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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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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This girl…

This girl…

This little chick-a-dee of ours just turned 8.  How is that even possible?  I can vividly remember the excited anticipation when she was still in my womb and the moment she entered the world… our hearts and lives were forever changed and we wouldn’t have it any other way.  This girl… she’s pretty amazing.  She’s spunky and full of life, she’s a lover of animals and people.  She’s an amazing...

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A Run in Memory….

A Run in Memory….

Do you all remember Steve Irwin… AKA The Crocodile Hunter? I have always shared a similar love and passion for the wild and the animals within. Last week I finally got an hour to go for a run so I decided to explore the forests of Subic Bay Freeport Zone. In hindsight, it was a run in memory of Steve Irwin, the Crocodile Hunter. It all started off with a face off with a troop of cranky Macaque monkeys, all whom had serious cases of...

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Daddy Daycare in the Philippines!!

Daddy Daycare in the Philippines!!

The last three weeks I have shifted not only countries but also roles as Alissa is doing an intensive midwifery internship with the Mercy In Action midwives. As she is working many hours a day and on call 24/7 for births, I am at home with the kids. I have become Mr. Mom in the Philippines. We’re in an unknown country where I have to learn how to and where to shop all over again, where I don’t know the best brand of laundry detergent, or...

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You Never Know What You’re Gonna Get…

You Never Know What You’re Gonna Get…

When it comes to shopping, and I’m talking shopping for food, this statement is so true here in Madagascar…you never know what you’re gonna get.  When we lived here 9 years ago, the food items in terms of variety were limited, very, very limited.  When we returned a year ago, I was absolutely ecstatic how times, and items on the shelf, have changed.   Here’s a sneak peak list of items we CAN get here in Madagascar. *Ketchup,...

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Christmas Joy

Christmas Joy

Last weekend on Christmas Eve we had a family first.  In the days leading up to Christmas, I was in a baking frenzy, making our hot kitchen all the hotter.  In total, I baked 19 dozen cookies as well as some bars.  We celebrated Christmas Eve day by delivering these scrumptious treats to our Malagasy friends and employees.  In Malagasy culture, it’s more of an honor to visit someone in their house.  So, all five of us loaded up into the...

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The Art of Cutting a Mango

The Art of Cutting a Mango

Last week I shared with you our family’s deep love relationship with Mangoes.  We’ve had the privilege to introduce numerous short-term folks to the scrumptiousness of this fruit… as well as how to cut the perfect mango.  So, with no further hesitation, I’ll share with you too the art of cutting a mango….       Step 1: Grab as many juicy, ripe mangoes as your hands (and shirt) can hold. Step 2:  Hold the...

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Mangoes!

Mangoes!

Aaghhh, my favorite time of year in Madagascar… OK, well not really because it’s so unbelievably hot and muggy.  On average, it’s 97 degrees with an outrageous humidity level… somewhere around 80-90%.  However, with this ridiculous weather comes MANGOES, and this my friends, makes me very happy!  Mangoes are everywhere!  The trees are dripping sweetness all around.  Women are carrying them by basin-fulls balancing them on...

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Mauritius (part II)

Mauritius (part II)

As I said in my last post, our family along with my parents, went to the beauty country island of Mauritius for a vacation earlier this month.  One word sums up Mauritius… AMAZING!  By no means is the island a first world country but it is a long ways from Madagascar…. in fact, Mauritius is one of the developing world’s most “successful democracies”  compared to Madagascar that recently earned the title, “the World’s...

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Friendly Skies

Friendly Skies

While my folks were visiting, we decided to forego the normal 10-hour drive to the capital city and instead take the quick 45-minute flight.  It sounds a bit like a no brainer but in fact, this was the first time we’ve done this… and it was so nice! We arrived at the airport the required 90 minutes prior to our flight, tickets and passports in hand.  I stepped up to the counter, gave them our electronic tickets and within minutes, all...

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Grandparents

Grandparents

What an absolute joy all around to have my parents with us!  They arrived bearing lots of love and gifts (including Christmas presents) from Santa Barbara.  They also came bearing some fun items from home… a few new movies and coloring books for the kids, some fishing lures for Jamie and coffee for me!  It’s been awesome to enjoy our days together, soaking up the parental and grandparental love that they bring and bestow upon us. The...

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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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Catch of the Day…

Catch of the Day…

  A few weeks ago we went for a little fishing adventure.  In the past we’ve always done this sort of thing in a Malagasy lakana or outrigger canoe.  Kids have a funny way of changing things though … and this time we went in a small motorboat where the risk of capsizing is a little less.  It was a great Saturday on the Mozambique Channel in the Indian Ocean.       ready and excited for a day of fishing! the...

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Preschool Graduation

Preschool Graduation

Two weeks ago, Jamie wrapped up Sekoly (preschool) with the kids, Isabella (5), Eliana (3), and Oliver (3).  We celebrated this milestone for all of them with a little graduation ceremony.  They sang their favorite songs, showed us how they know their letters and the sounds they make, showed us the world map and where their hometowns are as well as Madagascar, and presented their parents with the last 6 months of their artwork and letters...

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Ranomafana

Ranomafana

Two weeks ago, over Pentecost, we had a long holiday weekend… after all, doesn’t everybody have Pentecost Monday as a national holiday?  Along with our guests, we went to a lush rainforest, Ranomafana (literally translated as Hot Water because of the natural hot springs).  It’s one of the “must see” tourist sites on the island.  A large rainforest with a river meandering through the valley floor, full of lemurs, chameleons,...

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Gavin’s Birthday

Gavin’s Birthday

It’s still hard to believe that last Sunday we celebrated Gavin’s 1st birthday!  He’s a sweet, fun-loving, quiet little guy, his eyes twinkle and he brings smiles to all he meets!  He loves to stand on chairs, open and close the dryer, take all the tupperware out of the drawer and sit in wash basins.  During church on his birthday, he took his first steps unassisted!  He’s trying to master this skill daily.  I keep telling him to...

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Only in Africa

Only in Africa

There’s a lot of “only in Africa”-type of things our kids get to do…  one such thing…  we get to let our kids pretend to be airplanes on a working airstrip…. after all, planes only land here once every few days.           READY…  SET…. TAKE OFF….   Like it? Share it!SharePrintGoogleTwitterLinkedInFacebookLike this:Like...

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POTW

POTW

Madagascar, probably like most other developing counties, is home to the “knock off” as seen here in this classic case… is this pair of shoes made by Reebok… or Nike… apparently the manufacturer couldn’t decide either.   Like it? Share it!SharePrintGoogleTwitterLinkedInFacebookLike this:Like...

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A Sign of the Times

A Sign of the Times

Madagascar is behind in the times with many things though I’m happy to report not with everything.  My find yesterday was a prime example.  We quickly stopped into a grocery store (which in and of itself is relatively recent… within the last decade or so) and I spotted an English magazine near the check out!  This is absolutely incredible!  This is just the second store that I’ve seen English literature here, the first being a...

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