09 July 2015

The Best of the Past 200 Posts

Last week's post (Get On My Calendar! 30 Appointments Going Fast!) was the 200th blog post for Leisha In Africa.  I let it pass without mention, but here are the 10 most popular posts on Leisha in Africa over the past 6+ years I've been writing here, based on page views.

10. God Answers (Katie's) Prayers - 15th July 2013 (205 views)
In 2013, I was feeling particularly lonely here in Shirati.  My colleague and friend, Katie, was praying for me to find some friends, and suddenly I met several new friends who made life here a lot more pleasant.  This is a rundown of the women who entered my life during that time.

9. Nyumba Ntobu - explain that one more time? - 28th August 2013 (207 views)
In this post, I explained about a local tradition that I was just learning about: Nyumba Ntobu.  I've heard more stories of women who have taken a nyumba ntobu and it has ended badly for many of them.  Still not sure how to feel about this tradition.

8. Baby Otieno 2 (with photos!) - 16th February 2014 (210 views)
Baby news is always popular, and Gretchen's arrival was no different!  This is her birth story and photos of newborn Gretchen and new big brother Wesley.

7.  Bummed Out and Burnt Out - 22nd September 2014 (214 views)
This post was last fall when we were in the midst of fundraising for airfare.  We had some unexpected expenses related to getting Innocent's visa, and I was feeling very low.  I think this post had so many views because there was a long lapse in which I didn't update while we finished up projects and traveled to the States, not because everyone felt so sorry for me that they came back to read it many times!

6. No, that is not a pumpkin under my shirt - 31st January 2012 (217 views)
I was about two weeks shy of my due date with Wesley, but unbeknownst to me, five weeks away from Wesley's actual birth date.  This was the last post before Wesley was born, so a lot of people checking in for baby news, not my huge stomach, was probably the draw for this post.

5. Mama Maisha - Mother Life - 16th May 2014 (247 views)
This was the introductory post when we were preparing to launch Mama Maisha, explaining the problem of maternal mortality, how we came to be involved, and what we were planning to be.

4. Why We Have House Help - 3rd February 2014 (325 views)
People always tell me how interesting our normal, day-to-day life is here.  (I don't always feel similarly!)  I explained here about what our house help, Adera, does for us.  This post was also the last post before Gretchen was born, so some people were checking in for baby updates.

3. Series of quotes - Which is your favorite? - 19th February 2009 (326 views)
In the process of wrapping up my life in the United States before I moved to Africa, I was going through a lot of old journals, and found a bunch of significan

2. In Memoriam - Stacey Hartfeld - 25th April 2013 (582 views)
One of the best friends I had growing up died from brain cancer in April 2013, and I used the blog to express the grief I was feeling.  I still miss Stacey, even though we hadn't seen a lot of each other since high school, but she a friend since about age three, and one doesn't forget friends who have been around for that many formative years.  Plus, she was just an incredibly strong and joyful woman.

1. How to open a soda bottle...without an opener - 23rd December 2009 (1,392 views)
The most popular, by far, is this post in which I summarize the different ways that my friend Leah and I had learned for opening a soda bottle without an opener.  Needless to say, this post gets most of its popularity from people searching google for advice about, you guessed it!...opening a bottle without an opener!  In fact, on google's search results, I'm number SIX of more than a million results!

Although those are the top 10 posts in terms of numbers, here are 10 of my favorite posts, especially with new readers in mind:

Is there room for excellence in the church? - 22nd October 2009
My first interaction with Chimanga, a young man who was a significant part of my first year living in Tanzania.

The ugliness of myself revealed - 2nd December 2009
The story of Cristina and the emotions raised as I processed the tension of justice and mercy in this difficult world.

Alert: this post is both very long and very sad. Please read. - 27th January 2010
Another sad story from my first year, including an update on Chimanga's story, which made me cry even sitting here five years later.

"Photocopy Mzungu" (an epically long blog post) - 8th April 2010
All of my favorite posts seem to be pretty long, but this post recalls some of my favorite moments from my first year in Tanzania.

Maduka and the Mouse - 1st June 2010
I still tell this story often.  In some ways it is the defining story from the time I lived in Dodoma with my friends Leah and Rachel.

Now I Know Why We Don't Pray - 26 October 2010
A lesson I learned in 2010 and need to learn again.

The In-Laws - 23 June 2011
Fast forward through Fred and I meeting, getting married and moving to Shirati to the point when I went to his village and met his grandmother and Innocent for the first time.

Amazing what can happen in a year! - 9 November 2011
A summary of a year of major change in my life on the anniversary of the day I met Fred.

Now I know the Luo word for "MINE!" - 30 November 2011
When Innocent first came to live with us, he and I took some time getting used to each other, mostly due to the multiple language barriers.

The Birth Story (the long version) - 15 March 2012
Gretchen's birth made the 10 most popular list, and Wesley's birth story has to round out my favorite 10!

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