From two sides of the globe…

From two sides of the globe…

Here and there… As I type, we’re on our last day in Madagascar for 2017… late tonight we head to the airport for our 1:50am flight to Paris and then on to Los Angeles. I would be lying to say that it wasn’t with mixed emotions that we’re leaving. peace– we have peace with the place that we were able to leave each of the ministries and peace knowing that the Lord has raised up an amazing ministry team that...

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Combatting Lies with Truth… November News

Combatting Lies with Truth… November News

   For years we have been praying for like-minded ministry partners to join in the growing work in Madagascar.  In 2014 and early 2015 we hosted several individuals, couples and families that came to Madagascar for vision trips.  Now that we’re back in the States we’re meeting with the same folks as they work on returning to Madagascar to serve with us– some for 6 months, some for a year, some for as long as God keeps them...

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Sharing Our Burden… October News

Sharing Our Burden… October News

Twins x 2! Last month two mama’s-to-be in our prenatal program went in for their first ultrasound… both walked out with surprising news– both expecting TWINS, both with the same expected due date of February 22nd!  Elizabeth and Nathalie, the special mamas and these four babies are the first twins in our program!  They have begun receiving dual care– continuing to come each week to the Sarobidy Maternity Center to...

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World’s Apart… July 2015 News

World’s Apart… July 2015 News

It’s a bit of surreal process to travel half way around the world… leaving one world in which we’re settled and at home and coming back to our American world and the transition that it warrants.  The sights, sounds, experiences, foods, work, routines, friends, commonalities, climate, culture, currency and language are all totally different between the two worlds. As I downloaded our pictures from our camera recently, these...

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This is Madagascar– donating blood edition

This is Madagascar– donating blood edition

We experienced a devastating loss last month when one of the ladies from our maternity center experienced a ruptured uterus during labor. You can read about that tragic story here.  We praise God that we didn’t lose the mama in addition to the sweet baby girl who never took a breath.  A ruptured uterus is a total obstetric emergency and this case was no different.  Massive hemorrhaging, loss of life, total hysterectomy. In the past, it...

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Through their Eyes

Through their Eyes

We recently got to hang out with Josh and Amanda, some Santa Barbara friends who came to visit us and the ministry here in Madagascar.  It’s always a joy when our two worlds of Santa Barbara and Madagascar merge and this was no exception. Often times what stands out to visitors has become just normal life stuff for us so we often walk past it without a second glance, thought or even an awareness or appreciation of how different life is...

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Westmont 2014

Westmont 2014

Just a few days ago we said veloma to four wonderful Westmont College students that were with us for four weeks through the Emmaus Road program.  They joined a team of 25+ Malagasy young people… most of whom work with us either at the Sarobidy Maternity Center or with Eden Projects or who are friends or are friends of friends.  It was an intensely fun time together as we had the privilege to bring together two worlds that we love; our...

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Lakana at Sunset

Lakana at Sunset

The crew of 4 students from Westmont College are with us this month and we’re joining efforts with a team of 20+ Malagasy young people from our Eden Crew and Maternity Center crew for a month-long mission trip.  Each morning we meet in the gazebo at the Sarobidy Maternity Center.  Jamie leads a fun challenge and pretends that he’s Jeff Probst from Survivor for the day.  We then sing songs in Malagasy and English and someone shares...

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TCK love

TCK love

I’ve been thinking a lot about TCK’s lately… third culture kids.  You may or may not be familiar with that terminology or what in the world it means.  Essentially TCK’s are those kids that grow up in a culture other than their parents home culture (or first culture).  Therefore they typically don’t truly identify themselves with their parents culture but they don’t truly identify themselves with their host...

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It’s time…

It’s time…

It’s mind-boggling to us that in less than 8 days, we’ll be on the first leg of our journey back to the USA for the fall.  It’s only been a year since we were last in the States for the main purpose of completing my midwifery license and taking my certifying board exams.  In reality, one year isn’t very long to be away from the States.  In reality, one year isn’t very long that we’ve been back in Madagascar...

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What would you do?

What would you do?

Friday. A grandmother in her late 40’s is seeking help frantically.  Her first daughter of 8 children is in labor with her first child.  She’s in the home of an extended family member, hemorrhaging with no medical attention– no doctor, no midwife. This daughter lost her husband to murder just 2 months prior.  She grieved deeply, she stopped eating, she stopped taking care for the life growing within her womb.  She was...

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Two Worlds

Two Worlds

[singlepic id=71 w=320 h=240 float=center] From the remote fishing village of Mahabana in Madagascar to the sprawling park of Disneyland… this is our life in two worlds.     We’ve been back in the States for 3 weeks now.  It’s been a period of adjustment as we transition from our lives in Madagascar and the Philippines to our life here in Santa Barbara.  On many levels it’s been a fairly easy transition but there has also...

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Contrasts

Contrasts

The drastic contrasts we experience in our life in Madagascar on a daily basis is phenomenal and sometimes overwhelming. The cold of our air conditioned car to the oppressive heat outside, the filth on the streets to the cleanliness of a nice restaurant, but by and far, the biggest contrast we’re faced with daily is the extreme poverty and the rich. In America, we’re not rich… we’re middle class folks. In Madagascar however, we’re...

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Medical Care in Madagascar

Medical Care in Madagascar

Last post I told you about our Family Outing to a Birth and promised that the story wasn’t over yet.  Unfortunately it wasn’t over… and three weeks after the birth of this little girl, the story still continues.  Medical care in Madagascar is, we’ll just say, sub-optimal to put it nicely.  Case in point… The baby in my previous post was born at 35 weeks gestation and weighed just over 5 pounds at birth.  The mom and baby...

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A Birth Story

A Birth Story

If you didn’t already know, I’m a Master’s trained Family Nurse Practitioner and practiced for 5 years in the States before returning to school once again to attain my Midwifery licensure.  For the past 2 years, I’ve been slowly chipping away at my midwifery academics as well as attending prenatals and births.  A few weeks ago, I attended my first birth here in Madagascar.  As could be expected, it was different than the lovely home...

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Sunday Fun

Sunday Fun

There isn’t an overabundance of fun activities for kids here in Madagascar.  Thankfully though, we live on the northwest coast of the island where the days are hot and the beach is close.  As a mom of young kids, this lack of activities is definitely an unwelcome challenge.  No zoos, no parks, no natural history museum or sea center.  We do have 1 scant playground for which we’re thankful.  The other thing we’re incredibly thankful...

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Unsung Heroes (part I)

Unsung Heroes (part I)

  We decided to start a little “Unsung Heroes” series… a tribute to all the Malagasy people who work so hard, day after day, to eek out a living in order to care for their family the best they can.  The stories are unique and they are endless.  Our goal is that these circumstances and lives may not go unnoticed in the world…. at least in our small world and the circle of friends and family who view this blog. We found are...

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Field Trip to the School for the Visually Impaired

Field Trip to the School for the Visually Impaired

Yesterday our Malagasy class took a field trip to a school for visually impaired children.  The purpose of such field trips is to not only to be able to listen and speak in Malagasy but also to raise our cultural awareness.  I love these field trips and find them absolutely fascinating.  This school is the largest center on the island of Madagascar.  It was started in 1924 and moved to it’s current location in the town of Antsirabe in...

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The Rice of Life…

The Rice of Life…

Rice is not only a way of life here in Madagascar, rice IS life!  The Malagasy people are a blend of african and malayo-indonesian and signs of this heritage are seen throughout the country.  Rice fields can be seen in the wet rain forests of the east coast, the savanna of the high plateau, as well as the dry and arid west coast.  The average Malagasy adult can eat roughly 1 kg (or 2.2 pounds) of rice everyday between breakfast, lunch and...

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Hidden Gems

Hidden Gems

Two weekends ago, we hopped in the car and drove 90 minutes south to the town of Ambositra, the wood-carving capital of the island.  While there, someone pointed out where we could find raffia handmade items.  We climbed up a steep trail and emerged at the top of the hill outside a traditional Malagasy house.  We were warmly welcomed in with a “Mandroso!”  There we met a sweet elderly woman sitting on the floor of her bedroom amidst a...

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