25-31 January

31 01 2009

Jordan told us a story that warmed our hearts and we wanted to share it with you!

Her class was out at the track working on long jumping.  They were learning to take a hop, skip then jump into the sand pit.  Her friends Elizabeth and Skyler began singing “I’m just a hop, skip and a jump away, from seeing you…”  from ‘Who Me’ by the Crouch’s.  They had learned it and performed it at the missionary conference we came to last year.  Jordan had learned it from the play performed at Camano Chapel in November 2007.  One of the girls hadn’t even been at the conference.  She had learned it from her friend who sang it over and over for months!  ‘Who Me’ lives on!

I attended a ‘Moms In Touch’ prayer hour this week.  Many of you are familiar with this organization.  Moms gather in groups all over the world to pray for their kids in school.  I had never been to a meeting, and was a bit intimidated to start here, but with God’s nudging I went and loved it!  It was very powerful and inspiring to pray specific requests for our children and their teachers.  The prayers of the Nigerian women are fun and different to listen to.  Many know the scriptures very well, and use them to pray.  Their descriptive words are heartfelt and their voice inflections beautiful.  Not that we don’t pray sincerely, deeply and beautiful at home…it was just different.

Observations of the little things in our every day life that are different here…

  • You can’t overstock your fridge or freezer.  If there is a long power outage you can lose your food!  Last weekend the power was off for most of the day on Saturday, but usually the power is more dependable here on campus (NESCO vs. NEPA),  and the school has a good generator for backup.
  • Tucking the kids in bed requires a few extra minutes to get their mosquito nets tucked in too.
  • Along with brushing teeth at bedtime, we now also wash our feet .  Due to sandals and lots of dirt, our feet look pretty scary at the end of the day!
  • Dust from the Sahara Desert (Harmatan) collects on everything, every day, so dusting is a huge job.  It is seasonal however so when the rainy season arrives, it will change from dust to trying to keep things from not getting mildew in the heat and moisture.
  • During the night, there are a few more sounds than at the south end of Camano Island!  Dogs roam, howl and bark a lot.  Sirens and the Muslim call to prayer at early in the morning also can wake us up.  Finally, we have 50 rabbits living 15 feet outside our bedroom, and they are awake all night rattling and shaking their cage.
  • Hand washing dishes.
  • There are very few processed foods like chips, crackers, cookies, etc.  The ones imported are too expensive, and the local ones are not very good (bland tasting and crumbly).   If I take the time to bake, I have been given great recipes for baked goods like cinnamon rolls, fresh bread and cookies!
  • Our oven is in Celsius, and the heating element is the wrong size for the oven so we have had some interesting baking experiences.  We are slowly learning our oven’s idiosyncrasies.
  • Plugging the right thing into the right outlet, transformer, converter, 120v, 250v, whatever….
  • If you use the wrong type of electrical device in the wrong type of electrical ‘thing’ then you can be shocked, create sparks, or fry your device!  Or you can do everything right, but if your wiring has been done wrong any of those things can occur!  We have been very careful and had no trouble, but have heard some lovely stories.  We have electric wires, power cords, converters and transformers decorating our house!
  • We have to remember to only drink our filtered water, and use filtered water to brush our teeth.
  • We soak fruit and vegetables in a cleaning solution before eating them.
  • The garbage has to be taken outside every day or it will attract bugs into the house.  If the garbage is not secured or up high, the roaming dogs at night will get into it and spread it around…that happens at home too!

That’s all for now…I will share more tidbits as I learn them in case any of you are feeling called to Africa!

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5 responses

7 02 2009
Joyce Graham

This is wonderful being able to peek into your lives in Africa. I loved your list of things to get use to.

MOPS is going well. This last week we had a speaker on depression. She was very good. So good that we didn’t have time to go to small groups.

About the monkey, is he someones pet or does he just pop in out of the wild? Cute.

Love and God Bless, Joyce

5 02 2009
Pernie

Great to be able to keep up with you guys. And Jordan, thanks for the email. Sure do miss you in MOPS. Only had an even dozen of the rug-rats this week. 6 boys – 6 girls.
I had gym too so Ryan went with me. He did great.

Gary, sang this last weekend. SURE DO MISS YOU!

This may not seem like a big deal to you guys, but, we saw the sun this week. Still froze at night but we did see the sun.

We miss all of you.

Pernie

2 02 2009
Amy Grannum

Glad to hear your are adjusting well….life is quite different!
I love following your blog and seeing your photos.
Hug to all of you!
God Bless-
Amy & Family

2 02 2009
Janita Aalto

I have loved reading your blogs, and find myself checking often to see if you have any new updates. Love the photo of the feet, Kathy J. and I were trying to figure out who’s feet they were this morning up in the sound booth. Gary, we definitely miss you. Lot’s of sound problems the last few weeks and not a lot of luck getting them fixed. Especially this morning. Oh well, I’m sure you are enjoying the break. Think of you guy’s often!!!! May the Lord continue to keep you safe!!

1 02 2009
Pastor Kris

Looks like you are really settling in. You’re getting into the flow of life over there. I l enjoy reading the list of things you are learning and experiencing.




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