What a crazy time we’re living in! There’s so much I could say about it, but for now, I’ll leave it at this: life is precious.
As many of you have probably seen, the U.S. announced a Level 4 Global Health Advisory. This means that our state department advises against all international travel and that if there are U.S. citizens abroad, they should come home immediately or prepare to remain abroad for an “indefinite timeframe.” Many people have asked me whether or not I’m coming home (thanks so much to everyone who has checked in with me, I really appreciate it and feel so loved!), so I wanted to let everyone know that I am staying in Tanzania.
The original plan (and what I am going to assume is still the plan, as I am taking a wait-and-see approach) was to be in Tanzania until May 27. So for three months (or more), here is where I’m living!
This is my beautiful home!! On either side of the house, there is a bedroom and a bathroom. In the middle is the living space, with a living room, dining room, and kitchen.
There are three houses in the compound. There is a Tanzanian family with two children who own the compound in one house, the founder of the nonprofit I’m here with in another, and now I am in the third 🙂
This is the gate to get into the compound and the guard house. Our guard Bryson is sweet as can be! Unfortunately my Swahili is still pretty weak, though, so our conversations have been limited. He’s also super helpful! One night, I came inside to find a huge cockroach in my bathroom. With no idea what to do, I ran outside and got Bryson (after using Google Translate to figure out how to ask “Can you please come kill a bug?”). He quickly came to my rescue, while at the same time making me feel like a wimp, because without a second thought, he simply smacked it with his hand and killed it.
This is the view from my front door. As bright and inviting as it looks, I’ve found it better to sit on my porch and admire it from afar. The sun here is HOT! Within three minutes of sitting out there, my face was sweating more than I ever knew it was possible to sweat from my face.
I just love all the light that pours in through my front windows!
My comfy and cozy living room! I borrowed some kitenge fabrics for the couches to give the room some pops of color. I’ve been enjoying laying on the couches in the evening, watching Grey’s Anatomy and snacking on fried chili peas 🙂
Here’s my kitchen! I’ve been cooking a lot of rice, beans, and veggies for lunch and dinner. For breakfast, I love having fresh eggs! You know they’re coming straight from the coop because some of them still have bits of feathers on them. There are some challenges with cooking that I don’t face back home though. The “nonstick” pans, for example, actually get everything stuck to them. That means I’m cooking with a bit more oil than I typically prefer.
My bedroom! I feel like a princess sleeping under this canopy (mosquito net) every night. Since there is no air conditioning, I have a fan blowing on me all night long to keep me cool. While the power isn’t totally reliable during the day, it has only failed me once at night. Thank goodness, because I don’t sleep very well when I’m hot.
My bright bathroom! I was pleasantly surprised to find that there is a water heater built into my shower head, so I don’t have to wake up early to flip the switch and wait for it to get hot. It really is the little things 🙂
The second bedroom. It mostly stays empty since the current situation is preventing anyone from coming to visit.
Mandy (the founder of the nonprofit) has four adorable dogs! Now that schools are closed and we’re working from home more often, it’s great to have such cute animals keeping us company. Their names are Zuri, Puppy, Jenny, and Bella.
And to top it all off…
Right at the end of my street, I can see the big, beautiful Mount Kilimanjaro.
Home sweet home 🙂