WH Chronicle No. 1.04

WH Chronicle 1.04

August 12, 2010

At T-minus one month and counting, we’ve endured a house rental rollercoaster.  The lack of internet, phone and being two time zones away has also exacerbated this amusing ride.  Originally, we leased the house the day before our California departure.  Then, via smoke signals, we learn the renters, due to unfortunate circumstances of an injured child, needed to move in to our house early.  Through Draconian efforts, as well as cashing in premature favors, we had the house prepared for them 2 months early; only to receive a gibbered message from our real estate agent stating they no longer desired to live there.  This leaves one with that awful feeling when you go to “shoot the moon” and then realize in the penultimate hand that…well… To be continued….
We’ve braved the cold in Bear Valley, reacquainting ourselves with jackets and jeans.  We played a concert one night in the circus-style tent, where Mat, our flutist, explained to the audience that playing the flute in this climate was just like sticking your tongue to a frozen flagpole.  He speaks quite well despite the splint on his tongue.

The Bear Valley Book Sale will provide Tanzanians with future reading material.  Our family now hoards books as if preparing for an Armageddon recovery effort .  There was a Foxfire book in our purchase bag.  These ‘roughing it’ field guides teach you such things as how to make a bicycle out of a sheep (extra soft seat, cool horn).    Sounds useful.

The US State Department (your tax dollars at work) purchased our family a Rosetta Stone Kiswahili course.  Beyond my honest daily efforts of counting steps in the new language or learning popular kid vocabulary (mtaco = butt), I’m on lesson number 10 and have successfully learned how to say, “mvulana juu ya ndege”  =  “the boy is on top of the plane”.  Are these courses personally tailored?

The kids have been assumed into a pack of wild watoto (children) in Tamarack Lodge.  The only thing missing are occasional choruses of “Food, Glorious Food”.  Meanwhile, I’m in this weird limbo between handling the innumerable logistics and contemplating the effects of our imminent future.   The amusement park ride of problems solved and then problems discovered leaves less time for reflection and humor.  I remember a similar militant-prewar feeling prior to the birth of my children.  Being 10 months pregnant and contemplating the unpredictable weeks of birth and infancy creates a serious-minded individual.  I haven’t burst into to tears yet, as my threshold has risen with life events and years;  but, no doubt, it’ll be a tiny piece of straw.

By the Way:
“Pikepike” (pikiepikie) is ‘motor-scooter’ in Kiswahili; from the sound it makes.
“Msipigi bunduki!”  is ‘don’t shoot!’
“A stranger has big eyes, but sees nothing.”  African proverb

“A sense of humor is good for you. Have you ever heard of a laughing hyena with heart burn?” 
Bob Hope 

“Humor is the instinct for taking pain playfully”.  ~Max Eastman

Battening down the humor,

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