amaranth to zai holes: my time thus far in the u.s.

Greetings.  Yeah, it’s been a while.  I’ve definitely broken at least three records since August 6th of this year:

  1. Most consecutive days (maybe I ought to measure in weeks) without posting on aliens and strangers.
  2. Most consecutive days not reading any other blogs.  [Sorry to all my friends out there; I’d say that I’ll catch up on my reading at some point… but I probably won’t.]
  3. Most consecutive days spent considering trashing the blog and being done with it — because I’ve enjoyed the break… and what I’ve been doing.

But I’m not going to get ride of the blog.  I don’t plan to be nearly as prolific as I have in the past — but aliens and strangers will indeed go on.  Here’s what I’ve been up to during furlough so far:

  • We’ve met with the elders and/or missions committees at two of our sponsoring churches.  And we really enjoyed being together with such Godly people, who are so supportive of our work.
  • We spent four nights in the mountains with both my and Christie’s immediate families.
  • I finished 7th place in my age group in the Tennessee State Championship 8K (5 miles) with a 35:50.  That’s not the time I was looking for, but the race was at midnight, and I (apparently) don’t do well running while sleeping.
  • I finished 2nd in my age group in a cross-country 5K in Huntsville, Alabama, with a 20:10.  I was happy with that time considering I’d not rested at all before the race — and had instead gone rock climbing with some friends.  And I was especially happy with my place, because I finished just behind one Jason Reneau, who is one of my heroes in running.  [He’s also the husband of fellow blogger and guest-poster, Jane.]
  • I went rock climbing with some friends, though you already knew that.
  • I took a one-week intensive Tropical Agriculture Development course in Fort Myers, Florida.  [Which was great.]
  • I milked a goat.
  • I’ve eaten all sorts of foods that are hard to come by in Tanzania, not the least of which were raw oysters, burgers, barbecued ribs, tamales, and pizzas.  I also drank some milk straight from the goat.  Well, it went into a can first; I mean it wasn’t STRAIGHT from the goat.  That’s gross that you even thought that.
  • I haven’t eaten any rice and beans.
  • I sold my mountain bike and ordered a cyclocross bike.  [I need to sell my road bike as soon as I get back to Tanzania.]
  • I played in a mountain crick with my daughter.
  • I’ve visited lots of friends already — and am still looking forward to seeing others.
  • I swam in the Gulf of Mexico.
  • I swam under a waterfall in Blacksburg, Virginia.
  • I’m currently driving a 1995 Cutlass Ciera.  Yeah, you’re probably jealous.
  • I got a Tennessee driver’s license — having only driven for one week without one.
  • I HAVE NOT been to a Starbucks.  And I’m striving to keep it that way.  Gotta’ fight the man.
  • I took my wife out for ice cream last night.
  • And I just finished my third blog post in a month.  You’re welcome.
What are you guys up to?

* The title (amaranth to zai holes) comes from a book put out by ECHO, which is the organization from/with which I took the agriculture course.  Amaranth is the English word for mchicha, which is the green we eat most often in Tanzania.  I can’t explain zai holes on my website, because it’s a bad word.


Filed under just thinking, updates from geita

13 responses to “amaranth to zai holes: my time thus far in the u.s.

  1. Amaranth to Zai Holes has always had a prominent place in my Dad’s library; I can picture it well. Glad you had a good time in Florida. But you’re missing out on a whole lot of good electricity here!

    • funny you mention electricity. christie’s parents’ house was without electricity after the hurricane passed through. and a lot of people in richmond are still without. you know they also had a couple of earthquakes last week. very strange.

      and i got to visit a bit with your dad. very helpful. also said hello to your mom.

      • Eagle

        Yeah power went out where I live in Washington, D.C. However, (unless I missed it…) no fundagelical attributed Hurricane Irene to one particular sin or End Times Prophecy. And for that fact I am grateful!! 🙂

  2. Craig Bullington

    sitting in your house and reading your books (at least the ones on swahili, hope you don’t mind). Have a great rest of the trip!

  3. What???? NO MENTION OF DRINKING TONS OF DIET DR. PEPPER? Is something wrong with you? have you been kidnapped by aliens and strangers? Sounds like you are having an absolutely fabulous time Brett. Wish we could meet somewhere but probably not going to happen. i will be coming through Knoxville in October but that is probably not going to work for you. Anyway, good to have you “home” and enjoying it. Me? I have ridden over 2000 miles this summer. Yeah, it has been good. ‘course it helps only working one day a week. 🙂

    • i have been drinking quite a bit of diet dr. pepper, bill. but i hesitate to mention it, because — if it’s possible — i may have overstated my love for the good stuff. i arrived home to about 90 cans of diet dr. pepper, and every house i’ve visited has had 12 more. that’s A LOT of diet dr. pepper.

      over 2000 miles, huh!? that’s a whole lot of miles. i’ve got my first triathlon coming up in under two weeks…. and i rode a bike here for the first time yesterday. but at least i was riding a little before leaving tanzania. i haven’t swam laps in 3 years. [this may not be my fastest triathlon…]

  4. Gah, I love your writing. Definitely *don’t* stop! When do you head back to Tanzania?

    • thanks, jenn. very kind words. we don’t go back to tanzania until the middle of november. i can’t wait to experience fall and cold weather (and the national peanut festival).

  5. Kasey George

    We had a son! He’s totally awesome so far. You won the gender/birthdate contest.

  6. Ted

    Just hanging out, eating twinkies… you know more or less what I’m doing. It doesn’t involve sleeping or spending much time with my family though. My two mile time is about 16:30 right now. I’ve done three, but I don’t think I’ve ever done five, and I hope I never have to. Glad you’re enjoying your time in the states.

  7. Well hey! I am glad you are back, but I totally understood the lack of blog posting (even though I checked with hope in my heart each morning, coffee in hand). It sounds like you are having a WONDERFUL time back in the states, and that is as it should be.

    As for me, I’m just running and working and writing. Same ole, same ole. And I’m lovin’ every minute. See ya in Nov!

  8. Eagle

    Hope you enjoy your time here. I’m just slaving away, fighting traffic, and enjoying life in Washington, D.C. 🙂

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