A look at some numbers

300: Number of poopy diapers we’ve changed in the last 15 weeks, which averages out to 20 per week, or 2.8 per day. How do I know this? In South Africa I bought 3 packs of 100 small, scented “diaper bags” to throw away the toxic waste that seems so unending and to keep our bathroom from being dangerous to our health. They lasted just over 3 months. We’ve really got to get Isaac potty-trained!!!

1000: Number of kilometers that Chad has run in the past 12 months. That man can keep a new-years’ resolution! I tease him that even his hobbies have to be goal-oriented, but I guess it works for him. When he started running again in January, he decided to try for “a million meters” for the year, and this morning he got his final 6k. The only problem? Next year I just know he’ll have to beat his record.

249: Number of species of bird Chad has seen since July. One more to go for him to meet his goal for the year. Did I mention anything about his hobbies being goal-oriented? Malawi has a lot of challenges, but the bird-life here is quite remarkable. And as much as I roll my eyes when he pulls out his book and wants to show me the “amazing plumage” of some latest find, I actually do love the way it’s made his love of nature accessible here in the city, since there’s no petrol to go to any of the game parks or the lake anymore. And it’s teaching the kids to be observant and to love nature, too. He and Anya followed a Harrier Hawk through the forest for 20 minutes last week, and she’s still talking about it. And I swear I hear Omara calling all animals “birds!”

32: Number of months (2 yrs 8 mo) we have been in Malawi. I confess there are times when I feel I’ve felt every one of those months, but most of the time has been remarkably smooth. We miss the US conveniences, and we sometimes day-dream about driving on smooth roads at 70 mph, or grocery shopping at 2am just because we can, or driving up to a fuel station and getting in and out in under 10 minutes. But really, we can’t complain. God continues to meet every challenge with a blessing.

1: Number of hours our last fill-up took at the gas station. Chad was over-the-moon ecstatic at how God had blessed us once again with “easy access” to fuel. We regularly talk to people who have sat in lines for up to 16 hours, sometimes even longer! We’ve clocked the lines at over a kilometer long on a regular basis, all over town. It makes me fascinated at how one’s definition of a blessing need to change based on circumstances. The challenge, I think, is in us recalibrating our “dictionary” properly! But this time, we succeeded in recognizing the blessing for what it was. You gotta celebrate the small victories, because sometimes that’s all there is!

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