Living within a smaller community of people in a culture that's different from that which you're used to, means that you get to know each other quite well reasonably quickly.
People come and people go ... yes, even though we've only been here 8 months we've seen many people and families in both categories. But in some respects we're still getting to know a lot of them as we're relatively new out here!
Here are some of my 'new' friends. They are from all over the world ... New Zealand, Australia, Holland, Switzerland, South Africa, England!
It never ceases to amaze me when I begin to think that I know someone reasonably well and then find something unexpected about them or their family, both here and amongst friends I've known for years. Like last week when I found out that as a child one of my friends tied a sibling to a telegraph pole for a couple of hours. Or last month when the husband of another friend said that on their first date she had told him up front that she most definitely never wanted children, they're now happily married with four children and she is broody for more!
There is always an opportunity to learn new things about people. Even when you have known someone for years there is always something new to discover. Just last weekend I discovered that my husband who I have seen almost every day since we first met back in September 2005, 8 years ago, can be quite particular when it comes to washing up ... what made me laugh was that it was something that I am also quite particular about too!!
I love the chance we have to get to know people from all over the world, being based in Dodoma, getting to know not only something of them but also of their cultures too. As I said because of the nature of life here, you get to know people quicker and deeper. It's definitely one of the bonuses when you give up so many other things to live and work in a missionary context ... making the effort to spend time and get to know people is well worth it and also because on another level they become your support and your family!