Five Week Update!

Karibu! I seriously cannot believe I've been in Moshi for five weeks now! And I just finished the fourth week of school with my first graders! I thought I would start doing this every few weeks, just a little update on how things are going, and random pictures or thoughts. So here's my five week update!
 Seriously, guys, I can't even tell you how much beauty is here! Thanks again for the incredible camera, mom and dad! I seriously have been loving playing around with it!!!

So let's see- my journey began on August 20th, leaving Omaha and hopping over to Chicago. Then was my long international flight to Doha, Qatar! God was so good- as I didn't have to lug any of my big luggage through any airports during layovers! I had about eight hours at the Doha airport. Thank goodness for free wifi! Here's a glimpse at the crazy huge airport!
My final flight was to Kilimanjaro Intl. Airport! It took two days to get here, with the time difference. I also love pictures from the plane, Although there should be a little space in the plane windows that is perfectly clear so we don't get the frustrating splotches of who knows what! (My weird dreams...or inventions?!) Top left is my first sight of Mount Kilimanjaro, Top middle is my first view of Tanzania, Right is from my plane to Doha I think?! I took off from Chicago around 8-9pm, and got to Doha during it's sunset too. Crazy flights and time differences! But I love this of the sunrise or sunset on the horizon! And finally, a picture when I landed in TZ, at the bottom.

 As I mentioned in a previous post, it took me about a week to get over the jet lag. That first week was spent mostly getting acclimated to life in Moshi as well as meeting TONS of new faces and getting to know all the amazing people around me! I met up with Melinda, one of my roommates, in Chicago and we flew over together. And my other roommate, Cyntha, joined us the day after we arrived. Unfortunately, Melinda had to leave about two weeks ago, so now it's just Cynthia and I! It's been so fun getting to know each other and experiencing this awesome adventure together! The house where I'm staying is absolutely incredible. It is huge and totally beautiful! (VLOG HOUSE TOUR COMING SOON!)

The first week I was here was also teacher planning week at Hope! You can read more about that here. I went through curriculum, decorated my classroom, and prepared for my firsties to get there! Here is one of my fun little decorations I forgot to put into to my blog post about the planning week. I found some colorful foam butterflies, wrote each of my students' names on them, and put them on my classroom door to welcome my first graders into our classroom! It was so cute- some of them took pictures next to their name on the first day!

Changes happen all the time, in every school, in every classroom. And there were definitely some that took place in mine! The first day of school I had maybe six of my nine students show up. Through the past four weeks, we have gone from having five students one day, to now having thirteen on my classroom roster (two which will be coming in the second semester, one who only comes in the afternoons, and one who just moved up from Kindergarten this week!). I also switched assistant teachers twice, and was without one for about two weeks. But I absolutely LOVE my T.A. Sarah so much! She is awesome with the students and I am so grateful for her!

After the first week of school and some reevaluation, we switched classrooms with the Kindergarten class, due to size issues. Through and through, God has been my Rock, and I will not be shaken! Here is a picture of my new classroom from Friday, where we were working in centers!
Hope is such a fantastic school, and I'm very grateful to be able to be a teacher here!

Besides teaching and planning, we've been having lots of other adventures! I go to town at least once a week for groceries, and sometimes for fun! I have a blog post talking about that too! We get together with other missionaries here in Moshi at least once a week. Every Wednesday is potluck and worship night, and several families meet at someone's house for that. We'e having it at our house this week! A lot of the missionary families here send there students to Hope.
Ryan and Stacy also host a intercession worship night the 2nd and 4th Fridays of the month that is more of an intense time of prayer, verses fellowship. We also get together as a Global Effect team (Global Effect is the umbrella organization that is over Hope, that Ryan and Stacy also founded) for house church on the first Sunday of the month to connect and grow. The community of missionaries here is so cool, and I'm loving getting to know everyone!
Last weekend we celebrated the 2nd birthday of  the daughter of Brandon and Melissa- one of the families part of Global Effect. It was a camping theme- SO cute!
We've taken a couple of trips to Melinda's and also went up Kili a little bit to get tea at a resort one day. The power in our house goes out almost every other day...TIA! We also have pasteurized our fresh cow's milk from the neighbors, are in the process of making our own Komboucha, and are trying to sprout some avocado trees! We have walked to town, were so grateful to find (after looking several times) a french press in our kitchen, and see Kili almost every day! It is quite the adventure here in Tanzania, and I am loving every bit!

I also got my Residence Visa the other day! Woohoo!

Favorites: Tanzanian coffee, worship nights, my first graders, Wednesday chapels, Mount Kili, building friendships, and Tanzanian foods
Struggles: bug bites and paying-too-much-for-bad-wi-fi-troubles

I have also been reading through Jesus Calling by Sarah Young. It's a simple daily devotional that packs a powerful punch! This leather-bound one was a gift from my parents at my send-off party. The most special part is that I have letters from home scattered throughout, that friends and family wrote me at the send-off! It has blessed me so much already, and every entry is exactly what I need to start my day!

If you want to see more from me day-to-day, click on the links below! Asante sana (thank you very much) for all the prayers! I might be halfway across the world (to some of you), but I can feel the love!

Much Love, Allie

Probably the only place you'll find Pineapple Mint Juice in Tanzania!

One place that I have been to twice now near Moshi is what we call Melinda's. It's the most American-like place here, and I've got to say, it's quite the retreat! Melinda is a Dutch woman (I think) whose husband's job moved them here to Moshi. She built this HUGE house out on a bunch of farmland (some of which is theirs) with a pool, and big grassy area out back. She has her own catering business, and then during the weekends turns her house into the perfect lunch resort-like spot! There is a play area for the kids, the pool, and she and her kitchen staff make lunch and AH-MAZING desserts from her kitchen! It's a pretty amazing place. Let's let the pictures do the talking!

So this is Melinda's! We are looking out from the lawn onto the pool and the house! Off to the left is the parking area, and through those french doors is where the magic happens ;)

This is a small area of the lawn/eating and lounging area. They have picnic tables set up as well as couches and chairs, and lots of blankets for extra seating. Like I said before, it's the most American thing you will get here in Moshi, so we see a lot of the Western missionary families here. Back to the left is the play structure for the children.

The first time we visited Melinda's, I got dessert. And, man, was it DELICIOUS! She makes this chocolate cake herself with whipped cream and strawberries in the middle and on top! And she garnishes each plate so whimsically- fresh flowers on the desserts!

At the back of the lawn area there are rows of coffee plants! She grows a lot of what she serves on the property, makes her own cheese, etc. It's quite incredible!
This is a view from the back of the lawn. There is a GIANT really cool tree to the left, and you can see the house straight ahead. She has also hung swings and hammocks between the trees and made this place very unique!

I also ordered the pineapple mint juice while we were there! She literally blends mint leaves and pineapple together, and you get this beauty! It was SO tasty and refreshing! I'm going to try to make my own sometime!
Now back to this very awesome tree! It must be very old because it is huge! I love all the intertwined roots.
 And here is what you see when you look up standing by the tree. God's creation has so much splendor, I can't even handle it!

 If the kids aren't in the pool or running around with their friends, you can usually see a few lounging on the blankets Melinda sets out. This is Cyrus, one of Ryan and Stacy's children. He is also in my first grade class! He is such a cutie, and has personality for DAYS!!

I hope you enjoyed coming with me on my journey to a new place about 30 minutes from where I'm living. It's a fun oasis, and I know it'll be perfect for those weeks where I'm needing a breather! I love Melinda's too, as a cook, because I love seeing all of her creations and flavor combinations. She is so creative!

Much Love, Allie

Fun In Town!

Downtown Moshi is about 10 minutes from the house where I'm living and Hope, and it's a very fun and interesting place! We go to town a couple times a week, for groceries and for fun! Here's a bit of what I've experienced so far.

We bought and ate some of the maize off of one of the many stands like this around town. They also were cooking casava. The roasted maize was a cross between unsweet corn on the cob and popcorn!

This is a coffee shop/restaurant/Internet Cafe in town, and it's been a fun place to get away from stressors of teaching for a bit! The coffee is AMAZING too! I might be bringing some home to sell over case you want some ;)

 Here's my delicious mocha from Union. Seriously so good! But I've learned that hot coffee in midday is not the greatest in the Tanzanian sun! I go for their espresso milkshakes now :)

The school cooks make snack (some sort of porridge and a fruit/vegetable) and lunch for us every school day. Most of the lunch meals are Tanzanian staples- and I've really enjoyed getting to try so many different things! I snapped this picture one day when we had beans (a very consistent item on the menu) and chipoti- a tortilla-like food that is made with a lot more oil than regular tortillas. It's pretty good, but will fill you up fast!

God's creation never ceases to amaze me!

TGIF! I cannot believe I've been here for four weeks already! It's been a whirlwind of a week, and I'm so looking forward to the weekend!

Much Love, Allie