Ten on Ten- May 2017

Ten on Ten- May 2017

Ten images on the tenth of the month to capture the beauty in the ordinary of daily life. Like many of you, life here sometimes feels like we can get in a deep rut day in and day out… work, school, cook, work, school, cook, throw in drama and birth and frustrations of life, throw in late night skype calls, extreme poverty, death, more drama… The things I love about living in this country are numerous… and at the same time so...

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Ten on Ten- April 2017

Ten on Ten- April 2017

Ten (or more) pictures over the course of 10 (or so) hours on the 10th of the month.  This month is extra special as my mom is visiting us from Santa Barbara… she traveled solo half way around the world to be with us for two weeks! We continued our daily routines as much as is possible with folks visiting… workouts, maternity center, eden work, artisan work, school… and all the extras of extra games, teaching grandkids to...

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Many Hands… (and pictures!)

Many Hands… (and pictures!)

Many Hands… It’s simply amazing to witness the many hands of the numerous talented, passionate and gifted people that the Lord has brought together to accomplish so much here in our little corner of Madagascar.  In doing so, the Lord has woven our lives together from various backgrounds and nationalities, and as such, has strengthened the strand that brings us together to serve Him and the people on the Red Island. Here are treasured...

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Ten on Ten- March

Ten on Ten- March

On the 10th of the month, a photo an hour– over ten (ish) hours. This month the 10th fell on a Friday… and oh, how I love Fridays! With the exception of a birth or a government/business meeting, Fridays are usually reserved for starting the day a bit slower, catching up on stuff around the house– laundry and such, and administrative tasks– tackling emails, updating charts for the maternity center, preparing for the...

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Ten on Ten– February 2017

Ten on Ten– February 2017

Ten images a month to catch the beauty of the everyday for us… occasionally the everyday is in America, most of the time it’s in Madagascar, and I dream of days that it would be in places like Spain or Italy, Guatemala or Peru… a girl can dream!  Project from www.rebekahgough.com. We’re rehabilitating this little sifaka lemur… we’re calling her “Rosie”… and she is really the sweetest...

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Around Town…

Around Town…

You know how it is… after living someplace for awhile all the sights become part of the normal scenery that you become accustomed to and it’s not often that you’re a tourist in your own town.  Such is the case with life in Mahajanga after 7 years.  There has been more times than I can count that I’ve thought, “ah, I wish I had my camera” because the photo ops in this city (and country!) are seriously...

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Ten on Ten- January 2017

Ten on Ten- January 2017

Ten photos throughout the day on the 10th of the month to capture the beauty of the ordinary in our day.  The 10th landed on a Tuesday this month.  Tuesday is our shopping day that Jamie and I make a date out of… nothing special…  no great restaurants, food, coffee, movie, walk on the beach, etc… merely a day that we set aside each week to catch up and be together sans kiddos and little voices interrupting our conversation....

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Ten on Ten- December 2016

Ten on Ten- December 2016

Ten pictures on the 10th day of the month to capture life’s little joys.  Thankful that the 10th of December landed on a Saturday where we could get out and enjoy time with friends and a break from the relentless heat and humidity that comes with summer time here in the Southern Hemisphere.  Electricity outages are common in Madagascar and occur even more frequently during the hot season…. giving us even more reason to grab some...

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Ten on Ten- August

Ten on Ten- August

Ten of Ten– 10 images on the 10th of the month to capture the beauty of the simple dailies.  This month a baby was born in the early morning hours on the 10th and so after 34 hours without sleep, I finally crashed and re-picked up the camera a day later. Linking up with Rebekah Gough for this great little project– and a fun fact– Rebekah’s sister-in-law and brother-in-law are arriving in Madagascar later this month to...

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Expect the Unexpected… July 2016 News

Expect the Unexpected… July 2016 News

Expect the Unexpected…    That’s what we tell all people coming out to Madagascar, whether to visit or to live…. “expect the unexpected”.  Things can change quickly here–sometimes at a drop of a hat all plans for the day are flipped upside.  Maybe it’s because of a birth, or a death, or thievery, or an unplanned meeting with one of the minister’s of health or water and forestry. Sometimes...

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Ten on Ten- July

Ten on Ten- July

For years I’ve had the burning desire to participate in a little exercise called Ten on Ten…. something that another former SPU alum and acquaintance, Rebekah Gough began.  The premise is simple: 10 pictures a day on the 10th of every month in order to capture the beauty that is life all around.  And so, the day before a planned trip to the capital rather than the standard rush and impatience, I pulled out the camera throughout to...

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New Life and a Chance for New Beginnings… January News

New Life and a Chance for New Beginnings… January News

Thank you for praying us back to Madagascar earlier this month!  We arrived after only one hiccup due to a passport at the airport which caused us to spend an additional 3 days in the USA.  In the end, the extra time in Santa Barbara was such a gift!  We slept, walked on the beach, went surfing, had additional time with friends and family and even were able to pick up prescription medication for the kids that hadn’t come into the...

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Fingerprints in the Details…. December News

Fingerprints in the Details…. December News

Home Assignment by the Numbers… As we wrap up our time in the USA we look back to all that occurred in such a short amount of time. Historically, our time in the USA has been busier than we plan, hope for or anticipate– this time was no different and we’ve come to the realization that this is our “normal” here– and as such, we simply cannot buck it or complain about it!  🙂  Our time in the States is full...

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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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Creating Beauty… September News

Creating Beauty… September News

Thank you so much for your prayers as Jamie returned to Madagascar for a 2-week work trip with Eden Projects!  Within 12 hours of being in country, they were already out in the remote fishing village of Kalamboro, meeting with the people and employees of Eden Projects.  During their days, they collected important scientific data but even more importantly, they sat with women and men who have been employed with Eden Projects and they listened...

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Building Up… June 2015 News

Building Up… June 2015 News

If we had to pick a theme to describe the last 18 months here in Madagascar it would be that of “building up”.  The amount of construction projects that we’ve overseen and completed have been many!  Here’s a quick glimpse…  to read the full newsletter and see TONS of photos of transformation, click here Like it? Share it!ShareEmailPrintGoogleTwitterLinkedInFacebookLike this:Like Loading...

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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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Twenty Fourteen

Twenty Fourteen

Twenty Fourteen was quite the year… there was good and there was hard, there were times of joy and sadness, times of growth and steps backward.  Through it all, God has been present and He is good!  It’s good to look back through pictures and SEE that God has been present and He is good– in addition to knowing that truth deep in my heart.  So here’s a look at twenty-fourteen and the things that fed our souls during...

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A Village Transformed– Maman’i Kambana

A Village Transformed– Maman’i Kambana

In late 2006, the first mangrove propagule went into the mud in the mangrove channels that surround a remote peninsula in the village of Mahabana on the northwest coast of Madagascar.  It was an experiment.  The propagule grew, and grew, and grew.  A team of 8 Malagasy friends planted an additional 100,000 propagules.  They also grew.  Now, 8 years later, millions and millions of mangrove propagules have been planted in Mahabana and other...

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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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a STOLEN update

a STOLEN update

It’s been nearly two months since my last post.  Over two months since our maternity center was broken into in the early morning hours.  You can read more about that here.  In the wake of the theft, there’s been much to do to get back on our feet logistically and emotionally.  We sent a special mid-month newsletter and posted about the theft.  Originally, we had only calculated what the cost would be to replace the stolen...

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STOLEN at the Sarobidy Maternity Center

STOLEN at the Sarobidy Maternity Center

We’re super sad to report that the Sarobidy Maternity Center was broken into just before dawn on Sunday morning.  Every-one is OK.  There was no threat to life or injuries for which we’re extremely thankful after a few other burglaries in our city this weekend where this wasn’t the case!!   Nonetheless, it comes with a whole host of emotions… anger, frustration, sadness, the sense of violation and an underlying...

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Genotine’s Story

Genotine’s Story

Genotine recently delivered her second baby, a sweet little girl named Marigette.  At 19 years old, this is Genotine’s second baby.  Her first baby is a little boy who just recently turned two years old.  Two precious children from two different fathers, both of whom are no longer around.  Instead Genotine is a single teenage mom with 2 children just trying to survive. This little family lives with Genotine’s mom in a 10′ x...

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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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Signage

Signage

I can’t help but to love the signs on the roads in Madagascar.  They’re mostly made of cement with the exception of the few that are made of metal.  I’m pretty sure they’re all hand-painted– you know ’cause we’re quite the developing place around here.  The national highways are just as developed as the signs that are on the side of their roads.  Two lane roads with one lane bridges zig zag...

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Tropical Cyclone Hellen

Tropical Cyclone Hellen

(11:30am Monday morning- Madagascar time) If you can’t see it… we’re that massive island (the world’s 4th largest in fact) underneath this storm!  Our city is the “pin mark” in the NW corner of the picture. Cyclone Hellen is building in intensity and is now a category 4 with winds approximately 142 miles/hour at the eye of the storm. It’s moving incredibly slow at just 3-5miles per hour so the potential...

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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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Smoked Fish- A micro-loan project

Smoked Fish- A micro-loan project

60-year old Eliza is a single mother to 7 children and a grandmother to 7 grandchildren.  For some time, she’s been struggling to keep her last 2 children in the government college.  The fact that they’ve been attending college is actually quite remarkable! Eliza lives in Antanimajaja and has long attended the Baptist there.  In fact, she used to help care for Jamie in church when he was a child.   Eliza, like many, lives in an...

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Around Here

Around Here

Around here, life has been intense.  Our days have been beyond full and our nights of sleep sometimes a little a lot too short.  Around here, our minds have been swirling with the need-to-do’s, the want-to-do’s, the must-do-nows, and the emergency-do’s.  Around here, our bodies sometimes feel like they are keeping up simply with the force of adrenaline and a little afternoon caffeine. Around here, our hearts have been heavy...

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Josy- Update #3

Josy- Update #3

It was just 3 short weeks yet what-feels-like-forever-ago, that we wrote to you with the devastating news of the prognosis for our dear friend and ministry partner Josy.  Three weeks ago that we were preparing ourselves that Josy might not live another week.  And truth be told, according to the physician, he was that close to death. God’s truth that He knows the number of our days is so apparent and we’re thankful that Josy has...

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Josy- Update #2

Josy- Update #2

Friends, thank you for your continued prayers for our dear friend Josy.  It’s been 2 weeks since our last update just after Josy had surgery.      There’s been several times that I’ve sat down to write a letter but the suspected diagnosis and prognosis hasn’t been concrete enough to share, until now.      Two days ago, Josy was readmitted to the hospital for monitoring and seen by a nephrologist yesterday.  We...

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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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An Urgent Call to Prayer

An Urgent Call to Prayer

It is with a heavy heart yet a heart still full of hope that we write to you today to ask you to pray for Josy, our closest friend and partner in ministry.  As you read this, he is laying in a hospital in the capital city awaiting emergency surgery on Monday.  I say emergent because the surgery should have been performed Friday, but his blood count was too low.  Yesterday, his brother Dina searched the city’s hospitals looking for...

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Antananarivo

Antananarivo

Antananarivo, try saying that fast 10 times.  Antananarivo or Tana for short, is the capital city of Madagascar and is where we recently spent a week over New Years for business but also play and fellowship with other English speaking friends in the missionary community.  Some people despise Tana while others seem to enjoy it.  We enjoy it in somewhat small doses.  Like most capital cities, especially in developing countries, Tana is a city...

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Market Day

Market Day

Tuesday is market day in our house.  There’s nothing really special about why Tuesday is the market day other than the largest deliveries of fresh produce arrive on Tuesday and Friday mornings at the market that I shop at.  Of course, when I say “market”, I don’t mean the clean, nicely manicured, air conditioned market with music overhead, lots of lights and a shopping cart to tote all our soon-to-be purchases in.  I...

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A sickness and a prayer…

A sickness and a prayer…

You may have read about our doozy of a Thanksgiving last week… if not, my last post will give you the back story. I was sick.  Sick as a dog.  5 full days of raging fever, intense body aches, and extreme fatigue… and that’s all.  No respiratory symptoms, no GI symptoms, no rash.  In fact, this bout of illness put the bout of Malaria I had in 2001 to shame.  Or maybe time has faded my recollection of the intensity of...

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Holiday Doozies

Holiday Doozies

Celebrating major American holidays and living in Madagascar somehow just don’t go together very well… or maybe we just haven’t found our groove with them just yet.  In fact, the last 4 holidays we’ve celebrated in Madagascar have been doozies… starting with Christmas, then New Year’s, Halloween and most recently, Thanksgiving.  Some more have been doozier than others. Christmas of 2011 was bad, real bad....

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Back to…

Back to…

We landed back in Madagascar just about 3 weeks ago.  Time goes fast. The first few days back hit me hard.  Not like being rushed and tackled by a 300-pound 6.5-foot linebacker with a grudge…. but more innocently– like being rushed and tackled by our giggling two-year old.   Here’s a few of the things that hit me: …back to crazy driving– dodging people, cars, rickshaws, chickens, ox-carts, cows and...

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Pack, Travel, Unpack

Pack, Travel, Unpack

The days leading up to our departure from Santa Barbara were a little hectic…. an all-day softball tournament, 3 church services, and a wedding…oh my.  And that was just the 3 days before we left. In the 2 weeks between my midwifery licensure exam and our departure, I was the faithful and persistent shopper whereas Jamie was the faithful and persistent packer… I’ll take my role anyday over his.  Though I must admit, I...

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Sites of the Road

Sites of the Road

Traveling in Madagascar is never dull.  The roads in the city are congested with cars, bikes, rickshaws, people, pushcarts, oxcarts, broken down vehicles, and a whole host of livestock.  The only difference between the cities and the countryside is it’s less congested.  There is nothing that even comes close to a freeway on this large island.  The national “highway”, if you can call it a highway, is a narrow two lane road without...

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OUCH!

OUCH!

Last week I finally had a chance to pull out my mother-in-law’s old Singer sewing machine.  Sewing was a wonderful hobby that Bonnie and I enjoyed doing when we lived together 9 years ago.  She passed away in January 2010 and I consider this sewing machine to be a bit of an heirloom that I have the privilege to borrow right now.  The machine is one of those old-school, work-horse, they don’t-make-them-like-this-anymore machines.  I’ve...

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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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