We are still in the rainy season, but it is supposed to slack off in the next couple of weeks, but it might last till July.
Nothing happens as it used to any more, at least not here. We are slowly getting back to normal with John back. We have a number of electrical and computer problems to solve, and it looks like John will have to go down to TTCL (the national phone company) to fix our internet problems for which he gets nothing, but at least the internet will be back for our area. The new bathroom is almost finished, needing only a lock and handle for the door. Shaban can’t finish it today because he will spend most of the day in Musoma with the immigration people finishing up my application for my residence permit renewal (it expires late next week, so there is some urgency here). The new president has instituted a number of changes in the process making it harder with twice the paperwork, but this is supposed to limit the number of illegal residents working here. We have all the paperwork required, the money, the pictures, the copies of my diplomas, and everything should go smoothly, but it seldom works out that way. Happily, the regional Chief of Immigration is aware of what all we are doing here and is happy with it, so we hope things go well. Karen is still working on her Chicka Chicka Boom Boom projects needing to paint the backs of the seven magic panels made of wood and metal. She is very clever and is still passing on her teaching ideas and will till she is no longer with us. She can’t stop or retire—it’s just not in her to do anything but keep working and moving forward. I’m still getting better every day and can now walk from my office through my bedroom and down the hall to the living room unaided—limping but walking without help. I can do it about twice a day before I have to revert to the walker, but compared to only ten steps two weeks ago, this is a big improvement. Still doing all our mission projects and will help a new evangelist with a new bicycle and five Swahili Bibles in two weeks. He will be starting at least three churches in the area between Karikakari and Mugango (if you have a detailed map of our area). Shaban’s wife is out of the hospital (three days for malaria) and while she was hospitalized, Shaban’s youngest son also had malaria, so we didn’t even see Shaban for three days this week. Our worker, Charles, is off for four days due to the death of his brother with whom he was very close. He was almost in tears when he told me and that is rare for a Tanzanian male, so he was really feeling it. Just because so many die around us that doesn’t lessen the pain, hurt, and sorrow for the loved ones of the one who died. I remember when a man who was a good friend to us and over 70 years old, lost his 40-yr-old daughter to malaria. He was grief-stricken and so very sad for a long time. I felt the same way when he later passed away. Losing a loved one or a friend is never easy, and it happens a lot here where the average life span is in the forties. Twelve small children in our neighborhood have died in the last six years. It is very sad, especially when one of the orphans we feed and educate leave an empty chair and plate because malaria has claimed another little one. We will never get used to it.