Thursday, January 24, 2008

Real life begins again!

Joel returns from Zambia tomorrow! I can't wait to post about his trip and show some pictures of the training seminar. I hear that it was a very effective time of training for the men who went to Zambia to attend and I know that it was a great time for the teachers as well.

On Saturday morning we will go look at a few houses (we were told that the house we are waiting for won't be ready for 3 months), get some groceries, and return to the lake. We are so excited because Joel is bringing a puppy home to us! I will tell more about him when I can include a picture. Of course I won't have the internet connection while I am at the lake and I have no idea how long we will actually be there this time. There might not be an update for a little bit; unless I have a chance tomorrow night to post some pictures of the puppy and the training seminar.

I wanted to quick include pictures of a few of the grocery stores that we go to here. There is one store that is pretty good by what my standards were just 4 months ago. It is a smallish store but has a pretty good supply of things.

Two other stores that we go to quite often are called the seven-eleven (not like the one in the US) which has gas and a grocery store, and then one called foodzone. They are quite a bit smaller but seem great now if I don't get a chance to get to shoprite. When I first got here I was really thinking that there was no way that I would get used to shopping in such small shops, but really they don't seem so small now. The picture below is the seven-eleven which is right next to a little restaurant that we sometimes eat in our way back to the lake.


Other news is that friends and co-missionaries from Tanzania, Chad and Becca Zuber with their 3 children, have come to spend some time in Malawi. They will be staying at the lake with us for a few weeks at least, so that will be fun.
Until next time!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Cow or Chameleon

Since we arrived in Malawi our life has been anything but settled. We have moved a lot...a week here, 2 weeks there, back to the first spot for a weekend and then back to the 2nd spot to buy groceries. We should start calling our homeschool School in a Box because we carry our current books for school around in these plastic tubs all of the time. Alissa and I started wondering if she and I maybe suffering from "everything is greener on the other side of the fence" disease. It seems like we are always wishing to be someplace we are not. At the lake we are thinking fondly of the warm showers of the guesthouse. At the guesthouse we are thinking fondly of the day when we will finally have a house of our own. As frustrating as it is to be unsettled after more than 3 months, this mentality of always wishing for something we don't yet have can't be that good.

Here are some cows that we "ran into" on our road that were wishing for the greener grass.

I wonder if it wouldn't be better to be more like a chameleon. We saw one (well, we think it was, we aren't sure because we had never seen one before) at the lake and it was amazing how quickly it changed its color because of the environment or because it was angry at being bothered. I suppose it would be better for me to more like the chameleon, in a way, where I can quickly and easily adapt to my situation...not always wishing I were someplace I am not.

So, where are we now? Joel is in Zambia and the rest of us are staying with my friend Lee-Anne after having a week of staying at the Baptist guesthouse. Yes, back in the land of the hot showers, but still, it will be great to finally have a house!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Showers of blessings

Well, it is almost time to leave civilization for awhile. Well, at least it is almost time to leave our friends Lee-Anne and James's house. We have been dog sitting and house sitting for them for the past two weeks and also enjoying a bit of the good life.

You don't know how much you appreciate hot showers until you don't have them. Actully, at this point the whole shower system at our property at Lake Malawi is pretty poor, so whether the water is hot or not is the least of my concerns. Let's just hope that the water is clear and not yellow (ok, that might be hoping for too much...let's just hope that the water is just yellow and not chunky). Our good friend and co-missionary Dan told us not to worry...the water came right from the lake and it had to go through so much sand to get to our pipes it was bound to be clean! Thanks, Dan, for that encouragement.

As we look out at the lake and see people washing their clothes in the water, taking baths, and of course the twice daily passing of the cow herd, we wonder if we really want to take a shower with the lake water. I guess that really isn't an issue either, as the water pressure is so low that the water comes out only as a trickle (which really makes it easier to ignore the yellow but easier to spot the chunks). There is a plan in the works to put in a well at the lake and I think that this is a great idea. There is actually one building that has a shower with good pressure (so I hear) and hot water. Unfortunately this building also houses a huge spider that has claimed this shower as his home. I, for one, am not going to argue with him about it!

As much as I joke about life at the lake, we are so thankful that God has provided this place for us to stay while we find a home in Lilongwe. It is a beautiful place to stay and we are really blessed.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Crazy kids

I wanted to post a few pictures of my crazy kids since we have arrived. Let's see if I can figure this out! This is for you, Grandma!

Christmas morning

At the hotel in Jo'burg

A new day

Today I was thinking of some of the new things that we have experienced in the past few months. It is interesting to think that in a few months (it might take a few years) some of these new things will actually seem normal to us (at least this is what people tell us). Since in a few months (or years) when these things seem normal to me I might not want to write about these normal, everyday things, I thought I had better write about them now, while they are still new.

We are living at a cottage on Lake Malawi while we wait to rent a house in Lilongwe. One of the first things that screamed "NEW" to me was the fact that the ceiling of this house is made of grass...well, it is a hatch roof I guess. It really is pretty. However, it might not be a well known fact that lizards fall regularly from this grass ceiling! They seem to try to aim for poor unsuspecting people (not children or anybody who actually thinks it's "cool" to have a lizard fall on them). I think that all of the lizards are up in the ceiling and when they get bored they pick a baby lizard to jump down and liven up the place.

One day we were looking out at our beautiful view of the lake and saw some strange clouds over the water. It looked like smoke but we couldn't imagine why it would be over the lake. Well, we found out that night. We were all in our room watching one of my favorite movies, White Christmas. As we left our room after the movie we were shocked to see that the thick fog that had been over the lake was now in our livingroom. Bugs!!! They were everywhere! We found out that during the rainy season it is not uncommon for these clouds of bugs to come across the water and to enter houses if the lights are on. It took us a long time to clean up after the bug infestation of 07. Alissa and I had to go through everything and clean; there were piles and piles of black bugs everywhere. I found out that the man who works on the property thought we were so silly; spending so much time cleaning up after something that will just come back again. Sigh. You know, maybe I won't get used to everything in just a year.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Getting started

It is hard to get started...starting a blog, starting a letter, starting a new life in a new country...all these things are hard. We can't see into the future to see how things will turn out. Past experience helps some...letters get written, new countries become our home and it does get easier.

So, in this new year, I am starting this blog in my new country and am hoping for the best. I am hoping (trusting) that this will turn into my home and that sharing my adventure with you will help.