Long Awaited Update!

Trip Start Jan 23, 2014
Trip End May 03, 2014

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Flag of Tanzania  , Iringa,
Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Greetings from East Africa!

As my mother has not been hesitant to remind me, it has been too long since I posted a blog update! A quick recap of my last month:

---Stayed at Chogela Campground outside of Ruaha National park to do hands on research for our human ecology course
---Visited Ruaha national park for some Safari's and relaxation!
---Toured an Ex Pat vegitable farm in the Southern Highlands
---Heard Missionaries talk about work with Emanuel International - Sanitatary development in rural Tanzania
---Visited a local village and spent time talking with residents
---Spent three days with the Maasai, learning about their culture and lifestyle
---Spent a long weekend with a family from outside of Iringa for town homestay

... unfortunately I also caught a miserable case of amoebic dysentery that knocked me out for a week. But out of all the things that can happen to a person while in rural Tanzania, I think I am surviving pretty well.

Life truly is a miracle. Being and living in Tanzania for the past month and a half has been both a return to nature and a renewal of spirit. In my homestay this past weekend, my host mother, Grace, would constantly tell us to "Be Free" - be free to sleep after lunch, be free to go on a walk, be free to sit and talk... Being Free is one of the most valuable lessons I am learning this month.

As I wrote a letter to a friend I was thinking about the concept of freedom - and how I am FREE to make the most of my experience here. I have loved every activity that I mentioned in the list above, but I must admit, some of my favorite times on the trip thus far have been when I have gone hiking alone and found a rock to sit on and journal. Embracing and making the most of my freedom is both a choice and a blessing.

We are about to head out to Ruaha National Park again tomorrow, this time we will be TENT CAMPING in the park (ahhhhhhhhhhhhh) and staying at another lodge. I hope to post again next week, with much more detail than today. But for now, I hope everyone at home is enjoying life, and staying safe. I miss you all!
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