Thank you God for your many blessings from Today!

As we hear many times while we are here on Africa, "You never know what is going to happen, it is always a culture experience."
It was a chilly morning and to start us off good Fraja showed up on Mama Gayle time, well before 8:30! We hopped into the van and we were on our way to the Yeriko center. We stopped by a local meat market and got some meat for the meal that we were preparing for the children. The Yeriko center is not in the busy part of Arusha and is surrounded by fields of sunflowers and corn, such a beautiful sight. We began to chop up everything, the meat, onions, cabbage, and shaving the carrots. The mama's were helping us by starting to cook everything as we were cutting it all up, in pots over fires in an enclosed hut. The final meal product would be pilau, cabbage and carrots, and a slice of orange. We wanted to purchase some juice boxes for the kids so we went to a local store to buy these. Some kids were playing a card game, they call it "last card," and Jaclyn joined in to play. The locals were all taking random pictures of us, and we understood what it was like to be on the other side of the camera.
Ellis, a man that volunteers his time at the Yeriko center, showed us around Yeriko center, the gardens and the classroom where they teach girls to sew and make a living. The fact that the people of the Yeriko center are trying to give back to the kids and help them develop the tools to build a life. We were introduced to the kids and then the 150+ kids were released upon us. Each of us were showing the kids (in groups) how to play with some of the toys we had brought and we spent the afternoon playing. 
Lunch time was not as chaotic as I thought it would be, the way we set everything up helped with crowd control. The kids even washed their own dishes after their meal, something that is a rarity back home. After lunch we stood in two circles with the kids, younger ones in the inner and older on the outside and sang "Father Abraham" in swahili and closed with prayers. Ellis had the kids stay in the circles to receive their candy, this made it simple to hand out to each child. The team and the staff of Yeriko center then had lunch, they same one that we served the children.
The next step in the mattress ordeal was to get covers, we went with the mattress man to find covers. We went to a couple of different stores to look. These stores are tiny and packed with rolls upon rolls, definitely an experience. One of the store owners brought Jaclyn and I to a nearby hotel to go to the bathroom, which we were extremely grateful for. 
The plan for the evening was to go out to have pizza and stop by and see Julius' house. We stopped at a gas station to fill up Fraja's vehicle when an Access 2 Tanzania vehicle pulls in (a company that we have used in the past) and it was a driver that we knew. With the millions of people in Arusha and by chance meeting at a gas station was a wonderful moment. We were waiting at the gas station for a bit and there was a discrepancy between two locals that was entertaining. Julius' cousin also happened to be at the gas station and he came along with us to Julius' house. We stopped at his parent's house and toured Julius'. It was so awesome and such an honor to meet the family of this person we have gotten to know, and spend some time with them. None of us really knew where we were going to eat that night so we were in the dark as to where we were headed. We start pulling up this hill and arrive at a house, to now visit the home and family of Julius' cousin. The house was amazing and upon a hill over looking Arusha, the view was breathtaking. We spent some time in the family's prayer room, playing on the keyboard, singing, and praying. That moment is not something I would have traded for anything and am so incredibly blessed to have been apart of it. The family had prepared an entire meal for us, with us being totally unaware. This culture and how humble the people are truly is such a beautiful thing. The day was filled with visiting, confusions, surprises, and many many laughs. Nothing really was in our plan for the day aside from the Yeriko center, but again as we learn each day "it's an experience." God put us where we needed to be, not where we thought we should be. God truly does work in mysterious ways. 

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