Our Happy Place…

Our Happy Place…

A couple months ago I was telling Jamie how much I would love it if he swept me away someplace as a surprise.  At that time, it was talk and I was loftily dreaming of someplace in Europe or Asia… walking the streets, exploring the culture, eating yummy cuisine, snapping pictures and enjoying each other, sans children.  I put my dream on the back burner because you know… REALITY. Last month we “celebrated” our 12-year...

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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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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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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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A Photographic Journey

A Photographic Journey

Over New Year’s we went to Antananarivo for some cooler temps, some fellowship with other English speakers, some play, some work, and alas, some shopping.. though shopping for stuff like Oatmeal and Sundried Tomatoes is not necessarily what I consider exhilarating shopping. The beauty of this rugged landscape that is Madagascar never ceases to amaze me.  Every time we make this 10-hour drive, I stand in awe of God’s awesome creation...

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Mahabana By Air

Mahabana By Air

Many of you have heard about Mahabana over the last 13 years. Mahabana is an incredibly special place to us for many reasons… the people, the relationships, the simplicity of life, the fishing, the history, the ways God has worked, the ways He has transformed lives there, the ways He has allowed us to witness His hand at work.  You can read about the history of Mahabana here and the transformation that has occurred in Mahabana here. The...

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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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On the Road

On the Road

Traveling between our city of Mahajanga and the capital city of Antananarivo is roughly 350 miles but travel takes 10+ hours with only small towns dotted along the two lane national highway. As such, there are only small take-your-chances-on-getting-sick restaurants along the way. So when hunger pains come and it’s time to stop for lunch, we pull over under a good tree, find a descent rock to sit on and take out our packed lunches. And...

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The Miracle Tree

The Miracle Tree

Part of the goal of our work here in Madagascar is to see the health of the Malagasy people restored.  Nutrition is a huge part of the restoration of health.  There is a tree here in Madagascar, called felomorongo, in English, it’s the Moringa tree.  It’s also known as the “Miracle Tree” and “Mother’s Best Friend”.  And for good reason… check this out… (taken from the TreesForLife website)   While in Mahabana...

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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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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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POTW

POTW

Fall is ending and winter is beginning here in Madagascar and with it, the glorious and HUGE poinsettia’s are in full and vibrant bloom! Like it? Share it!SharePrintGoogleTwitterLinkedInFacebookLike this:Like...

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hot, Hot, HOT!

hot, Hot, HOT!

One may think that being a tropical island in the middle of the Indian Ocean that all of Madagascar is hot.  However, Madagascar is in fact the 4th largest island in the world and therefore the climate can be drastically different.  Since we’re below the equator, our seasons are reversed from most of you, so currently it’s summer and we’re in the midst of the hot and rainy season.  Yet where we’ve been living on the high plateau...

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Alley of the Baobabs

Alley of the Baobabs

Last weekend we took a trip to the coast for a change of scenery and a little scouting trip.  To get an idea of the vastness of this island… it took 6 hours to travel by car from where we live in the middle of the island to the west coast!  Morondava is a bit of a sleepy town on the coast bordering the Mozambique Channel.  The town isn’t much to boast about but the baobab trees are another story!  These gems of the forest are one of...

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