Wednesday, October 17, 2007

daily life

It occured to me that maybe I should blog about what it's like from day to day here. Today was a good example of what a typical day living here is like. Although it would be a typical Saturday since I didn't have to teach today.

1. I woke up and make breakfast. I slept in until 7:45. That's about as late as I sleep in these days.

2. Annie (my roomate) and I went grocery shopping. We went to two different grocery stores and bought some fruit from the vendors (I did it all by myself!). It took us about an hour and half and I have two different stores to go to tomorrow to get the rest of the stuff I need. Grocery shopping is definately a chore here, although it is growing on me.

3. This part is not typical of life here, but was a reward for Annie and I making it through first term...We got pedicures and went out to lunch. It was a great treat, and even getting a pedicure is a chance to build relationships which is something I appreciate about this culture. It is very people driven and relationship driven.

4. Got home and started the process of cleaning the vegetables and fruit that I bought. Every produce item that I purchase has to be soaked for 15 minutes in a sink full of water with a capful of bleach, then soaked in a sink full of plain water for another 15 minutes. Some people don't soak their vegetables, but the doctor and his family do, so I figure I will too.

5. Alinane, our work study student, came over to clean. She does our dishes, cleans the bathroom, and sweeps and mops the floors. She works about 10 hours per week and what we pay her helps pay for her school fees. It is really weird to have someone in your house like that, but I have been really blessed in getting to know her, and it is so helpful to have her.

6. I made banana bran muffins which are delicious! I'm learning to cook from scratch, and make my own snack food. It's too expensive to buy, and too hard to live without for my busy schedule. The power went off, but came back on in enough time to keep cooking them.

7. I went to the Stauffacher's house for dinner. Played with the girls, chatted with Amy, ate good food and enjoyed the feeling of being part of a family.

8. All staff Bible study on the Ten Commandments. The power went off twice, but the generator quickly sprang to action to provide us with light.

Such is life in Malawi. Tomorrow holds: babysitting the Stauffacher girls, another trip to the grocery stores, a visit to the nursery, dinner with Dr. Boersma and his family, games with the young teacher crew. Good times all around. I am definately enjoying my break. Hopefully I manage to get some work done tomorrow too.

Pray for-
1. another good day of productive classroom time
2. Britt Boersma- she is due to have a baby in the next week. It's her third and she has chosen to have the baby here in Lilongwe. Pray for safety for her and the baby as there are no medical facilities to deal with any complications.

Praise for-
1. the ability to be thankful in all circumstances
2. rest and relaxation over the last few days

God is good, all the time. All the time, God is good. Amen.

Monday, October 15, 2007

the lake...

Lake Malawi is moving up on my list of favorite places in the world. I hope these pictures will help show you why. Before you look try to imagine living in a city where everything is surrounded by brick walls with wire on top, bars on the windows, and dirt and dust everywhere. Then you take a drive. The road has more potholes than cement and all kinds of animals, mosey...across the road whenever they want. The drive is long and stressful, but then you get there and you see this:

It's so beautiful. I love it. I spent the entire weekend staring at this and listening to the waves. Oh, and playing with my new friend Annika, who is 4. It was a great time for reflecting and thinking and praying and processing. I'll leave you with a picture of the "scenery" here, taken from the back seat of the car.

From what I hear this will all turn green when it starts raining. Speaking of rain, I can't wait for it to rain! When all you Oregonians get tired of the rain, remember me over here, sweating like crazy from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. in the hottest month of the year!

Well, I'm signing off for now. Tionana (see you later)!

Friday, October 12, 2007

end of term!

I made it to the end of first term. I can hardly believe it. I just finished up my report cards. I can't believe that either. It's so weird to be giving kids grades. I mean, these things are going to be forever scrapbooked or boxed up (if you're like my family) to be preserved forever. I mean, seriously...this is big stuff!

I am on break school next week. I'm pretty excited about that. I'm off to the lake for this weekend (no more bad food though, don't worry). It's going to be so nice. This time I really will post pictures when I get back.

Things to pray for:
1. safe travel to the lake and back
2. rest and relaxation combined with productivity over the break
3. parent teacher conferences the week after break

Thanks for all you do to encourage and support me. Many blessings to you!


Saturday, October 6, 2007

Reading Day

I decided that since I am so long overdue for updates I'd post two today. Yesterday was Reading Day for the lower grades at the Academy. Talk about stress for the teachers and parents...I had no idea. But talk about fun for the kids. My kids are adorable!

Ok, there's a lot of pictures, but it's so hard to choose! The whole class. Sort of. It's hard to get 19 six year olds to smile and look in one place for more than few second.

My favorite paper bag puppet EVER. And it matches her costume. I didn't even help her either.

Can't have a costume day without a few spidermen.
Here's my tin man. So hilarious. Also, check out Thomas the Train (I thought of you, Mudpuddles gals). Thomas and the Tin Man tied for best dressed.

The final result of "here's a bag, there's the stuff, make a puppet." Not my finest moment of teaching, but they turned out, and it wasn't even THAT chaotic.

Chesire cat. Frog puppet.

No costume, but still quite the ham...

"I'm so cool." All the little girls in my class have a crush on him. Smart, cute, nice, what more can you ask for?

And my last comments about life in Malawi: it's HOT here. I hear that October is the hottest month, but I've also heard that it's pretty hot all the way through January. My body is so confused about why it is getting hotter at this time of year. I love to hear your stories about fall from the Northwest- I'm going to miss it! Carve a pumpkin and step on a few crunchy leaves for me!

Also, I have been posting all of (well, most of) my pictures on facebook. It seems to be the fastest way for me to do get lots of pictures onto the internet. I believe that everyone should be able to view the album by going to this link:

Alright, I'm off to enjoy my Saturday.

God's blessings to you!

Crisis Nursery

Last Sunday I went to an open house for the crisis nursery. Here is my story, in pictures.

Meet Madalitso (Mad-uh-leet-so).
She is the sweetest and cuddliest baby you will ever meet. She loves music. As soon as she hears it she starts dancing and clapping and laughing. She is content, even though love and affection don't always come her way regularly.

Her mother died of AIDS. Madalitso is also HIV positive.

Remember her in your prayers.

I think it would be amazing to organize a team to come out here and help out with the nursery (that's a hint to YOU...start praying...). So much work needs to be done there, and short term teams are so effective for bringing supplies, too. I took a picture of the sign so you can see what kinds of things need to be done. Hopefully you can read it. If not, the point is, there's lots of stuff.
Ministry of Hope website: