One year ago, on Christmas Eve, we were suddenly informed that we had to leave the country. We had seven days to grab a few possessions, say some quick goodbyes, and leave. This holiday season, exactly one year later, we can’t help but look back in confused, swirling emotion. We are grateful to be so close to family this year: to celebrate with them in cold weather and cozy homes. But we also dearly miss something about those hot, coastal Christmases, when we tried to distract ourselves from the pains of homesickness by taking frequent swims in the warm ocean. It wasn’t perfect — it was often very difficult; but we loved so much about it, and there is so much to miss: our warm friends with their kind smiles, the evening breeze off the sea, the rainy sound of palm trees in the wind, the tropical plants and birds, our dog, Lincoln. There is so much more. There are moments I could attempt to describe. Beautiful, unbelievable moments.
One year later, here we are: far from there, not knowing whether we will ever see that place or stand before the smiling faces of those friends again.
As I have tried to process and reflect on our years in Tanzania, words always fail. But clear, simple memories can be kind and healing. So, as a way to process over the past year, I (Lauren), with blank paper and watercolors in hand, have reflected on some moments—images frozen in time—that represent the frequent beauty of the world in which I lived. These are memories of Tanzania—beautiful, wonderful memories that I am grateful to carry with me.
Inserted below are a few photos of the resulting watercolors. I hope they reflect some of the Tanzanian beauty which we are thankful to have known. I did one watercolor for each month of the year, so I will also be selling a calendar that resulted from this work, if anyone is interested. (See photos and paragraph below.)
Thanks for listening and looking. May your New Year be bright.
2016 Calendar: Memories of Tanzania
In hopes that others might find joy in these images, as I have in my memories, I decided to sell my watercolor prints in the form of a 2016 calendar. The calendars come on a 9×6 clipboard, as shown in the pictures. They are $30 each, plus shipping.
I will be taking orders until midnight on Sunday night, January 11th. Calendars will be printed and completed over the next few days and shipped between January 15-17th.
To place an order please click on the “Contact” tab above and use the form to send me a message with your shipping address. I will then email you an invoice with your total cost (including estimated shipping). You will then be able follow a link to pay easily and securely online. (Or, if you would prefer to pay by check let me know.)
Happy New Year!