Coming Soon!

Most people should know by now, but in case you haven’t heard…we are pregnant!

The newest addition to our little family is due to arrive the beginning of October. We couldn’t be more excited!

We are so thankful for the blessing of being able to have children and so excited to start this next chapter in life.

5153815d-36f4-49df-be5a-bebe81fab608

Our precious baby at its 20 week scan

 

Having a baby abroad, and in Africa, is full of challenges. Just the prep work I need to do in order to make sure we have everything in place before the birth takes months!

When I say ‘prep work’, I don’t mean painting and shopping for a baby room, or going to Target to make sure we have all the right baby clothes and are stocked up on diapers, blankets, pacifiers, and whatever else social media claims is a ‘Must-have’, or having monthly, or weekly meetings and checkups with a favorite doctor/midwife, or going to prenatal classes to make sure we are prepared for a baby.

Non of this standard ‘prep’ work is even possible for us if we wanted to.

The type of prep work I am talking about is not quite as ‘fun’, although in some ways more important!

IMG_7846

Enjoying a day at the pool at 26 weeks pregnant on our way up to visit and meet the doctor

What I am talking about is cleaning out the house/getting rid of unnecessary junk before we add more ‘stuff’. Writing friends and acquaintances across the entire country who might have a contact for a reliable doctor and/or midwife. Writing the same friends/acquaintances across the entire country to see if anyone is selling baby stuff we can buy second hand (because you cant buy most things here). Contacting a doctor and midwife over 900 miles away and in another country, and scheduling appointments with them. Traveling (via car) over 900 miles one way to another country to meet the doctor and midwife who will deliver our baby, get a checkup and necessary tests done, hope everything is healthy and good before driving all the way back.

IMG_7883

On the 900 mile (one way) road trip to visit doctors, midwives, and hospitals

Doing necessary research on getting a birth certificate, certified US citizenship for our baby, and passport. Making sure I have multiple copies of all applications and supporting documents to prove our baby is eligible for US citizenship and can then get a passport so we can leave the country and return home. Contacting more ‘friends-of-a-friend’ in the country we are going to give birth in to make sure we have a safe and comfortable place to stay for 2 months while we wait for the baby to arrive. Helping organize travel dates for my amazing parents who are coming all the way out here for the birth. Reorganizing our bedroom to make sure we have space for the baby and its crib/accessories – which we wont get until after the baby is born and will have to set up when we return. And lastly, making sure all the above is done and organized 3 months before the birth, PLUS having EVERYTHING packed that I will need for the hospital, last month of pregnancy, post-partum, new born baby, ALL documents that I will need before and after birth.

Oh right, I have just left our home in the bush and am staying in a small apartment next to Colton’s parents. It is the beginning of August and the baby is due beginning of October. I wont return to our home until November. Thats crazy.

IMG_8103

30 Weeks along in Iringa

The reason I am here is because we live so remote that if any complication were to arise we would be totally alone. No doctors. No midwives. No (clean and reliable) hospitals. No emergency flights. Nothing.

I will be living here until we travel to Kenya for the birth at the beginning of September. Where I am staying now is next door to a friend of ours we met the beginning of the year and happens to be a Danish midwife who just had her fourth kid. She is amazing and can do regular check-ups for me until we go to Kenya.

*Side note: I am also taking a 4 week Swahili language course while I am here to help keep my brain active, as well as to help me speak the language. This is somewhat challenging when pregnancy brain kicks in! I haven’t experienced it too much thankfully but it did happen the other day where my brain literally just turned off and all I could do was stare at the Swahili word (that I already knew) that my teacher was asking me to translate. haha.

IMG_8070

Last day at our house before I left for 3 months – 29 weeks

So, not your typical ‘prep’ work for a baby. But we are making it work. We know and have faith that everything will work out and all we can do is our best to be as prepared as possible for when the time comes.

Can you imagine having to basically be 100% organized and ready to bring home a new born baby, and then leaving your home where you wont return for 3 months, and when you do you will have a new baby? Its even hard for me to imagine! But thats what we have to do. Im sure next time around (if we are still here) we wont have to do so much ‘prepping’, but since its our first and we live in the middle of nowhere, we are taking extra precautions.

IMG_7323

How in the world are you supposed to choose?!

It still blows my mind that the closest reliable US/European standard doctors and facilities are over 900 miles away from us….in another country. Talk about crazy!

In addition to all this traveling, prepping, language learning, organizing, etc. Colton and I will be apart for around a total of 4-6 weeks. In a dream life my husband would be able to take off the full 3 months from work…but who in this life has that luxury?! haha. I am just thankful that he is as supporting, loving, caring and excited about our baby as anyone could be. He makes this new journey easy and I couldn’t do it without him! He will be the best dad ever and I am so excited to see him with our little baby.

IMG_7945

On our visit to Kenya to meet the doctors we were able to attend Colton’s highschool Alumni weekend at RVA. Couldn’t imagine life without him!

All the above might sound like complaining, but its not. Im just trying to paint a picture of the process and experience that might be hard to imagine. The truth is I really cant complain too much.

I am 31 weeks pregnant and it honestly has been pretty easy so far. The morning sickness was barely noticeable and for only about 2 weeks. I am staying fit and healthy (as much as possible), the baby is strong and healthy, measuring in on schedule and SO active. We have family and friends who are so supportive, generous and welcoming as we go through this phase of not really knowing what we are doing. We have family who are willing to spend the time and money to travel all the way to Kenya just to be with us, see the new baby, help and support, and just spend time together.

We truly have been so blessed throughout this entire journey. Although its not over yet we know there is a great future ahead of us!

IMG_7596

Baby R due October 5th, 2018

Birthday!

When I was a kid, we had themed birthday parties every year. My mom made the cake while my dad always did the decorating. Im pretty sure I get my baking skills from my mom and artistic side from my dad. His cakes were fabulous. From pirate ships, to an actual barbie doll with the cake made around her to be her dress. They were always perfect.

Well, we don’t do themed parties anymore (but Im sure we’ll start them up again with our own kids one day!), but we always take the time to make it special, no matter where we are, or who we are with.

This year, Colton surprised me with a weekend getaway to Lake Tanganyika. He is always one for cute surprises, but he’s not exactly the best at being discreet. However, this time he totally surprised me!

fullsizeoutput_8281

Friday morning we woke up, I went to get the coffee started, got dressed for the (home) gym, and came back in the room to grab something. After a few seconds I turned around to see Colton laying out clothes on the bed…this never happens. I asked what he was doing and he casually said he was packing for Tanganyika. haha! What?! I asked when we were going and he said that morning. Surprise! He totally got me and it was perfect.

fullsizeoutput_8277

The weather was beautiful, especially since we’ve had nothing but rain for the past few months! We were the only guests so it was very quiet, peaceful and romantic.IMG_6851

Our last night there we went on a sunset cruise. Their neighbors, an older Dutch couple, joined us. This was our first time cruising on Lake Tanganyika and it was absolutely beautiful. We had drinks and appetizers whilst cruising around the islands on the lake. Such a raw, untouched beauty.

fullsizeoutput_8276fullsizeoutput_826ffullsizeoutput_826a

Just before the final sunset we parked the boat behind one of the islands. The Dutch couple, who we had just met while boarding the boat, had brought a Chinese lantern with them from Holland. They gave it to me as a birthday treat. What was supposed to be an easy 1-2 person job of lighting the lantern turned into an entire group effort from everyone on the boat! It took about 15 minutes to light it due to the wind and when we finally let it go it drifted up momentarily before slowly plunging into the lake! So it didn’t work out so well for us, but the memories are unforgettable. We were all laughing so hard and had such a wonderful time!

fullsizeoutput_8262

Back on shore, when it came time for dessert, the staff lowered the lights and came out singing ‘Happy birthday’ to me, complete with a sparkler on top the ice cream! It was so special and sweet. I didn’t expect to be so spoiled and celebrated, at least by anyone other than my husband. It was perfect.

fullsizeoutput_8268

The birthday weekend was fabulous. My husband wins the award for best husband of the year!

IMG_6857

IMG_6852

On my actual birthday (a Monday) Colton had to work – of course – we are grown adults now. But for dinner we made pizzas and cooked them in our clay oven outside and watched The Proposal 🙂

IMG_6854

After we ate, Colton had me stay in the room while he went the kitchen to prepare something. He came out singing happy birthday and holding a bowl full of chocolate banana bread (I had made the day before) and ice cream with chocolate syrup, sprinkles, and a candle 🙂 He is the best. I was surprised to see the ice cream because it usually doesn’t exist in our part of the country. Now, its not the best quality or most amazing ice cream, but it was ice cream nonetheless. It was so special!

IMG_6853

Needless to say this years birthday was perfect. Full of surprises, new friends, sunny days, candles, and blessings. Year 28 is off to a great start and I have a feeling it will only get better 😉

Xoxo

 

7 Travel Tips for London

Recently, my husband and I traveled to London for the first time. I did as much research as possible before hand so I would be familiar with the trains, travel cards, what to see and what not to see, etc. Maybe its the OCD in me, but I have to have some kind of a plan/schedule before traveling anywhere…even if the plan changes once there! I felt pretty good about what we would do while in London.
 fullsizeoutput_8212
We had such a great trip to London. I think we were able to see and do everything that we had wanted to do. Looking back, I cant think of anything that we felt we missed out on or forgot about. The only thing we would do differently next time we go is to spend more time outside of London, touring the country side of England. But, we knew before going that wasn’t feasible for us this last trip.
*Read about our trip to London in my last post here: London Calling
So, here are my tips after spending a week in London. If you are going for the first time hopefully these tips will help you have a more organized and stress-free visit!

1. Know what you want, and where you are going!

Meaning, do your research before you go on the trip. And I don’t mean a quick Wikipedia read the day before. There is so much to see and do in London. A lot of things are free, but there are also a lot that cost a bit extra money. What helped me have a more stress-free visit was researching all the ‘Main Tourist Attractions’ or ‘London Must-see’s’ (there are a million blogs and websites for tourists with a long list of these attractions).
Make a list of the most important places for you to see or the places you would regret not visiting. Then, either make a secondary list of places that aren’t as important, but if you have time you might see them, or forget about the rest and just focus on your ‘Must-See’s’.
Once you have this list, see what the cost for each attraction is you plan on seeing. This should be very easy to find on almost all tourist websites. This is important to do if you are trying to budget your trip. You can purchase a London Pass which will cover entry for all the main attractions. Their website will give you a list of everything it covers. If you plan on visiting most the places it covers than its worth it and is actually cheaper in the long run that buying tickets at each place.

 

fullsizeoutput_7d4c

We opted to not buy a London Pass. For us, there were plenty of places we had to see, but wasn’t necessary for us to tour the place. The only places we paid to tour was Westminster Abbey (definitely worth it!) and the Tower of London. The Tower of London was the most expensive, and was a last minute decision for us. It was very interesting, but I think my husband enjoyed it more than I did 😉
We would have spent almost $400 on a London pass for both of us for the time we were there (that doesn’t include travel in London), but, instead we only spent a little over $100 for the sight seeing we did. Thats quite a big difference, especially budget travellers!
So, do your research and know what you want, and where you are going, before you go.

2. Oyster Card

This is a must. We arrived with high hopes of being ‘tough’ and just walking everywhere. Although we did do a lot of walking, we also had Oyster Cards. They really saved us time and money. Its a preloaded card depending on how much you want to spend (their website recommends how much to to start with for a week visit). This card allows you to use the Underground, Overground, and Busses through all of London. The convenience of being able to just hop on a bus to get us to the next location was so nice. Plus, they are very nice and comfortable busses!
fullsizeoutput_7de0
*If you decide to purchase the London Pass, there is an option that includes an Oyster Card…so you don’t have to purchase them separately.

3. Make sure you bring comfortable walking shoes!

I brought comfortable walking shoes. However, one day I opted to wear a pair of boots that are really cute, and generally pretty comfortable. But…we ended up doing a lot more walking that day than we originally planned and my feet were so sore that night!

4. Forget About ‘London Bridge’

This might sound strange, but believe me, its not worth it! What is typically thought of around the world (even to some older British friends of ours) as the iconic ‘London Bridge’, is actually the Tower Bridge, located just outside the Tower of London.
The actual London Bridge is just a modern cement bridge thats not worth noting. We were very shocked when we came around the corner to the suspected London Bridge to find just a normal bridge. The plus side is that its right next to Borough Market – which is a must!
fullsizeoutput_7df8

Tower of London & Tower Bridge (NOT the London Bridge)

5. Borough Market

fullsizeoutput_7e03

Borough Market

This is such a fun and bustling place. Its basically a giant food market with all kinds of vendors from cheese and wine, deli meats, and bakeries, to oysters and clams, hot soups, fresh juice, and waffles. There are so many options it can be slightly overwhelming, but worth it!

6. Don’t Eat out Every Meal

IMG_6428

London is expensive. period. But, there are ways around spending too much money if you don’t have too. When booking your accommodation, try to find a place with access to a kitchen. Buy a few essential groceries, coffee or snacks. We had breakfast and coffee at our apartment we stayed at every morning. This didn’t keep us from buying more coffee once we were out and about – it was so cold! For lunches, usually we just bought a pre-made baguette or sandwich from a local coffee shop or cafe. We were usually on the go anyways so it worked great for us. We ate out a few nights at different pubs and even a pizza place. But, there is no need to eat at a pub every night. We had a few nights where we just made a simple dinner back at the apartment.

7. Taxi’s are Expensive

If you have an Oyster Card, there most likely wont be any need for a taxi or Uber. But, on the rare chance you might need one, just be aware they are expensive. Its important to note as well that the taxi’s in London are cash only, and don’t allow food or drink in them. We found this out the hard way. Coming back from our friends wedding late at night a taxi was the only option. We barely had enough cash. The reception was serving midnight hor’devours and we had just grabbed a few to snack on when the taxi arrived. As we were getting in his car he had to tell us we cant bring food with us. It was kind of awkward. However, after a rough introduction with the taxi, it was a very pleasant drive and we had a great conversation with the driver 🙂

 

fullsizeoutput_7e15

Those are my basic travel tips for first-time Londoners! This is only based on our personal trip and what worked best for us. Everyone’s travel needs and expectations are different but hopefully this can help a bit!
Cheers!

London Calling

Last month we had the opportunity to attend a friend’s wedding…in London. How could we say no?? I had never been and Colton had gone once when he was about 10 years old…which doesn’t really count.

We decided to arrive the the week before the wedding to do all our touristy sight-seeing stuff and end our time in London with the wedding.

Before packing, I made sure to check the weather in London so we would be properly prepared. This is something my husband always teases me about…I guess its an unheard of thing for MK’s (missionary kids), or maybe its just unheard of in Tanzania? Either way, his whole family shares the same view…why in the world would you check the weather? Well…growing up in Oklahoma we ALWAYS checked the weather. We weren’t paranoid. But, being in the mid-west, Oklahoma is prone to tornados, rain, sleet, snow, severe storms, microbursts, hail…and this could happen within one a days time!

Anyways….I checked the weather. I was so glad I did because the week that we were arriving in London the ‘Beast from the East’ was also arriving. A massive cold front and winter storm. I packed my warmest clothes (which isn’t saying too much). Colton insisted on only a light jacket for himself despite me trying to persuade him otherwise.

fullsizeoutput_7d45

The British Museum

When we finally emerged through the cloud coverage over London, we were surprised to see a blanket of white on the ground. I was so giddy and excited to see snow again. Although I prefer warmer weather in general, over 5 years of only warm weather and no snow makes me miss it sometimes. Colton, on the other-hand, was not as amused to see the snow.

IMG_0010

Flying into London…amazed by the snow in late March!

We managed to navigate our way pretty seamlessly to the Underground and map out our train stops to our destination. We were quite proud of ourselves for navigating the system without getting lost. While waiting for our last overground train, in the freezing cold, it actually started snowing. I was so excited. Our friend met us at a coffee shop when we got off our last train and took us promptly (after getting a hot chocolate for myself – it was way too cold for a cold drink!) to a pub just up the street. The pub was quite crowded but very cozy.

fullsizeoutput_7de2

Waiting for our next train

fullsizeoutput_7de1

fullsizeoutput_7de4

Started snowing while waiting for our last train! Literally just off the plane from Tanzania

Our lodging for the week was about a 15 min walk from the pub. Our friend (the groom)’s friend generously opened his apartment to us for the week while he was away on holiday. It was such a nice apartment and a great location for getting around!

On our first day in London, we woke up in the coziness of a plush bed, carpeted floors, heated rooms, a view (although distant) of the City of London, and light snow dusting the balcony and rooftops. It was magical. I felt like I was on a luxury getaway….but maybe Ive just been in Africa too long 😉

fullsizeoutput_7de7

First morning coffee taking in the view and snow 🙂 I had to use the British mug I found in the cabinet to properly represent 😉 haha

fullsizeoutput_7d3c

View from our apartment

You would think the first thing we would do in London is all the touristy things. Now, this was definitely our plan, but first things first. We had to go the mall. This might sound petty or ridiculous, but it was necessary and part of our plan!

fullsizeoutput_7d3d

First morning in London…still amazed by the snow

First, being in Tanzania there are no options for getting a good hair coloring. The last time I got my hair colored I decided to go blond, which was fun while it lasted, but I soon realized it was impossible to keep up where we are living. So to avoid it eventually turning into a disaster, I had scheduled a hair appointment for myself just down the road from our apartment. Next, we had to do some shopping. Again, there are no malls, boutique stores, or department stores in Tanzania to buy suitable clothes for a wedding, or even cold weather. We hit up H&M and a few other stores and were able to get all the clothes we needed to stay warm and for the wedding. These were the major things we needed to do, and with those checked off the list, we could now spend the rest or our time in London being tourists 🙂

IMG_6428

Waiting for the museum to open

IMG_6253

Houses of Parliament and Big Ben (to the right covered in scaffolding) and sporting our new winter clothes…definitely necessary!

We had 4 full days of sight seeing and I think we did just about everything imaginable.

fullsizeoutput_7d43

We toured Westminster Abbey, walked through Hyde park, saw Buckingham Palace, Tower of London and Tower Bridge (not to be confused with London bridge….but more on that in my next post!), saw the crown jewels, St. Pauls Cathedral, visited the British Museum, the Natural history museum, the national gallery, walked along the Houses of parliament, Big Ben was under construction so we didn’t get a good view of it, but saw it nonetheless. We went to Piccadilly Circus, Covent Garden, Borough Market, Selfridges, Harrods, and even went to Novello Theater to see Mama Mia!. We took one day and visited Cambridge. We went to a few pubs and lots of coffee shops.

fullsizeoutput_7e00

Piccadilly Circus

fullsizeoutput_7dee

Natural History Museum

fullsizeoutput_7d4d

Westminster Abbey

fullsizeoutput_7d47

The Rosetta Stone

fullsizeoutput_7e13

Cambridge

fullsizeoutput_7d5b

Novello Theater – Mama Mia!

fullsizeoutput_7df5

Colton’s favorite place we visited – The Tower of London

fullsizeoutput_7d40

Natural History Museum

IMG_6427

Harrods – and just beautiful architecture

Our last day in London was the wedding. It was in a small church in South Kensington. We felt like we were in a movie, maybe the neighborhood of the family in Mary Poppins. The streets and houses were so quaint, clean, quiet and just lovely. The ceremony was beautiful. Simple and meaningful. Although we only met the bride once it was evident that these two people have something very special. We felt so honored to be a part of it.

fullsizeoutput_7d68

Perfection

fullsizeoutput_7e14

The transport

IMG_6425

Our ride to the reception!

From the ceremony, we were put onto 2 classic double-decker busses with glasses of champagne. There was a quiz game about the bride and groom, we met new acquaintances, and oddly enough, on our same bus only a few rows in front of us, Colton recognized someone he knew. This guy came to Tanzania a while back when we were in Arusha as part of Colton’s company. He was there with his wife. They were just as shocked to see us as we were to see them. Its a small world!

fullsizeoutput_7e19

Double-Decker bus

fullsizeoutput_7d72

Champagne on the way to the reception

The reception was at an old dock house along the Themes that has been converted into a venue. Simple. Rustic. Chic. Classy. We met so many interesting people at the wedding and had a great time eating, visiting, and dancing.

fullsizeoutput_7e1f

The reception…and Colton being a stud 😉

IMG_6426

One of my favorite pictures! Taken candidly by our friends and sent to us after the wedding 🙂

We stayed as late as we could. Our flight was the following morning. Not too early, but we needed to get up a bit early to so we could walk to the train station, buy tickets and make our way to the airport. We said goodbye to the bride and groom and left with unforgettable memories.

fullsizeoutput_7d7c

Everything was stunningly perfect

Our time in London was so amazing. We were there for a full week and it hardly seemed like enough time, although we definitely made the most of it. We already look forward to the next time we are able to make our way back to this city. We made so many unforgettable memories its hard to have a favorite from our trip. Overall, just being able to travel and explore a new city with my husband and best friend is the best memory of the trip.

fullsizeoutput_7d78

At the reception!

More pictures here!

Christmas Time is Here…Again

Actually, it ‘was’ here again! Thats what I get for being so behind on my posts! But, this is one of my New Year’s resolutions…so fingers crossed I wont be behind forever!

Christmas this year was wonderful, as always. But, it was also a little busier and faster pace than normal.

Typically, for Christmas, traveling back home to the States, or even to Europe, is out of the question. So we opt for the second best…about a week posted up on a beach on the coast of Tanzania or Zanzibar.

IMG_0781

Sunset in Stonetown – Christmas 2016

This year, with Colton’s family settling into a new place, we spent Christmas with them.

IMG_4469

Ceremony at our friends wedding – Arusha, TZ

We did manage to squeeze in maybe 2 days at the beach, but not before driving to Arusha for a friends wedding.

IMG_4527

Reception at the wedding – full night of dancing and good times!

The wedding was two of our good friends from when we lived in Arusha. It was stunning. Nothing from the wedding was less than picturesque!

IMG_4554

The bride and groom leaving the ceremony 🙂

After a fabulous night of dancing and visiting with friends we headed to the coast. This was mostly to get away and have a mini vacay with just the two of us...no one else. This is somewhat of a rarity out here, but also much needed. One part of Colton’s job is that its always with him. So, even if he spends a 10hr day at the office or in fields, when he gets home there are always people calling or knocking on the door. Its never ending and absolutely draining.

IMG_4511

Everything about the wedding was perfect 🙂

So if we can get even just 2 days alone without interruption we are stoked! (and we don’t even have kids yet!)

IMG_4612

Colton and I on a special date night in Dar 🙂

The coast was great. We got a few days at the beach. A bit of rain. Some necessary shopping, and even a night out watching the new Star Wars in the cinema.

IMG_4589

Date night in Dar with a fabulous sunset!

We arrived at Colton’s parents house (about 9hrs drive from the coast) a few days before Christmas.

On Christmas eve we attended a midnight service. It was held in an old stable of a British dairy farm and was beautiful. Colton’s dad gave a brief message to the crowd before singing in Christmas morning with carols.

IMG_4623

The stables for the candlelight service – Christmas Eve

Christmas day was relaxing and refreshing just being with family. No obligations or itineraries. We exchanged gifts, ate delicious food, and watched fun tv shows.

IMG_4645

Christmas in Iringa – Tanzania

Because Colton’s company was sending some people down to our branch 2 days after Christmas, we had to leave early the day after Christmas. I know i’ve mentioned this drive in previous posts, but nothing like a 12 hour drive leaving at 4am to get you out of the holiday spirit! The relaxing was done.

Thankfully, New Years Eve was over a weekend and we were able to join some friends ‘camping’ at Lake Tanganyika. The only ‘camping’ thing about it was that we cooked our own food over a fire. The rest of it was luxury – even the shared bathrooms for the campsites!

IMG_4774

Lake Tanganyika 

IMG_4772

Old mission ruins on Lake Tanganyika

IMG_4770

Old mission ruins on Lake Tanganyika

The holiday season was quick but still full of great memories and cherished moments 🙂

“Its’ really just a interesting psychological phenomenon…”

Most families have favorite movies they quote over and over again. Eventually, these quotes gain a status within the family that can be used in any situation.

“Its’ really just a interesting psychological phenomenon…”

For my (husband’s) family, this is one of a few!

It might not sound very funny, but for anyone who has seen The God’s Must Be Crazy, you will appreciate this quote! We use this quote so frequently and has been found to come in handy in almost any situation! You will either love it or hate it. But, I say give it a try ;)

And for anyone who has spent a length of time in Africa you will really appreciate the humor in this movie!

IMG_3756

Learning how to roast our own coffee!

The month of October was well anticipated for the arrival of my husbands sister and her husband from the States. It had been over 5 years since she had last been ‘home’ – here in Tanzania.

IMG_3769

Explaining about importance of growing fruits – Rukwa Valley

The whole month was planned out from them traveling off the beaten path to our home (with the entire family), to lake Nyasa/Malawi for a mini family vacay with my husband (he had to work the remainder of their time in Africa), to exploring the winding streets of Stonetown and the white beaches of Zanzibar.

IMG_3878

mini family vacay – Matema, Lake Nyasa/Malawi, Tanzania

After they spent a few days with the whole family at our house, and a quick camping trip, we all traveled to the lake for a couple of nights as mini family vacay (as mentioned).

IMG_3781

Dust storm – Rukwa Valley

From there, my husband went back home and I continued with his family for the rest of the month.

IMG_4111

Rainy days couldn’t keep us from the beautiful ocean! – Kendwa, Zanzibar

We all missed having my husband with us but that didn’t keep us from a wonderful time traveling across the country!

IMG_4059

Waiting for the rain to stop – Kendwa, Zanzibar

More fun pics from our time with my husbands family!

Adventure Awaits…

From all my posts and social media accounts (ok, I really only have instagram and this blog…and facebook..but who really uses fb anymore?), Im sure it seems like our lives are always full of adventure. Although we do go through quite a bit of adventure living in a rural area of Africa, its not as abundant as my social media accounts make it appear. After all, who wants to see the boring stuff, like organizing movies, cleaning out closets, meal planning, trying to practice my Swahili, or just sitting scrolling through Pinterest?

IMG_3242

A typical un-eventful day at our house-working in the garden to harvest strawberries and spinach 🙂

Despite what my intro to this post says…this post is not going to show off the boring stuff. In fact, its just going to highlight a few ‘adventures’ we have gone on over a course of about 3 months.

IMG_3004

Sunset at Utengule Coffee Lodge – Mbeya, Tanzania

I’ve had to do quite a bit of traveling without my husband the past few months. That might sound ‘exciting’ or ‘adventurous’, but to be honest, it really wasn’t. haha. I had to travel to the main city of Tanzania, Dar es Salaam, to renew my passport. You can’t mail it. I was able to spend a few days at the beach. But thats always a little boring without someone to share it with. The important thing is that I got my passport renewed and finally was able to update my horrible passport pic from highschool!

IMG_3186

I was lucky to have a bit of sunshine at the beach while in Dar!

I spent a few weeks with my husbands family while attending a language course. We visited a national game park where we stayed next to a Hippo pond. Hiked a mountain behind our house. Took a weekend away at a coffee lodge. Went to visit some fields with my husband. Checked out an old rainforest near by (that has since been cut down/burned by probably 90% – so its not a rainforest anymore). Harvested some coffee from our backyard and learned how to process and roast it.

IMG_3432

Hippos in Katavi National Park – Tanzania. No they aren’t dead! They are staying cool in the mud during the height of the dry season.

IMG_2918

Our ‘driveway’. 

IMG_2844

Children playing in a sand river – Rukwa Valley, Tanzania. During rainy season this sand river turns into a flashflood zone and swift moving river!

It was a busy 3 months. Lots of time away from each other. But also full of small adventures and quality time together 🙂

More pictures from our ‘adventures’!