Wednesday, April 29

Awakening, Sara Groves



Dress down your pretty faith. Give me something real.
Leave out the thee and thou and speak to me now.
Speak to my pain and confusion.
Speak through my fears and my pride.
Speak to the part of me that knows I'm something deep down inside.

I know that I am not perfect, but compare me to most,
In a world of hurt and a world of anger I think I'm holding my own.
And I know that you said there is more to life.
And I know I am not satisfied.
But there are mornings I wake up and I'm just thankful to be alive.

I've known now, for quite a while, that I am not whole.
I've remembered the body and the mind,
But dissected my soul.
Now something inside is awakening,
Like a dream I once had and forgot.
And it's something I'm scared of
And something I don't want to stop.

And I woke up this morning and realized that Jesus is not a portrait.
Where stained glass windows or hymns or the tradition that surrounds us.
And I thought it would be hard to believe in
But it's not hard at all.
To believe I've sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God.

And He's not asking me to change in my joy for martyrdom
He's asking to take my place.
To stand in the gap that I have formed
With His real, and His sweet, and His real amazing grace.
And it's not just a sign or a sacrament.
It's not just a metaphor for love.
The blood is real and it's not just a symbol of your faith.

So leave out the thee and thou and speak now.

People are dying to get in here ...





There is saying in Haiti: "The dead bury the living".
Funerals are big business. This is the Jacmel cemetery.

Tuesday, April 28

Wear Your Sunscreen!

Gross photos ahead ...
Troy held my hand and kept reminding me to breathe more slowly. Only once did I nearly launch into panic-attack mode. I pretended to be all chill about it last night - but I lied.

"Dr. Edna" made us snicker and squeeze each others' hands with her quirky, animated personality. She showed up 35 minutes after the time she told me to be there. She smoked for the first portion of our appointment and she took about four phone calls with the scalpel in her hand. She waved her hands around chatting while intermittently stitching ... telling Troy about her kids attending University in France.

After I was finished she told me the cost. I asked her if she meant U.S.D.? Yep. I only let one tear drop in her presence while Troy told me "you are worth it". Time will tell if I am.

When she asked what time I could come get my stitches checked I said "What is your earliest appointment?" Her response, and I quote: "Oh that is not going to be convenient for you."
Huh? Uh. Ya, that *is* the best time for me. But she told me that 10:30 was the most convenient for me.

We learned that *we* would be responsible to bring the pieces of my skin to the pathologist on the other end of town. That is TIH to the max. I should know better by now - but it surprised me. We did not have time to do that today so my hunks of skin are sitting in the kitchen on top of the refrigerator until Thursday. That is totally normal, right?!? Thursday is the next day we'll have time to go deal with PAP traffic and find this pathologist person. Until then, this tasty little treat, strategically perched, is helping curb all appetites at our house:

Let's review: wear your sunscreen. KIDS - this means you!
One last thing. We get these emails in Haiti that are "Warden Reports". They usuually tell of possible trouble in Port or planned protests. Tonight's report:

U.S. Embassy Port-au-Prince issued the following Warden Message on April 28, 2009:

This Warden Message is to inform all Americans living and traveling in Haiti about the recent outbreak of swine flu in Mexico and the United States. At this time there are no confirmed cases of swine flu in Haiti.

We're all stocked up in the disease department. Sorry about your swine flu, America - but we're breathing easier down here.

Faces



Monday, April 27

Of the (extremely) random variety



[Photos from our drive]

~~~~~~~~~~~~
"The Bible’s purpose is not so much to show you how to live a good life. The Bible’s purpose is to show you how God’s grace breaks into your life against your will and saves you from the sin and brokenness otherwise you would never be able to overcome… religion is ‘if you obey, then you will be accepted’. But the Gospel is, ‘if you are absolutely accepted, and sure you’re accepted, only then will you ever begin to obey’. Those are two utterly different things." -Tim Keller
~~~~~~~~~~



Tomorrow morning a Doctor in Haiti that reminds me exactly of Edna Mode from The Incredibles movie will be fixing up my long-ignored sun-damaged skin.

I make most of my decisions by indecision, and this is no exception. I have made and canceled two dermatologist appointments in the last year. For some reason today was the day that I forced myself to go see someone. Oh - yeah, Troy refusing to let me come back to the car without seeing her might have helped a little bit.

I loved when she chewed me out for being fair skinned with blue eyes. And then she reminded me that all the idiotic tanning I did in 8th grade was now coming back to haunt me. Well duh. I know that. I've known for a year! We used to skip out of North View Junior High around noon to go lay on tin foil in Lisa's back yard ... I earned this visit with the knife tomorrow.

Because this is Haiti and because I am stubborn I am letting her do the ones on my chest and torso and not the one on my face. Once the pathology report comes back and we check the quality of her work- then I will see about allowing a cartoon character to cut on my face.

Annie had a rough day too. She had immunizations and took a rather uncomfortable back-seat nap.
When I finished up with Dr. Edna Mode I came to a car with four mostly happy kids, one happy Daddy - and this gift! :)



Switching gears ...
I know non-runners hate running talk. But I love it. Love to talk running. Counting the minutes till Beth is back so we can get on the road together Wednesday. I liked what Ryan said so I am pasting in the end of his recent post-marathon report here. { Go here for full post. }

I guess you know where this is going. But, it’s sad that we don’t see this atmosphere in the Christian church. For 26 miles - for 3 hours and 50 minutes and 54 seconds, all I heard was cheering. People never looked at me and said, “You need to run faster!” or “Your stride is wrong!” In fact, they lied to me a lot and said, “Hey, you’re looking great!” I hurt, but there they were. There are people who are hurting in the world today, and what do we do? Nothing most of the time. They run by us, limping, wondering when they’re going to make it to the finish line, and we just stand there, silent. Some people might not be hurting, they might just be tired, and we don’t say a word. In fact, we look past them for someone we know. We hold up our sign for our friends, but for that other person, chasing the same goal as our friend, we leave them alone. Maybe they’re not hurting, or tired. Maybe they’re looking super strong. How much stronger could they be?

Paul continually speaks in his letters of encouraging one another. In fact, in Romans 12, he references this as a spiritual gift. Every single Christian you know is running a race. Will you encourage them today?

The Weekend

Kids Club Sunday 4/26/09
Saturday Pics:




We had an unsually fun weekend here. Friday night we caught up on all of our downloaded LOST and Office episodes. For once I stayed awake and Paige was the one to bomb out mid-episode.

Saturday Paige went to watch her friend play soccer not too far from our house while Troy and I did something we almost never do. We voluntarily left the house with five kids. Annie stayed home with Jeronne. (Annie got to be the only one to leave with Troy and I the day before.) We took Hope, Phoebe, Noah and Lyd to watch Isaac play baseball at school. They sang Christmas carols for the entire ride- very odd!

We also grabbed groceries. The carts were filled with kids, drastically limiting the food we could buy - but everyone got out of the house and *that* is an accomplishment! Saturday evening we grilled steaks that came to Haiti all the way from Colorado USA ... they were amazing- thanks Lisa! :)

Sunday Troy went to church to sing, while the rest of us managed small children at home. In the afternoon Paige had a successful Kids Club. It has been frustrating for her because so often the kids will say they are coming and they will either show up two hours late or not show up at all. Other times Gorge will say they have to work and cannot come. She has had trouble getting any momentum going with those challenges but yesterday the kids were here for about three hours and had a great time. I sit in the house listening to Paige and giggling at the amazing way she can command the attention of that many kids (and TWO cultures/languages) - it is fun to see/hear her in action. She is done with school for the summer at the end of May and is thinking maybe then she can switch the day of her club.

We're anxious to check out a place where Paige can take riding lessons. I'm hoping to take her there Friday to scope out the joint. She has had an interest in horses for a long time. We just found out there are actually places to do riding lessons here. I don't spend a lot of time feeling guilty about it, but it does really stink how little we can offer our kids here for recreation and entertainment. There are not many clubs, teams, competitive sports, choirs, libraries, musems, bands, places to go, things to see, etc, etc. We make our own fun at home. For the most part that works out really well for all of us ... but there are times when we wish for a little variety - an outlet. Paige is pumped about this possibility - so are we.

Lately Noah has an extreme interest in helping with the little girls. He gets mad if I go in to get Lydie or Phoebe without him in the morning. After we got Lydie up and dressed today Noah was loving on her and kissing her and he kept saying, "You're such a little o-gurt Lyd - such a little o-gurt -- huh?! huh!? Lyd... aren't you?!? -- yes you are!" I finally asked him if he was calling her yogurt? He looked at me like I was very, very dim. He said, "NO Ma - O-GURT ... you know, like Shrek! Don't you see her hair?!" Oh. Okay. Ogre. Got it.

The week ahead is filling quickly. I never assume that a schedule means anything will actually take place - (TIH) but by glancing at the plan it could be an exciting and busy week. Friday night something exciting is happening for Phoebe and Hope - super exciting. But if I say it, I'll jinx it (TIH) so we'll wait until Saturday to fill in the details.

It's Monday. Bring it.

Friday, April 24

Topic Selection Question


A lady wrote me and asked why I don't share more about Haiti and "less about your kids".

I found that to be unusually bold and exceedingly rude. But I still want to answer her.

Besides the fact that my kids are my number one love in life, and this is not a special order blog,

THIS is why ...

There are many things that we never write about because we don't believe it will come across well. About 30% of life here is shared, the other 70% is too complicated to explain, unravel, or expound upon. The cultural differences are so vast and off of the radar for most of us, that it is hard to even begin to explain the what and why of many day to day stories and happenings.

Part of the problem is that tone of voice won't translate across the internet. People read and make a decision about our hearts toward the situation or the person. The other part is that some of the stuff sounds so crazy that the reader thinks surely you are making it up!

{For example: We never wrote about firing a lady we liked SO much ... because she was stealing massive amounts of food and would not admit to it in spite of 100% visual confirmation and proof and a desire to allow her a second chance with a confession. And how because of that an entire large family tried to chase us out with threats and how they claimed their voodoo curse on Troy caused his illness and how we were nervous for weeks that they might retaliate in other ways as promised. Three years have past since that happened and it still feels hard to explain!}

People want to correct us on our attitudes toward the story we've shared. Sometimes you get emails and anonymous comments telling you how wrong you are and that if you came to Haiti to help out, you'd better get it right. It leaves us feeling misunderstood and defensive. That's not a cool way to feel. So we try to avoid that.

Yesterday at Women's Program Sheila shared with me that one of our HIV ladies (there are six out of 58 right now) had showed up upset. She is a lady I've written about before. A church in Illinois is sponsoring her and we're doing everything we can to give her a bit of a hand up in life. But the truth is, it seems like this lady cannot catch a break.

She showed up a few months ago to get birth control. As always, before we handed it out we did a pregnancy test ... And she found out she was pregnant. She got hysterical and said she wanted to die. She said the Dad was not interested in her and would not be helping. It was a one-time encounter. (She needed money.) We asked her to give herself some time to settle down and think through her choices.

After a few weeks she came back ready to go get lab work. The lab work showed she was HIV positive. 18 months ago when she was last tested she was healthy. We helped her get started in a program that provides free meds for HIV/AIDS. With some financial assitance she moved into a better house with her children. She began to cope with this crazy-hard new lot in life ... Single mom of many, pregnant, no source of income, newly diagnosed with HIV. She regularly attends many of the classes that Heartline offers.

Back to yesterday.

She had gone to get her meds at the special HIV clinic. When she walked in she saw the man who got her pregnant. That stopped her in her tracks. He was there with another lady and child from our program. *That lady* is his wife. That lady is also HIV positive. There they all were. In one spot. Realizing that he is the one recklessly passing along a disease and making babies. He is responsible for at least two babies and at least three cases of HIV so far. The unborn baby has about a 25% change of having it too. The whole story became clear in that moment. It was a horrible thing for both women.

That makes me want to beat the life out of that man. That is maddening. That is unfair. That is discouraging. That is beyond comprehension. That makes me livid.

Writing about Paige, Isaac, Hope, Noah, Phoebe, Lydie, or Annie is fun and enjoyable for me as a Mom/Aunt. Writing about situations that are unjust and seem hopeless - not so enjoyable.

Around Town

 
Today it's me, tommorow it could be you. I am not complicit, I denounce kidnapping.


Troy is on his way to Petit Goave (south of Port) for a meeting today. The babies (and baby Noah) and I are hanging out and taking care of Paige who has a bad headache from all that metal on her teeth.  :( It is sooooooo restful to have a lot of screaming babies around when your head is pounding so I know Paige will be thrilled with the awesome care she receives from the sibling nursing staff. 

We're glad it's the weekend. You?
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Thursday, April 23

Ways in which to look younger ...

The THREE B's to shave years off of your look -

1. Botox


2. Brow lift


3. Braces


And yes, I had permission to post these photos of our younger looking Paige.
video

I was telling Troy that Noah keeps catching my angry driving talk. Noah was in the back seat ... he said "This is how I roll - Watch your Words"

Our Peeps

Our favorite lards are jetting out of here today. :( We had a really great two days with them. Terri (in white) spent some time helping us and counseling on some things we're struggling with lately. I am a huge fan of counseling. I think most people could really benefit from it and it was perfect timing for her to show up down here. Thank you Terri for spending so much time with us and for being so good at what you do! Hearing Terri say that we're doing a good job dealing with a lot of things at once in a difficult environment was very validating and helpful.

Troy was busy with other things but I got to go to Missionaries of Charity with the group yesterday. I want to make another visit there soon, I was moved by it. It was so devastating to see that many malnourished kids in one spot. I will share more about their mission and what we saw later.

After our trip to Missionaries of Charity we went to get Hope from school, she gets out earlier than Ike and Paige. On the way home I thought I heard Marcia teasing Hope in the back of the truck but Marcia is terribly ornery so I did not think much of it. (Photo from last year's teasing.)
Hope, Noah and Phoebe got to spend the afternoon with the group and were treated to swimming and pizza and ice cream at the Visa Lodge. Terri stayed with us at our house and the reduced number of kids made it easier to talk. (Thanks guys for giving the kids a fun day!) Hope had fun getting to know Lexi (who is the older sister of Tess -- and Hope LOVES Tess). The kids came home at bedtime after almost six hours in the pool very tired and excited about all the fun they had.

This morning Troy was getting ready to walk out the door to bring the kids to school when he noticed Hope was not in uniform. He said, "Honey why are you wearing your P.J. pants and a t-shirt?" Hope said, "Daddy, it is GREEN day today." Troy questioned her and asked if she was sure and she said "Yes Daddy - it is!" Troy suggested she wear the green shirt but go put on jeans instead of her pajama pants.

After he dropped the kids Hope's teacher (the famous Mrs. Ackerman) called and asked Troy why Hope was out of uniform. Troy said, "She told me it was green day." Mrs. Ackerman said, "Yeah she told me that too. She said someone named Marcia told her that. I don't know if that is someone here at school or who that is."

Troy assured Mrs. Ackerman that he knew EXACTLY WHO Marcia was. Mrs. Ackerman said she usually lets us know these sorts of things in a note ... to which Troy thought, "yeah but there is a good chance we miss more than a few of the notes" - long story short - Marcia Erickson is a serious teaser and needs to be reigned in and Hope got out of wearing her uniform today.

Beth is now visiting her kids and grand-kids and even convinced curmudgeonly old John to join her. We all love when he leaves the country because he is such a tease/jerk about us ever leaving. With Beth away, I am teaching about water at women's program today. How to make it safer, how to drink enough of it, how important it is for health. Most people here walk around pretty severely dehydrated ... the massive number of headaches are no mystery. I hope I don't bore anyone to death and that it goes well.

Paige is getting her teeth cleaned and then braces late this afternoon, Troy and I are calling it a date. Maybe we'll light up the waiting room with candles and share a granola bar and a soda or something super romantic like that.

Happy Green Day to all.

tara

Port au Prince Billboard


Carnival 2009

Respect my body
it's my dignity

Don't use the body of little girls, young girls, or women during Carnival.

-Minister of Women's Rights and Well-Being

Wednesday, April 22


Yesterday I had the opportunity to meet the new missionaries from Three Angels, they are like the dream team in Haiti. He is a Doc and she is a nurse.It was fun to chat with them and hear their thoughts about having raised many of their kids abroad.

Women's program went well, the baby without a name from the previous post is doing great and seems to be over whatever was causing his fever. A few of you asked about Christianne. She is doing well too and Ella is a super fat and healthy baby.

Yesterday afternoon and evening we got a huge treat of having some of our favorite lards from Minnesota over. Our friends from Providence Ministries are in Haiti and they came over and cooked us dinner and hung out. There is something very encouraging about just being with people who "get" you and know your story. It was a very fun night, we stayed up way too late but these opportunities are so infrequent it was well worth it.

Today we're all headed to Missionaries of Charity to love on kids. :)

Tuesday, April 21




In recent months Troy and I both had an opportunity to visit an amazing church in Texas. Each week hundreds meet under an Interstate bridge to gather and worship. Having lived in an incredibly intense place for a few years neither of us expected to be moved by a church that welcomed the homeless, poor, down-trodden and hurting. We figured- we see that every day, it will be familiar to us.

We were wrong. As we stood worshiping we were uniquely aware of God's love for every man. It was a sacred place, an intense and unique experience. Tears rolled as we looked around at those gathered at the "Church Under the Bridge." Who would think a bridge underpass could be described as holy? But that is exactly what it was. We were convicted of our own tendency to assume that the less fortunate among us have less to offer. The truth is, we see outward appearances first, and we usually make decisions based solely on these things.

In Haiti people will often tell you that they cannot go to church because they do not have the right shoes or clothes. When we first heard that we thought it was just a silly excuse. But the more we attended churches and watched, the more it was proven true. Appearance is highly valued and those with less are looked down upon and ignored. If you don't have something nice to wear, you should not come to church. That is the message the church in Haiti is giving. It is no different here than in America.

Our automatic response to seeing a man like the one pictured above is to look away, to turn and walk a different direction to avoid eye contact. We know we're guilty of deciding things based on appearance. We want that to stop. A church in Waco, Texas served to convict us of our guilt and we pray that others will begin to see it in themselves and desire to find ways to change too.

~~~~~~~~

Excerpt from
Trolls and Truth: 14 realities about today's church and what we don't want to see :

Jesus chastised the religious Pharisees because of their preoccupation with outward attraction. "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men's bones and everything unclean" (Matthew 23:2). Driven by some insatiable desire to be approved by others for what they wore instead of who they were, the issue was significant enough to the Son of God that He frequently used the concern for outward appearance as a sign of infidelity to God.

Yet it is the nature of humans to judge others by their physical appearance. Somehow we imagine that the wrapping paper is representative of the gift inside. If we are pretty, we are pleasing to God, we assume. But nothing could be further from the truth. "The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart" (1 Samuel 16:7).

~~~~~~~

"The fact that we do segregate around issues of appearance keeps the very people Jesus sought out of our churches."

Monday, April 20

arms?



Troy rolled his eyes at me ... but it matters not. This dude on the USNS Comfort ship had the craziest arms ever ... he flexed for us and it was absurd.

The other incredibly impressed person (besides me) in this photo is Esperandieu Pierre. He heads Campus Crusade for Christ down here and has his own ministry called Nehemiah Vision Ministries. If you've seen bigger arms than this recently, I'd like to know about it.

Change would be good


No one comes to turn the power on for the poor voters in our district on election day. Rude. At 2am the batteries gave up. That's when we lost fans and the bugs attacked our every limb. I believe I used an ugly word, shook my fist at the blackness of the night and starting planning my way out of here. The only thing I did not do, is sleep.

If I had been allowed to vote, I would have voted for a guy who cares about electricity.

At 5:20 I decided I don't care if the neighbors hate my ever-livin guts and we started the generator 40 minutes ahead of their approved schedule. Should make for a super-duper fun afternoon of discussion with them.

Sunday, April 19

A Political Pundit Speaks

video

Other answers to the deep question of our day:

"What is election day?"


Hope Livesay: "Maaaaa, I don't know what it means!!!!!"

Noah Livesay: "Uuhhhhh. Hmmm. Loving and compassion?"

There is nothing more to report on this highly anticipated Election Day 2009 (not to be confused with Easter). We're sitting around waiting for EDH to come on so we can pump water to do laundry and give the dog a bath.

The suspense is almost more than we can handle.

Saturday, April 18

short stories for those lacking entertainment (me not you)

  1. Last Saturday I came down the stairs with Lyd in my arms (like I do every morning) and gave her some breakfast. She finished quickly and wanted out of her high chair. Jeronne was buzzing around the house cleaning. I took Lydia out and put her shoes on and off she went to play. I began cleaning out the refrigerator ... a truly disgusting job, I live with pigs. I heard Lyd toddle out the front door of the house. Not a problem, our house is completely surrounded by a cement wall and she is safe to ride her little bike in the front "yard". I continued to clean unidentifable substances off of the bottom shelf of the refrigerator. Two minutes later I hear Jeronne yelling "Lydie lydie lydie lydie" and running down the stairs and out toward the front." I stopped cleaning and followed her out to see what the issue was. Jeronne had been up since 6am and had swept the front "yard" - she had noticed one thing out of the ordinary while she was sweeping. It came to her mind two hours later while she was upstairs putting laundry away. Because it came to her mind, Lydia is still here. When Jeronne got outside Lydie was inside the pool gate, sitting down on her butt, beginning to lower herself into the water. Lydie is 18 months old and has a false sense of her swimming ability. She seems to think she is a trained Olympian. She trusts that when she flings herself in, someone will pull her back out. The pool pump was on, I never would have heard her go in. Jeronne was the only one that knew the gate was open. The gate is NEVER left unlocked. Until last Saturday. My heart rate did not slow down for an hour. We all held Lydie very tightly and thanked God for using Jeronne to save her. The pool will never be left unlocked again...Heart rate back up just in the retelling it.
  2. Yesterday at the grocery store Hope and Noah got into an argument about a Nun, in front of the Nun. Noah said, "Hey, look at her - she is all ready to go in her get married outfit." The Nun was wearing an all white habit. Hope checked her out and said, "She is not getting married today, that is just a regular outfit." Noah said "She has the thing on her head Hope, that means she is a bride." Hope, shaking her head said "Noah, that lady is at least 40 or maybe 60 she is waaaay too old to get married today." At that point I suggested that maybe they suspend their argument until we got to the car and away from the super old Nun.
  3. We're going through a cruddy time lately. I guess we are sort of down on Haiti in a way. This becomes very apparent out on the roads. When I am irritated and not coping well I am much more annoyed (angry) with the ridiculous driving. I mutter things out loud as I drive. Noah proved that my mood is not cool by asking me, "Hey Mom, is that guy an ____ too?" when we got cut off for the fifth time yesteday. Ooops. (It was three letter word not four - if that helps you feel any less disgusted with me.) Time to adjust the filter - or hire a driver.
  4. I decided to find something fun and different for dinner last night to cheer myself up while Troy was not going to be home. I got tomatoes, Mozzarella cheese and had a delicious salad with homeade Balsamic Vinigerette dressing. It was a lovely break from the usual, boring choices and it actually proved to improve my crabby mood.
  5. The Haitian Government has asked that all private vehicles stay off the roads Sunday. Church has been canceled. While I likely would have stayed home all weekend, I now feel very strongly that I ought to be out and about running multiple errands that did not exist prior to the announcment. I know this proves serious personality flaws.
  6. I watched the movie Marley and Me with Paige last night. It sounds like I am the first person not to cry at the end. I have a few ideas why everyone else cried while I just thought, "Huh - the dog got old and died." I've been talking with Heather, a missionary up in the North part of the country. She confirmed that Haiti has changed her in ways she did not necessarily like. We think it does that to anyone who stays very long. After seeing enough really horrible things ... movies like Marley and Me just won't move me to tears. It was a dog. He was old. Then he died. Seemed like a good thing. See. I am not sensitive to things like that anymore. We all change. [Maybe not for the better.]
  7. I wish Burkina Faso would send me the 2.2 billion dollar check they keep promising, I would use it to go talk to someone about how insensitive and angry I am.
  8. 就是已經跟銀行借過錢,再用殘值向民 - that comment keeps popping up in the comments. Translation anyone? I bet it says a lot of very kind things.
  9. These are not really short stories anymore. But I really wanted to end at a nice round 10.
  10. There is one totally untrue thing is this post. Can you guess what it is? Fabulous prizes of little to no monetary worth to be awarded for the correct answer.
CONTEST CLOSED! All correct guesses receive a prize of no monetary value.
Mom to three boys - Amie - Sassy Britt - Heather ... Your prize choices:

1. Ask
a.) Isaac b.) Noah or c.) Hope - a question, any question - I will relay it and video their answer and a short greeting to you. OR

2. Artwork by our artist Hope. You tell her what you'd like her to draw.
Of course I would not make homemade dressing!!!! (Thanks Britt/Amie for so lovingly pointing that out.) And no, that picture looks nothing like what *I* put together, but it tasted as good as that picture looked (thanks Paul Newman) and it did make me happy.

Friday, April 17

Bittersweet Symphony



(2006 video reposted)

Yesterday Tipap and Jeronne were talking election. Like us, they have never lived in the city during an election and they are nervous and wondering if things will go well. Rumors dominate and one never knows what is truth and what is a load of crap. The media cannot get it right either. I saw a headline yesterday that said "Clinton visits war-torn Haiti". Not sure how we missed the war.

We'll lay low ... wait and see what the weekend brings and pray that everyone keeps their heads screwed on straight. Staying home is the decision of the intelligent/cautious expats. As a person who once stated "I will NEVER live in that city" ... Eight months in, I am learning never say never. Britt and I speculated on how well reverse psychology might work when talking to God about our desires. Britt wondered if maybe we'd have been wiser to beg the Lord to please move us into an intense city. In that case, maybe we'd still have grass and wide open space? No. Probably not.

Yesterday for pre-natal class I taught on Malaria. Beth is usually the teacher, but she is in Boston. I don't feel like a natural teacher at all. It is hard because the audience does not give you much feedback or any indication of anything ... hopefully they got it. Rainy season is coming, although it does not seem possible - the mosquitoes will get worse. We live in a low-lying part of town and it gets pretty swamp-like down here.

This little guy was born Tuesday and was running a fever yesterday. His mom has not named him. We're concerned and hoping to find them and check on him today. Check out that atrocious umbilical cord. :( He was born at General Hospital ... which still holds the title for one of the most horrific places I have ever seen. Those might be bruises from a difficult delivery or Mongolian spots - not too sure. Either way, this little unnamed guy could use your prayers.

Thursday, April 16

Annie Grace

We love Annie so much. She is an easy going and silly little girl. We rarely talk adoption here because we're so blessed to have these kids with us during the process. But Annie is with us temporarily. The longer it drags out the harder it is for her family and the tougher her adjustment will be. She has been waiting on her ibesr approval for 14 months. I am daily praying for some movement on her adoption. While we love her immeasurably and enjoy every minute with her (well - 96% of the minutes ... the ones where she is dumping gallons of water out of the cooler are not that fun) we are very anxious to hear some good news.
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