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- 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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The good, the bad and the ugly…. June 2016 News

The good, the bad and the ugly…. June 2016 News

Life as we all know it is sometimes a mixture of good, bad and ugly… at times, all three are wrapped into a single day. The month of June seemed to be just this for us here in Madagascar. Kalamboro… (the good!) Thank you for your many prayers that went out as we traveled as a group to the remote fishing villages of Kalamboro and Mahabana! In Kalamboro, the reception was unbelievable as lines of people formed to give a formal...

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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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This (little) girl…

This (little) girl…

Just like her big sister did last month, this little girl celebrated a birthday last week.  6 years old.  Time seems to pass even more quickly with each year.  This little girl of ours was a whole 13 days late… and when she decided to make her appearance into the world, she did so with force and intensity… a bit like a freight train, in fact. From 6 cm to having a beautiful baby girl in my arms in less than 25 minutes… over...

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Global People

Global People

Tears… welling up in my eyes and beginning to stream down my cheeks as I read these words.  Head nodding… as these truths strike so many cords for our family individually and collectively.  Heart rejoicing… that we’ve been privileged with this life in which God has blessed us to be a global people. By now you probably have no idea what I’m talking about but hopefully your curiosity is peaked.  Head on over to A...

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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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Is it Christmas???

Is it Christmas???

It’s the afternoon of December 20th.  Christmas is 5 days away…. so technically 4 more days until Christmas. Have I done any shopping?  No. Have I sung any familiar Christmas hymns in church?  No.  Have I done any holiday baking?  No.  Have I seen any Christmas lights glittering the neighborhoods and lighted trees, dotting the streets?  Sadly, no.  The truth is, it’s haarrrrrddddddd to get into the Christmas spirit...

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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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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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Hello

Hello

Here on the island there’s a hundred different ways to say “hello”… or at least close to a 100.  Because the country is made up of 18 different tribes, all Malagasy, they each have their traditional way of saying “hey”.  Some of my favorites and their translations…   Countrywide, “salama” — “hello” The northwest coast, “karakory” — “what’s up” The north, “mbola tsara” —...

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Trilingual

Trilingual

We hope and pray, that one day, our 3 kids will be trilingual like their daddy.  As they play with Malagasy friends they’re picking up Malagasy and as they attend French School, they’ll soon be speaking French. In the picture above, our five-year-old drew a picture of a recent weekend trip to the beach English:        Beach French:         La plage Malagasy:     Ranomasina It looks like we’re on our way… Like it? Share...

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French School

French School

The kids just completed their second week at the French School here in Mahajanga.  Isabella entered Grande Section, the French equivalent to kindergarten and attends 5 days a week.  Eliana started Petite Section, or preschool and attends 3 mornings a week.  Now brace yourself… school STARTS at 7:15am! In and of itself, French School provides an opportunity for culture shock all over again, not necessarily in a bad way, but in a...

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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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Viva la Fiesta!

Viva la Fiesta!

As one can imagine, there are a number of things that we miss about life in Santa Barbara…. family and friends of course, church, our home culture, paved roads, … and FIESTA!  For those non-Santa Barbara folk, Fiesta is a 75+ year tradition of celebrating the Mexican and Spanish culture that decorates our hometown in the States.  Essentially, Fiesta is a 5-day party full of festivals, parades, music, dancing and good Mexican...

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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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Ony

Ony

Ony has become a favorite friend for Gavin (right) and his little buddy, Alex (left).  She’s a sweet woman who watches the boys while we’re in formal language study.  She has the magic touch and these boys LOVE her just as much as we do!  We’ll certainly miss her when we make the big move to Mahajanga this coming week. Like it? Share it!ShareEmailPrintGoogleTwitterLinkedInFacebookLike this:Like...

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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!ShareEmailPrintGoogleTwitterLinkedInFacebookLike this:Like...

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Early Missionaries

Early Missionaries

Last week our Malagasy class w ent on a field trip to a center for adults who are blind.  This center teaches them a variety of trades so that in time, they may be employed as rug weavers, scarf and sweater knitters, basket makers, etc.  The center and the people were impressive however what really intrigued me was the early missionaries that started this center and lived in this remote location.  I’ve always been fascinated with the daily...

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Easter Surprises

Easter Surprises

As Easter approached this year, I realized I was disappointed in that we weren’t going to give the kids the Easter festivities that they’re accustomed to… church would look different, Easter with family would look different, and the Easter egg hunt would look different.  I grieved at the loss of these but didn’t speak of the disappointment of the absence of the plastic eggs filled with candy, the fake green easter grass and the...

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Of Birthdays and Modern Technology

Of Birthdays and Modern Technology

We recently celebrated our second daughter, Eliana’s 3rd birthday.  It is during times like this that we are so incredibly thankful for modern technology and the ways that it has the capacity to bring families together who are literally on opposite sides of the globe.  During our celebration, we skyped with “grammy” and “grampy”, who despite being a 10-hour time difference, joined in the festivities with their own party hats,...

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Special Guests & Birthday Celebrations

Special Guests & Birthday Celebrations

    Our long-time good friend and main ministry partner, Josy, left his wife home with their 3 kids and made the 15 hour drive to spend a few days with us and our 3 kids.  It was fantastic!!  We learned something new with our time together…. kids are kids wherever they are and whatever culture they’re from.  Josy felt like he was transplanted back into the chaos of the three small children that he left behind and that chaos was...

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Our First Casualties

Our First Casualties

It didn’t take long for our first “casualties” to occur here in Madagascar.  We experienced two casualties in three days a few weeks ago.  The first, Jamie’s soccer cleats.  Jamie and Jonathan went to play soccer late one afternoon and quickly a pick-up game began with several Malagasy guys.  None of the guys were wearing shoes so Jamie and Jonathan took off their cleats and played barefoot also.  The cleats were used then for the...

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Sekoly

Sekoly is “school” in Malagasy and is what transpires four days a week for the three older kids on our team; Isabella (4), Oliver (3), and Eliana (2).  Sekoly coincides with Malagasy language lessons for the parents, however it’s a very different education for these little ones.  Jamie is their exuberant teacher and as a result, sekoly days are full of explorations and adventures, singing, learning Malagasy words, as well...

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