Category Archives: just photos
I might as well start with the most interesting photo, though I won’t actually tell you about the spitting cobra until later in the post (skip to there, I suppose, if you’re anxious)….
I spent a couple of days this last week in Mwakiwasha village. [You guys are familiar with Mwakiwasha village; we did a couple of photo tours there a while back: mwanza to mwakiwasha and a visit in mwakiwasha village.] The whole family went out Monday, mostly just to greet everyone, though we also worked out some dates for vaccinating chickens, harvesting rice, and having the interns stay a few days. It was Harper’s first village visit ever, and our friends were very happy to meet her.
Yesterday, though, my visit was for some farm work. Continue reading
In honor of Baylor’s appearance in the Sweet Sixteen today…
I thought this photo was particularly humorous. I figure anyone working in development — or in Africa — will agree.
Photo by Keshet Bachan, a gender equality activist in Tel Aviv, Israel.
Harper Mae has finally arrived. She was born on February 4, 2012, at 3:30 pm (you Americans are reading the future right now). 6 lbs, 12 oz — 20 1/2 in. May God be praised!
A couple of blog posts worth reading, which are nearer to me than — and therefore not relegated to — a morning blend post. There’s no real theme here, unless we want to call it “missionary life in East Africa?”
From my friend, Bobby Garner, who works in Uganda.
“Approaching the hospital, Tappe told us the baby had crowned. Actually it was more like, “He’s about to fall”. My response was, “Absolutely not!” Tappe’s next words were “He fell!” Ronald and I simultaneously looked on the floor for a baby. We didn’t see one. Then we noticed a baby on the seat as Tappe hovered above. Ronald quickly scooped the little boy up. The baby let out a gurgled cry.”
And from Duane and Jenny Dixon, who are adopting a cute little girl from Ethiopia and, as a result, were able to visit Carson and Holly last week here in Geita. They took a lot of great photos of Geita, the surrounding areas, and of some of our neighbors. [And if you look backwards on their blog a post or two, you can see pictures of their beautiful little girl, Selah. They actually passed court while in Geita.]
My favorite photo of the many:
And I just happened to notice that Jude’s friend in the photo isn’t wearing any pants, but is wearing a very strategically placed button-up shirt under his jacket. Then I noticed that in all of these pictures, this little boy happens to be covered up with great care. For example:
Our family spent Easter in Kasilo village, visiting a new church there. Our teammate Calvin has been mentoring Yohana, one of the church leaders at Kasilo, and was asked to be present on Easter for several baptisms. The Groens are on their way home for furlough, so I offered to stand in for Calvin. This was Christie’s and my first trip to Kasilo, and we had a great time.
Yohana is a jack-of-all-trades sort, in that he is a nurse assistant by trade — and the most qualified in his village to do just about anything related to medicine. Within minutes of arriving at Kasilo, I was called over to watch a guy have a wisdom tooth pulled.
I wasn’t the only person watching Yohana’s work. A crowd gathered as he prepared to pull this man’s tooth just around the back of his house.
After the extraction, the patient told me that he felt absolutely no pain at any point during the process.
That means he felt less than I did. It was painful to watch. But an incredibly interesting way to begin a village visit. Something I’ve never seen before.
Then we ate chai — which is basically breakfast — at 9:30 am. It was rice and beans; some of you know this is my least favorite food in the world. They told us we were eating the stuff because it was Calvin’s favorite. Thanks, buddy.
Then we went to worship (the first time). Because there were several baptisms planned for today, I preached on the relationship between water, Easter, and baptism. (Basically that) water in the Bible usually involves some combination of the following: death, cleansing and/or new beginnings. And that on Easter we celebrate the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Baptism, then, relates to both of these. The water represents death, cleansing, and new beginning. And the act itself embodies our death to sin, burial with Christ, and resurrection to a new life. Baptism is a play of sorts, in which the participant reenacts the story of Jesus, as he claims it as his own story.
So we headed down to the large puddle / small pond in which we’d be baptizing.
Yohana performed all ten of the baptisms while the rest of us celebrated in song. I had gone with the goal of not doing more than one or two of the baptisms myself, so the Tanzanian leadership wouldn’t rely too heavily on us as missionaries. I was happy to not be needed at all.
Then back to the church “building” for more worship.
Everyone was excited to participate. All the kids sat up front.
Afterwards, we ate again. Rice and beans.
My favorite part of every village visit is the time I get to spend with the men as we sit around talking before and after meals. Today we discussed agriculture (no-till farming) and group Bible studies, among other things; we also set a date for me to return and do some more teaching.
Then we shared together in the first communion taken by the recent baptizees. [Is that a word?]
Our trip to Kasilo village was a good one. In total it was a 10-hour trip (6 in the village and 4 driving), but we were still able to be back in Geita in time to eat pizza with Carson and Holly while reading the resurrection story (in English). The Harrison family had a very blessed Easter (see Easter photos of Baylor here). I hope you did, too.
And please say a quick prayer for the Kasilo village church; it would be much appreciated.
It’s Easter Sunday, and we’ve just returned home from a day with the church in Kasilo village. I’ll tell you more about that tomorrow (lots of photos to download) — but today I thought I’d catch everyone up on what Baylor’s been doing lately. So here are some pics of our little girl. And Happy Easter!
Waiting for lunch one afternoon in Bulyahelu village, I was sitting with a group of men in their shack of a church building. Somehow the conversation turned to fishing (Lake Victoria is nearby), and I was privy to a disagreement concerning the different species of fish in the lake. After some discussion, one of the church elders said, “Let’s ask Brett; he probably knows.”
All eyes turned to me, as I was expected to settle their dispute. Each man leaned in, eyebrows furled — not in anger, but in eager anticipation — as the elder asked, “Brett, are there 17 kinds of fish? Or 18?”
At first I was confused. I quickly considered the possible options: In Lake Victoria? In Tanzania? In the world? None of the possibilities allowed for such a small number, so I asked, “In the world?”
“Yes, in all the world. We know there are tilapia, Nile perch, catfish…” – they began to name the 17 they’d apparently agreed on.
Now… I didn’t know how many types of fish there are in the world; I hated to even venture a guess. Though I knew it was surely in the thousands (I’ve since looked it up: 31,900 species*). I decided that, to these Sukuma men, thousands were not much different than hundreds — and I might seem more believable if I used a smaller number. [Is it ever right to lie?] So I responded with, “I think there are more than 500 kinds of fish.”
Eyes grew wide and bodies leaned backwards in unison, as if there’d been an explosion in the center of our little circle. I felt I should justify my answer… and give them a good excuse for not knowing so many fish existed in the world. So I began explaining that usually ponds have the least number of fish species. And that lakes and rivers have more. But in the ocean — something none of them have ever seen – “In the ocean there are more kinds of fish than you could ever imagine,” I stated in my best exaggerated children’s storybook voice.
That’s when talk turned to Dar es Salaam and how the Tanzanians on the coast probably see lots of fish not in Lake Victoria. “And they’ll eat any kind of fish they catch. They don’t care; they eat anything!” one of the men cried out, almost in disgust.
Another older man was deep in thought. He wanted to know if people in Dar ate this one particular kind of fish that he’d seen only in pictures. He began to describe it:
“Well, these fish are really big — the size of a person! And they look like any other fish on the bottom half… with tails and scales and everything else. But at the top — up top they’ve got a woman’s head and lady boobies!”
I didn’t say a word. And fortunately no one asked me for clarification on that one.