Thursday, April 26, 2007

Producing...

In Uganda when a woman has a baby she is said to "have produced".

This week two of my friends "produced".

Rhoda, a Ugandan, produced a baby boy. I held this sweet little one yesterday. He won't be given a name until a later time according to Ugandan custom. He was wrapped from head to toe in about three heavy warm blankets. Plus he had on a hat. Plus baby mittens.

Ugandans don't want their babies to get too cold here on the Equator!

Brandi, an American, produced a sweet baby girl. She has had a name for several months now and is more than likely wearing only a onesie, a diaper and wrapped in a light blanket.

Americans don't want their babies to get too warm here on the Equator!

The diversity in cultures can be seen very clearly in customs surrounding childbirth. These two arrivals represent the diversity we function in every day.

Two precious gifts. Two different worlds. Existing, complementing, contradicting and growing just down the street from each other.

What a wonderful world!

Monday, April 23, 2007

The Wilds of Africa

Ever had one of those days...

...when you take your kids for a picnic at a nearby lake, and as you are walking up a well marked trail, you get head-butted in the derriere by a COW...

ripping your apparel in a rather embarrassing way, hurting your hind regions and forever ruining your favorite pair of comfy jeans?

Just wondering.

Monday, April 16, 2007

A Song of Goodbye

I grew up watching The Sound of Music. It was the movie my parents saw on the night Dad proposed to Mom. It is not only a classic movie, but a very important part of my family history.
Which completely validates my watching the movie about 7000 times. Before I was 12.
Anyhoo…
The “So-long! Farewell!” song that the Von Trapp children sing at their father’s party is cute, peppy and fun.

I sure wish all goodbyes were like that.


The first time I met Jay and Andrea, they were surveying Tanzania and Uganda with Mark Berryman. Kristi, Jeff’s sister, was a part of this intern/survey group as well.

We joined their survey team as they traveled in Western Uganda.

Our safari with them was an eventful one. I got sick. Our Suzuki broke down. We helped a somewhat tipsy European man whose car had rolled in the game park. We saw elephants.
All ten of us slept in a TINY little mud hut room smashed like sardines. And we laid eyes on Mbarara town and Ft Portal town for the first time.

That was 13 years ago. We have been blessed to serve with Jay and Andrea in Uganda for nearly 10 years. They, with a team in Mbarara...we, in Ft Portal.

Jeff and I being on the field without a team…provided me the opportunity of needing others more than I ever had before. Especially when I started having babies.

Andrea and I have had babies together. She was usually about 6 or 7 months ahead of me.
We didn’t have a lot of time together, but during the moments we spent, I asked questions and sought her advice. She is a woman who was right where I was in the baby-raising time.

Our families match. They have three boys and one girl. So do we. Which means our time with the Bakers is a win/win situation. Our boys have a ball and the girls can escape the “boy world” and hang with a female for a while.

I remember reading Dr Seuss books to Curt. I remember holding Hannah as a baby. I remember visiting Andrea after James was born. I remember watching Andrea walk laps around the American Club compound trying to start labor before Davis was born.

In these last years, I have treasured the moments when we have swapped Mommy-ing ideas and homeschool tips. The gift of being with a friend who is on the exact same trail as you is one I praise God for. It is a gift…that equips, enables and sustains us as women.

Shared experience.

When those who have been a part of our “experience” move on…

It leaves an empty space.

I remember sitting next to Andrea at a ladies retreat some years back. She was pregnant. We were in the gazebo at Rondo Retreat Center and we were singing “When the Night is Falling.” The moment was serene and divine. The picture of God singing over us as His children was powerful. I was crying. And Andrea was crying. Soft, silent tears.

Much like the ones I watched her shed all week at our recent trip to the coast.

Andrea is saying goodbye to Africa soon. And I am saying goodbye to Andrea.

Goodbyes resonate within me when I face them. Evoking emotions and empathy that go quite beyond words on a page.


God be with you, Jay and Andrea. It has been an honor and a gift to “share experience” with you here.

During these weeks of closure and goodbyes…may His be the song you hear.

“The Lord your God is with you. He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17

The Infirmary

IT got us.

You know.

Fever. Chills. Stomach...ahem...issues...

IT started with Silas and has worked its way up through our family chronologically.

We have been dealing with IT for about 7 days.

We're drinking Sprite. We are on our last few Saltine crackers from the States. And we are taking turns on the couches as we rest and recuperate.

We are very hopeful that IT will be gone from our home soon.

Thankfully (?) the youngest two are back to full strength. They are currently "discussing" some very important issue in the other room. Loudly.

The older two are still dragging and Mom and Dad are beat.

Remarkably, the internet is the best functioning thing in our home today.

Which is pretty sad.

Hope your home is healthy and happy!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Eat Some Cake for Us



Happy Birthday Little Man--

May your eyes always be open and the way in front of you clear--

(smile)

You make us laugh. You steal our hearts.

Oh how we miss you!!!

Happiest of Birthdays!!!!

We love you Cason!

Easter Bonnets or Easter Mittens?



Our Equator Easter was beautiful. We enjoyed egg hunting, good food, fellowship with other missionaries and a visit from the Easter Bunny. Who left our home to borrow Santa's sleigh so he could visit all of our loved ones who had snow on Easter?!?!

Sunny or Freezing...I hope your Easter was happy!

Saturday, April 07, 2007

The Re-Cap

Posting has been a discouraging endeavor, of late. I'm starting to feel like a broken record. Here's my attempt to put IT another way...
Ahem...

"The information superhighway behaves in such an unreasonable manner that our relationship is fast becoming irreconcilable."

That is to say…
The internet isn’t working and I’m not happy about it.

On to better things…

COME BEFORE WINTER RENEWAL:
What a week I had! We were on the coast of Kenya with splendid views of the Indian Ocean. I walked in white sands. Ate much yummy seafood. Swam in a pool without constantly counting children.
And shared my soul with many precious sisters…
Singing with these ladies was, divine.
Praying together…a gift.
Hearing their testimonies…God honoring.
Thank you for your prayers for safe travels.
The time was blessed and encouraging.

SUPER HUBBY AND KIDS
Campouts, bike ramps, Bible games, ET (the movie!) and sweet memories…
Super Hubs accomplished all that while also, replacing a toilet, building a new wardrobe for our clothes, and repairing electrical wires that have been broken since November.

The kids, two weeks later, have finally finished relaying ALL the stories of the FUN they had with Daddy.

Daddy now needs a renewal too.

FIRST WEEK BACK
I was pretty worn out. But overwhelmingly thankful for the cool rains that have begun to fall again in Ft Portal.
School is back in full swing.
Our power outages have increased.
Our kids are healthy and funny. :-)
I’m glad to be home…

Life is good.