swahili. It also has no balance on it, so I can't actually make phone calls or send text messages. Rebecca called after my triumphant I-have-a-phone email AND GUESS WHAT THE RINGTONE IS?! Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get It On." Let me repeat that. The default ringtone on my Tanzanian cell phone is half a step away from legitimate sexual harassment. Elisabeth has suggested that I switch it to "In the Jungle."
I arrived back to the mine site and found a giant sparrow's nest in the cornice on the front of our house and bats (lots of them) living in the roof of our office. So far, I'm doing my best to ignore them and they are ignoring me, but the encroaching wildlife is growing larger. No longer is it just bugs the size of birds, but actual birds and small mammals sharing my space. The monkeys also are becoming bolder, playing closer to the office. One was hopping up to hang onto the window sill and stare at me... which is either awesome or creepy. On my return home, my father informed me that he had been bitten by a monkey as a child (I can't wait to hear the WHOLE story of this and an explanation of why none of my family has heard it sooner, but we're saving it for Christmas). I'm not feeling so friendly towards the little monsters anymore.
The best surprise since I've been back was being invited to dinner by the couple next door, Kathy and Vick. I went over last Wednesday night and she'd made chicken dinner... but with stuffing and carrots and white wine and potatoes and people who are willing to treat me like family. It felt almost like Thanksgiving, which was sweet and inadvertent, as no one but Americans celebrate that holiday. Though, as a typical American, I think everyone should... I know that there were pilgrims and such... maybe not everyone has
access to turkey... but it seems like an obviously good plan to
Thank God for you all. : )