Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Wait is Over!!!

The school called today to tell us that Shelbyanne has a place in first grade for next year. I screamed...while on the phone. I felt like I had just won American Idol. I was in the process of looking at other options for her, considering purchasing homeschool materials, even applying at other schools. God is so good. Thank you so much for lifting up prayers for her with us. We knew God had plans and would reveal them in His time. Thank you God for providing so mightily for us!!


In other news...All is well. We are preparing for visitors in the month of June. The first week of June we will have teammates from Mozambique here to help consult us on making a plan for acquiring the language and culture here. We are super excited about their visit. They will spend a week with us and I am actually really excited about the fellowship we will have together for that week.


Then later in the month a team from our sending church will be heading this way. They will visit 2 countries in Africa. We will be the 2nd stop. I am going tomorrow to book a hotel for them and make preparations for their arrival. We are overjoyed that they will be coming. It will be nice for our whole family to see familiar faces. Then one of the youth on that team will be staying with us for over three weeks after the team leaves. We are excited that she will be with us. My girls are going to have a blast. We might not let her go home...j/k!


Well, that's the big news of the day. Just thought I would share. Hope this finds you all blessed and being blessings to others.




Tumefurahi sana!!


We are very happy!!




Here are some pictures that Shelbyanne took out our taxi window the other day. She loves to take pictures and gets some good shots at times.

This is a shoe store. Love how they hang them from a line.Those are sheets, mattresses and mosquito nets being sold.


Just like Goodyear!
Street vendors sell all sorts of things from gum and drinks, to bicycle tires, toys and stickers.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Blessings!!

Day 4 of the power outage and we have power. The power was off for 10 hours one day then two hours the next. Then it has been on for the past 2 days. I am so thankful we have had power. It hasn't been as bad as I was expecting. Today we went for an outing to a African arts and crafts market. It was really neat. Then we went to a mall of African arts and crafts where we walked around, the kids played at a playground (their favorite thing about today), and then had pizza for lunch at a restaurant by the ocean (my favorite thing about today). It was wonderful.


Everyday we experience new things, discover new pieces of the puzzle of the Swahili language, learn new aspects of culture, and so much more. At the end of every day I think to myself that my brain cannot hold another piece of information. And yet, the very next day I am at it again. It is so cool how God made our minds.


I have also been constantly thinking what a blessed people we are. I come from a country where in most of the homes you can turn on a sink and have running water. That is not the case here. There is water available to buy and use that is safe to drink, cook, and bathe with, but not everyone has it piped into their homes. Electricity here is a luxury not a guarantee. We have adapted well to the power going off and coming back on. I just refer back to our first days here when I learned that it is okay to be sweaty. I have noticed that I don't like the way I smell when I sweat. It is not bad, just different. I am getting used to it though.
Last thing for tonight. Notice the picture of Donovan below? Check out the bug bites on his arm, which are also on his legs a bit too. That happens to all three of our kids when they play in the dirt here. We think they are chiggers or something like that, because we can't see them, and the bumps barely itch, but last for many days. Strange? I may play in the dirt soon to see if it happens to me too.


Well, Usiku mwema! May your night be good!


Amy


Monday, May 16, 2011

What do I say again?

A question the girls ask a lot is, "What do I say again?" They are getting used to greetings here which are very important. They are still a bit shy to use what they know, but are doing well. Rob and I are learning more and more everyday. A man stopped me in the grocery store the other day after he greeted me and I responded to his greeting in Swahili. We had a brief conversation in Swahili and then he switched to English to complement me on how well I was speaking and how good it was that I am learning the language. It was encouraging.


video
Things I am not used to...
Being an Employer: We have a "house helper". She is a 24 year old girl who comes to our house 6 days a week for 8 hours and spends the day cleaning (which I am surprised at how dirty they house gets all because we have the windows open), helping me cook African food, and teaching us Swahili. The part that is hard for me to get used to is that she clears the table and washes the dishes after we eat. I have tried to help her a few times, and she tells me in Swahili "Acha!" which means "Stop!" We both laugh. It is just hard for me to get used to having someone in my house most of the time cleaning up after my family. We are giving her a good job and she is helping us more than she knows with language and culture. We also have 3 "watchmen". They are our guards who work a shift each day. The biggest need for guards is to prevent theft which happens mostly at night. While they are working they let people into the gate and sign people into our register, take care of the trash, do minimal yardwork/sweeping. It has just been interesting figuring out how to interact with them having them around us so much of the time.
Power Outages: The power will go out randomly for hours at a time when there is a problem. It happens frequently, although today was a whole day with power thankfully. Starting this week, Thursday, the whole country will be experiencing 15hour/day power outages for 6 days. The power will go off at 8am and return at 11pm. It is crazy! We feel as prepared as we can for this, but how can you really prepare for it. Thankfully our gas stove was repaired just last week, so we will be able to cook and eat. I am just concerned as to what this means for businesses who don't have a back-up power system. I will let you know how it goes.
Mosquito Bites: That itch like crazy! We have had plenty of bites, but lately the bites we get have been really itchy. We are taking preventative medicine for malaria so we are not concerned there. We just need to make sure the kids don't scratch till the itch goes away! We all sleep under nets which helps.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Ninafuraha kuongea tunakaa numbani yetu sasa!
It is my pleasure to tell you we are staying in our house now!



We are settling into our new home. We have stayed here for two nights. Rob, the kids, and I LOVE being in our own home. The kids have really adjusted well to living here, but they seem even happier and more secure now that we are home. Shelbyanne and I resumed homeschooling today to complete her kindergarten year. We had a great time. She is so smart. I have no doubt she will be ready for first grade. That is a big prayer need though. We thought she was “in” the first grade class at the only Christian school here. However, we found out last week that she is actually on the waiting list. I cried that day. Rob and I think that school is the best place for her, but we are open to the Lord’s plan if it is different. We would just like some wisdom on what steps to take. The Asst. Principal didn’t give me any idea of when I might know if she is in the class. Basically another child has to decide not to attend for Shelbyanne to get in, and I am not even sure she is first on the waiting list. I experienced this from the school’s side when I was teaching in Korea. It is so much different being a parent. The question is…Do I order homeschool materials for our church group to bring over this summer when they come, or do I wait and trust/hope that she will get into the first grade class for the beginning of the year.
We are progressing well in our language learning. We are speaking Swahili as much as we are able and are soaking in as many new words as we can each day. The more I learn, the more I realize that there is so much yet to learn. The kids love learning Swahili, and have started saying things in Swahili instead of English. (like…Asante sana “thank you very much” and Pole sana “very sorry for something that I didn’t cause” and Samahani “sorry for something that I did cause”)
Today our “house helper” took me to the market to buy vegetables and fruits. It was awesome. I spent about $15 and got so much. I think this will be a weekly thing. I won’t go without her until I know the language and they are used to seeing me come. I was using the Swahili that I know and people were surprised. What fun!
Well, I must go again for now. It is time to start preparing supper. Below are a few pictures of the kids this week. Hope you all are having a wonderul day wherever you are!


Amy




Emily hanging out with the sisters. One sister was pretending to cary Emily's reindeer as a baby. So funny!


More Animal fun. The girls loved to visit the pigs and ducks where we were staying. Sometimes the pigs and ducks would come a visit us as well.Today we put Donovan in his room for nap time and closed the door. He wore himself out and then fell asleep where he was laying. Love that boy!