Putting Out Fires– April News

Putting Out Fires– April News

Deforestation in Madagascar is estimated between 88-90%– quite the staggering rate!  The two largest culprits of the continued destruction of the forests are 1) charcoal production to be used for cooking and heating purposes and 2) slash and burn farming.  When traveling on the two-lane national highway during the dry season, one can easily count 15 or 20 plumes of smoke from various areas dotting the landscape.  Of course with...

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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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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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The Full Story

The Full Story

I haven’t been posting much lately, or posting practically at all for the last 6’ish months.  Our days have been busy with fundraising and all the State-side work that comes with “home assignment”.  And truth be told, life for me… my life, is a bit uninspiring when in the States.  Life can be pretty uninspiring when in Madagascar too… but it’s different.  I find Madagascar inspiring– the...

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3 Countries and A Familiar Outsider

3 Countries and A Familiar Outsider

We’ve been back in the States for close to two weeks now.  It was smooth sailing across the world on each and every leg of travel.  The 10-hour drive from our home in Mahajanga to the capital city of Tana.  The 11-hour plane ride from Tana to Paris.  The 11.5-hour plane ride from Paris to Los Angeles and the 3-hour traffic-jammed drive from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara.  Smoooooth sailing.  Honestly. Done back to back, this journey...

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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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WITH LOVE FROM MADAGASCAR… a must-see video!

WITH LOVE FROM MADAGASCAR… a must-see video!

If you’ve got 6 minutes and want to see an absolutely spectacular movie trailer about the real deal Madagascar– no cartoon animals here, you really must check out this video.  The full-length movie is coming soon. Here’s a little blurb from their website, “WITH LOVE FROM MADAGASCAR is an eco-adventure documentary about two Europeans traveling through Madagascar trying to find out if there is still a way to save the...

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Back in the USA

Back in the USA

Late Tuesday night, we made it back to the USA…. the land of the free, the oversized, and the paved and clean roads. It’s nice to be “home” for some time. It’s also weird. Weird on a lot of different levels. We’re living with my folks, in the house I grew up in since I came home from the hospital as a newborn. This isn’t weird per se as we’ve done this before. What has been weird is that some things haven’t changed. For...

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Re-entry

As we get ready to re-enter into our American life in Santa Barbara, we’ve been thinking and talking about all the things we’re looking forward to. Here are just a few: We can all say we’re looking forward to family and friends and worshipping in our home church in English! And after 6+ week in the Philippines, we also all agree that we’re really looking forward to being able to put toilet paper in the toilet rather than the trash can...

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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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Transportation to Mahabana

Transportation to Mahabana

Getting to Mahabana is no easy task!  Though only 120 miles from the large city of Mahajanga, there are no roads, not even the semblance of a road.  In 2000, Jamie attempted to drive it once, it took 7 days, one way, and when they had driven as far as they could and after several problems with the car, including a small engine fire, they gave up and turned around.  They didn’t even make it half the distance to Mahabana. In the past, Jamie...

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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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Mauritius (part I)

Mauritius (part I)

While my folks were with us, the seven of us ventured over to the neighboring island of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean.  This was a long anticipated and planned trip, we were full of excitement for a vacation in a tropical paradise and Jamie and I were ready for a break from the “dailies” of Madagascar.  We arrived after dark, stepped off the plane and strolled into a beautiful air conditioned airport.  Within the first hour, the contrasts...

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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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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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