Greetings from Tsumkwe
So much has happened and we have so much to share with you. We have decided the best format is the classic who, what, when, where and how questions.
Who are we spending our time with?
The most important thing we are doing is spending time with our neighbors and the people. Jeremy has been playing soccer with the local men in town. The San take two sports serious in Tsumkwe: soccer and volleyball. Jeremy has had fun showing them some American skills in soccer and now has two teams wanting him to play for them. We have been very surprised with volleyball, but it is a good sport to play in the sand. Everyday the neighborhood children come over and play in our yard. Our yard is becoming a safe place for them as we pick up broken glass and trash daily. We are learning a few words by listening to them talk. Claudia has already found a language helper and spends about 4 hours a week learning new words and practicing previous words. Jeremy's has only had a few lessons though and is looking for a consistent helper.
After our orientation week in Tsumkwe, we experienced a few days with a San family out in their village in the bush. Claudia spent her time doing all the many tasks women do during their day from making tea for breakfast, going out into the bush to gather berries, leaves, roots, and beetles for food, fetching water, gathering firewood, and even had time to dance and play games with the ladies and young girls. Jeremy was able to go hunting with the guys. (They didn't see anything.) The remainder of the time he sat with the men as they talked. Jeremy could only listen and observe not understanding most of their conservation.
We have been welcomed to Tsumkwe by them giving us local names and jewelry. Jeremy's name is Damq and Claudia's name is Tsaba. Below is a picture of our namesakes and their daughter. This is just the beginning of relationship building with the people in Tsumkwe. The people have been very gracious to us as we try to learn new words.
What have we been doing?
Each day you would find us sitting under the neighborhood shade tree listening, observing and watching how our neighbors interact with each other. Jeremy has been helping our neighbor "Uncle" with odd projects like fixing his chair, making a handle for his axe or helping him expend the fence around his garden. Jeremy has also gone into the bush with Uncle to gather firewood and learn which trees to cut down and how to make rope out of tree bark.
Claudia has sat and watched the ladies sew new skirts and make bead jewelry. She has also started a garden in our backyard. With Uncle's help, we now have a fence around the garden to keep out the chickens, goats, cows, and donkeys. Jeremy and four San men went out to the airstrip to collect material for "God's Blanket" in the garden as we are practicing Farming God's Way. There is corn, beans, squash, and watermelon growing now. Claudia has also hosted the ladies from the village with tea and cookies at our house.
Our TIMO curriculum has begun which includes reading and writing a report on 4 books for each unit. We spend one day a week together as a team. We also have a personal one-on-one meeting with our team leaders Zeka and Anita each week.
We are like new babies learning how live and survive in Tsumkwe.
So you can see we are pretty busy.
Where are we headed in the next few months?
We are currently in Kenya at our Africa Based Orientation which is required for all AIM missionaries. We will be returning to Tsumkwe mid-February. There are no other trips planned until our holiday time which the team will take at the same time later this year. So we will be in Tsumkwe settling into life.
How are we doing?
We are doing well. We had one rough week after we arrived with being sick from food, water, or the heat??? God sustained us through the week and we have stayed well since. We are enjoying the simpler way of life. We are learning daily. We are learning to laugh at ourselves more. We are learning to live and work with our team members.
Below are two videos that Jeremy created to give you a glimpse of what it's like to live in Tsumkwe. Just click to watch.
One last technical note. Our internet is very limited in Tsumkwe. We have found Instagram the best way to post photos. You can follow us here: https://instagram.com/jeremy.hazel
Also you can text for free if you download What's app on your phone. You just have to add our Namibian cell numbers to your phone. Those can be found on our blog contact page.
"Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.
But do this with gentleness and respect."
1 Peter 3:15