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Showing posts from August, 2009

Wazungu

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I'm used to being stared at here. There's just no way to blend in when you're in Africa! And staring doesn't seem to be rude here the way it is in the US. So I smile and wave, and then I ignore it. White people are called wazungu in Chichewa, from the word 'to turn in circles'. I've heard that is from the days of the early explorers, as they were constantly lost in the jungles and turning in circles to find due-north!
So I'm used to the staring. But the other day we stopped at the side of the road a ways out of town to let the kids climb on some rocks, and I stayed in the car to feed Isaac. Within minutes I was totally surrounded by about 25 kids, all with faces pressed up against the car windows. I was beginning to feel like an exibit at a zoo, as they started tapping on the glass, and I wondered if they were going to try to feed me, too! But it was just too much when one little girl picked up her baby sister, held her to the window, and said, "Loo…

First Day of School

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School has finally started! We're still adjusting to the schedule...for a non-morning person, it's been especially painful for me. The kids have to be there by 7:10am! Anya's teacher is from the UK, Ethan's is fresh from the US, and the kids love both of them. They're in class from 7:10 until 12:30, and then they have swimming lessons in the afternoons on Mondays and Wednesdays and Anya has a 'sports hour' on Wednesday as well. This quarter it's field hockey. I can only imagine 50 first and second graders running around whacking each other with hockey sticks, but supposedly there aren't too many fatal wounds! It's been nice to have our language session with a few less distractions, and they come home excited every day about the new friends they're making. Ethan is especially excited to finally be a "school-ager" and came home from the first day announcing, "School is actually pretty fun!" Now if only we can keep up the ex…

Trees

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Now there are many things in Malawi that are different than we're used to. I could post pictures of the roads, for example, in all their pot-holed glory. Or perhaps the food, with the sun-dried fish, but it would loose so much by not being able to upload the smell along with it. So instead, let me elaborate on the trees. One night in bed before we left the US, Anya began crying because she loves to climb trees and she was just sure there would be no trees in Africa. Oh ye of little faith! Just look at what she gets to play in now...huge trees, green trees, and what are those things growing in one????

Game park photos

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We had a wild time in Liwonde National Park. It's not quite what Kenya's parks are, but I finally got to see my first elephant! And thanks to my daring husband, I saw them plenty close! A grumpy teenage male decided he didn't care for us, and Chad taunted him just a bit by reving the engine. When the bull trumpted and charged towards us, Chad said, "Oh, don't worry. They always fake-charge at least twice before they really hit you." Now isn't that reassuring??? Anya was wailing, "Please daddy, I don't want to die today!" Oh, the joys of safari! =) But later that night as we were driving back to the lodge we stopped the car, and a herd of 9 mother and baby elephants came and surrounded us, calmly eating from the nearby plants. I didn't get a photo because I didn't want to scare them, but it was an amazing experience. It may be a no-brainer, but elephants are HUGE!!! We also saw lots of impala, waterbuck, warthogs, zebra, reedbuck, kud…

Newton's Third Law for Christians...

I once read a story about a college freshman who was struggling in class and her mom finally convinced her that she should study. When she came back from the test, her mom asked how it went.She laughed and said, “It was so easy, I’ll never waste my time studying again!”I think that’s just like me sometimes. When things are hard, I moan and complain. When God gives me the ‘answers’, I sit back and get cocky, feeling like things are easy. Our transition here to Malawi has felt “easy” overall, but when I really consider the last few months what I see most of all is God’s grace. It has felt easy, but not because it was simple in human terms! The good-byes, the 36-hour plane trip, the shock of driving, shopping, and cooking in Africa, 40/40 challenges, the robbery, language headaches, the loss of status I’ve felt in leaving the professional world…when I look at each thing we’ve come through, I’m amazed. And yet, in all honesty, my overall feeling is that it’s been remarkably easy.So why th…