The Group

Aaron Franczek, Collin Hartman,Monica Kling, Sarah Meleski, Claire Pattison, Amanda Schmidt, Becca Scholz, Alyssa Stuiber, Becky Thorn, Ryan Treviranus, Gracie Ventura Haas, Marcie Weiss, Jenny White, Robert Bhatia, Jill Braasch, Jenni Herrick and Laine Philippa

Thursday, May 24, 2012

First day, by Claire Pattison

Hujambo. Where to start, these last few days have been a whirlwind all thrown together. We don't know where ion edays ends and the next one starts, because Africans don't really go by a clock. They wake up when they want to, go to work, get some stuff done, go home, and basically go through life on what they feel. It is so foreign for 17 Americans to not go by a clock and have scheduled plans, I hope we get used to it though.

Since Tanzania is 8 hours ahead, our bodies haven't fully adjdusted yet, so eating and sleeping are still a little off. Last night when we got into the compound with Father Tim it is a custom that they feed their guestd, even thought it was past midnight. We ate some amazing ethnic food, and passed out soon after. I woke up at 5:30 am (their time) fully rested and irritated by the free roaming roosters that have the natural call to howl with the sunrise. The shower in the morning had hot water and I thought it was a blessing. My day was just going to get better.

I walked around the compound while everyone else was sleeping in till the very last second before we would leave at 9am. I stumbled into the kitchen area where two women were preparing breakfast. We began to talk, and they pulled me into the kitchen. I soon was sucked into being a cook with Regina and Beth, two women that wake up at 4:30am every morning to travel by bus to work at the compound. We began to cook food and set tables. The fathers and other staff ate at 7am, which is a normal time for them. The three of us women talked and laughed about anythgin and everything. they spoke english well but didn't know how to translate everything they wanted to say to me. We spoke with our hand and made due, it was an experience I will not soon forget. We laughed and goofed around for over 2 hours before the rest of our American group finally rose. The group was very confused why I was going in and out of the kitchen so much and talking to staff, I explained that getting up early is the best way to get more out of your day. Good thing I didn't sit in bed, otherwise I would have missed out on a great bonding. Regina said that if I show up tomorrow she is going to get me a uniform (they are brown habit looking dresses, not my color).

Soon after we loaded up our open air bus that we call "Bumblebee", and we were off to the beach. Not any beach, a private beach at a resort on the Indian Ocean. Our eyes lit up getting to the beach as if it were Christmas morning, like we have never seen water before. Becca and I ran through the sand to get to the ocean as fast as we could. The water was warm and perfect.

Here comes the spoiler, not to get anyone saddened by this post. I stepped on a jellyfish in about knee height water, by accident of course. It instantly felt like fire and swelled up. I hobbled out of the water and was taken to the nurses office on the resort. the man gave me creams to make the burning stop, and now \i feel great. Kind of scary at first, but now everything is fine.

Right now we are waiting on Father Tim to arrive so we can eat lunch. he is on Afirca time. I am being summoned for lunch right now, so hopefully someone will write a little later on.

Kwa heri!


  1. Great way to start the day helping the cooks! Hope the jellyfish sting goes away soon. Enjoy the beach!

  2. Peace and safe travels to each of you. Know you are in our thoughts and prayers back in Milwaukee. I admire and respect your desire to understand and cooperate with our global brothers and sisters. have some fun too!

    Jamie Loftus

  3. Thank you for your post I'm Alyssa' s mom and I LOVED the picture!!! There are a lot of us praying for your group and your safety. You and your Group are doing the Lords work and I know that each one of you will have a lifetime of memories. Thank you again,
    Rosie Stuiber