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Here are a few highlights from my first week in Tanzania. To start with, spending 24 hours in an airplane is no fun. Just think, that's enough time to watch a whole season of 24. Yeah, I know. My connection in Minneapolis was super tight and my incoming flight was half an hour late, so I ended up running across the entire airport to find that they had already shut the door and were preparing for takeoff. They actually reopened the aircraft door so I could get on. So I boarded an international flight after it was scheduled for takeoff. I came down with something intestinal within a few days of getting here and was sick for over a week. It was no fun and the idea that I might be sick for my whole time here was a little discouraging. I'm feeling better now and it's great to be able to put my energy into the work here. So far, my time has been split between working in the office on accounting and spending time out at the site. I'll take some pictures of the work and post them soon. Yesterday, we poured the concrete for the septic tank slab. The locals think it's pretty interesting that we need a toilet that big. They're used to a small pit. A couple days ago, I was invited to be the best man in a Tanzanian wedding in December. Yeah, I know. You make friends fast here. It's going to be quite the experience. One thing that has been really interesting to me is the clash of cultures here. There is a very traditional culture that has been around for a very, very long time trying to cope with globalization and a heavy western influence. You end up with mud huts and computers. On the streets, traditional Maasai garb mixes with those walking around in suits and ties. Since was here less than two years ago, a couple new glass-faced office buildings have popped up in the city of Mwanza, where I'm living. Out in the village where we are building, nothing has changed. The grass roofs on the mud huts may have been replaced once or twice. It's been great to hear from some of you. Thanks for keeping me in your prayers. Feel free to message me anytime with questions or just to chat. Tutaonana. TB

2008 09 06 First Weeks