June 27, 2012

Our Adventure: Tanzania 2012

Day 2              6/10/12

A great night's sleep was had by all.... well by most.  Little bear woke up a few times and was freakin' out about the new surroundings a little, so we brought him in bed with us and we all snuggled together under our mosquito net, rejoicing over the fact that we could lay completely horizontal and stretch out and get a better, more restful sleep than we had gotten on the plane the previous day.  Owen even slept later than us, despite us getting out of bed and getting dressed/around with him right there in the room.
We started our day at 8am with breakfast.  Owen had his first taste of fresh, African mango and L.O.V.E.D it.  He's only ever had freeze-dried mango from Trader Joe's before - so once he tasted the real stuff he pretty much wouldn't eat anything else until we took the mango out of the dining room so he couldn't see it any more.  I'm positive he would have eaten all 5 mangoes had we let him. 
After breakfast we did devotions and Mary played some acoustic while we worshiped along.  She asked us to share what was on our hearts as we began the trip and I kind of lost it.  I feel like this trip God is telling me/ showing (?) me what it looks like to take time for Him & me, and balance being a mom.  It's not easy.  After that we started the 'Hot Seat' tradition (where one of the team members get's prayed over, we would do it each day until everyone on the team was prayed for).  Mary decided that I should be the one in the hot seat today.  The team prayed over me and I felt a release of emotion that I had been storing up and it felt good to get it out.  After that I felt refreshed and renewed.  Marilyn and I really connected at that point too - she's a mom of three and a teacher as well, so we already had that in common.  But then she told me about a vision she had of me that involved being in shallow water that was getting deeper and deeper, and it really resonated with where I feel like I am right now spiritually.  It made me think back to the Ghana trip - where I had several visions of water pitchers overflowing - because I was getting SO full spiritually on that trip.  This trip though, I'm definitely running a little shallow-er - just from being a mom, and trying to be a good wife, and work and everything else, I'm just in a totally new stage of life than I was before.  It was neat to hear from God through her that this trip would be the launching point of going deeper with Him.  And she also mentioned that she would take Owen at any time of day if I needed a hand, and that helped too :)
Shortly after prayer we got packed up and headed out to the middle of nowhere - literally - to a secret oasis with some hot springs.  It was our time to unwind, get on African time and relax before setting off on our adventures. 
This place was literally surrounded by desert - you would have no idea that this beauty lay behind the thorns, dust and dirt that surrounded it.
I swear I didn't enhance the color at all in these photos - this place was just that beautiful! 
We had a picnic lunch before jumping in for a swim!
 
     Although he looks pretty darn cute in his rash guard and swim trunks (with his mouth full nonetheless), Owen is going through an "I'm-terrified-of-water" stage right now, so he only got in for about 30 seconds, all of which he screamed bloody murder for.  So Bill & I took turns on the shore with him.
   
There was a rope swing - and boy was it fun!  I went off it a couple times too, but I think someone else got the pics of me - not on my camera. :)  The water was nice and warm - not hot, hot, but quite warm, especially in that spot above where all us girls were sitting on a log.  The water was crystal-clear and you could see all the way to the bottom, which was at least 12 feet deep in some places, and it had this gorgeous turquoise-green hue to it - so unreal and beautiful!
   
If you look closely on the white feet over on the right of the photo, you can see little black fish.  These guys were flesh-eating fish.  No joke.  They left you alone as long as you were swimming, but if you stopped for a while and just relaxed in the shallow areas they would nibble at the dead skin on your body.  A couple of the guys and girls sat in the shallow part of the spring and let the fish give them a pedicure. They said it just tickled more than anything... I wasn't about to find out though - NOT me.  Those of you that know me well know that- even though I grew up on a lake - I'm not a fan of fish.  Especially the flesh-eating variety. :-p
Can you see it?  Look in the middle of the frame... it's not a bird, not a plane... it's a monkey!  Near the end of our time at the springs we heard a great rustling of leaves, and looked up to see about 4 monkeys chasing each other around from branch to branch.  They were very fast and this is the best shot I could get!
The Maasai are fascinated with wazungus (wah-zoon-goos/ white people) and we had quite the audience at one point:
We snapped a quick family pic before packing up and heading back home for dinner:
And as we drove home and the sun was setting over the dessert, we passed over these tracks, I couldn't resist the photo-op with the boabab (bo-uh-bab - the ones with the fat trunks) trees in the background!
After we got home and cleaned up/changed we headed to 10 to 10 Pizzeria for dinner.  I got a mushroom/cheese pizza (brick-oven style) and Bill got a cheeseburger.  Which turned out to be just that.  Cheese.  On a bun.  With all the trimmings.  It was quite funny to see how things like that get lost in translation :)
The dynamic of this trip is so different from my last trip.  It's so much harder for me to really enjoy it.  Too really get in deep, because I'm always focused on Owen and making sure his needs are met, etc.  Not that I'm not enjoying it - I really am - just not as deeply as I imagined I would.