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I’m sitting on my couch in the dark as the morning light filters through the curtains and I listen to the few cars drive along a nearby ‘shortcut’ through town.  I fell asleep on the couch last night watching my Netflix NCIS on my laptop.  I woke up around 230 long enough to wash my face and move to my own bed.

Now I’m back on my couch where I’ve watched some more NCIS, done some facebooking, emailing, BBCing and such.  I checked to see if I needed to mail any cds or dvds from my swapa accounts (really cool if you don’t know about them).  On and on.  I think I’ll do some blog catching up now and then move along to more NCIS before I put it back into the mail this afternoon.

Nothing exciting here.  Looking at making a second cuppa tea and washing dishes.  Yup, that’s exciting as it gets as I await what I hope will arrive in today’s mail – my photo order so that I can start scrapping like a maniac.

So, as I try to get back into blogging, I wouldn’t say this is one of my better entries, but sometimes you just have to get out there and do something to get back into the groove.  Look out groove – here I come!

I mentioned previously about looking for a list of things that I had wanted to blog about.  Ummm, that list was from last October.  Sorry about that.  Those things are bit too far past for blogging, except maybe this one. 

 

I was part of a large team that traveled upcountry for a project evaluation.  (This was near the area where I thought I was hiding my struggles with the heat, but it was a bit cooler this time of year, thank goodness.)  One of the other team members was Carole, the Bridger from Uganda.  After our major site visit we were visiting nearby homes in small groups.  As we turned to go back to the site, the leader invited a young girl to walk with Carole and I and he walked on ahead, after he made a point to encourage her to use her English.  Neither Carole nor I know enough Swahili for her to have used anything except English. 

 

Anyway, as we’re walking along, Carole began ‘interpreting’ between us.  I’m talking English to English translation and cultural translation.  All of a sudden I stopped and just laughed.  I said, “Wait!  Why is the Ugandan Bridger in Kenya translating for the Kenyan Bridger?!”  It was just really funny to us. 

 

Guess you had to be there?

I don’t know if culture shock ever really ends.  I do know that I feel like I’ve got a much better hold on things this time around and I thank God for that!

A coworker is returning to North America soon and another coworker just did.  From one of their blogs, I would like to share some tips for dealing with people like us who have been living ‘over there’ for awhile.  I think it will help us all relate better.  Read the comments, too.

And can someone please tell me what ‘joe the plumber’ means?

I was at a retreat last month and they were reinforcing our Reformed heritage as a part of the CRCNA – Christian Reformed Church of North America. 

One of the questions was ‘Who knows Kuyper’s first name?’

My immediate thought was ‘Bruce!’  Then I realized that Bruce Kuyper went to Calvary with me before his family all moved to Iowa.  I thought it was funny and I giggled to myself.  No one else would’ve understood though.

So there you have it.  My random thought for the day.

This is too good not to share.  God tells us in Scripture to make a joyful noise.  I laughed so hard at this video that I cried.  Much joy here!

It’s funny how the brain works. I have been thinking about Greensburg and Meade, Kansas for the last day or so. I have no idea why really. Here’s my theory.

I miss my family and the combo of the holidays and the election turmoil here in Kenya is enhancing that and I’m thinking of happier times.

Meade: I keep seeing the old drive in on the highway in Meade where we used to stop for a cherry limeade when we were going between Liberal, my hometown, and Coldwater, my dad’s hometown. It’s only a two-hour trip but who are we to pass up a tasty cherry limeade? That drive-in has been a variety of things since those days and now I stop at the grill on the east end of town, unless it’s a Saturday since the owner is a Seventh Day Adventist and is closed on Saturdays. It’s funny how we take on habits and traditions of our family. I was a kid when we would stop on the other end of town for a limeade with my family and now even when I drive across Kansas by myself, I make a point to stop for a limeade in Meade. My great Aunt Carrie used to live up above a drug store or something at the main intersection in town there and we would stop to see her sometimes. Huh, the things you remember.

Greensburg: This is about half-way between Liberal and Wichita or Sterling. There used to be a great burger joint on the west end of town where we’d stop to go to the bathroom and get ice cream. I actually remember this more from my college days and when I lived in Sterling. Coldwater is only 20 miles or so south of town and you knew you were getting close to ‘home.’ One time Grandmother and Grandad met me at the burger joint for some ice cream when I was coming or going, I can’t remember. It was fun though. There was a huge tornado that went through Greensburg just before I moved from Minnesota this past summer. I drove through it shortly after they opened the highway and it was awful. It looked like a war-zone complete with the MASH unit alongside the highway.

Rural America. Man I love it. Small town America is where some of my dearest memories lie.

What makes us remember what we remember and forget what we forget? Why do we remember things randomly, just when we need some comfort? All I can say is because God loves us. He shows us joys in life in ‘simpler’ times. He lets us soak in the love that we have from and for others in those memories. He reminds us that things will get better, nothing is permanent and to live and love.

What will I remember most about my time in Nairobi? The elections? The disaster? The fear?

I don’t think so.

I think I will remember walking to Java House with a friend. I will remember the hug with a co-worker after seeing each other the first time since Christmas. I will remember the times I prayed with a friend late at night after a disturbing text message. I will remember sharing good food and laughs with my friends. I will remember the quiet awe of watching God’s creation as the sun rises over the mountains. I will remember crying for joy and a bit of sadness as I open presents that come in the mail from my family. I will remember that I don’t always cry when I open presents but sometimes dance for joy throughout the office, sharing whatever treasure has arrived. I will remember a coworker telling me that I’m not like other wazungu in a good way. I will never forget the way God is working in Kenya and in me.

Thank you, Lord, for the mystery of memory.

I feel like it’s been forever since I’ve blogged.  I apologize for that but I’ve been traveling (Uganda last week and Eldoret, northwest of Nairobi, next week) and I’m trying to catch up on a lot of my emails.  So if you’ve emailed me lately and haven’t heard back take heart, it’s coming.  If you are looking for some great blogs, um, sorry, keep checking and keep those emails and comments coming – I love it!

Those reading this that know me well know that I may possibly be just a bit OCD.  I like things in order and all the way finished before moving along, thank you very much.

When I was in Mali I got to see a large portion of Due South seasons 1 and 3.  I sorta miss it.  However, I have discovered that it’s on here once a week at like 10:35 pm.  Since I was at a guest house in my own room with my own little TV last week.  YUP!  You guessed it.  I watched Due South and it was an episode I hadn’t seen!  It was great!

I mean, it’s really not that stellar of a show, but I’m a bit obsessed with it for some reason.  Now, I’ve just got to get online long enough to buy Grey’s and I’m golden!  Be still my heart.  Again, don’t know how or why, but I’m sucked into that one big time.  Don’t tell me anything yet.  I don’t know.  I haven’t seen it yet.  Trust me, you’ll know when I do.

Ohhh, I wonder if this guest house will have a TV in my room.  I think Due South is on Tuesday.  Yeehaw!

I passed a store today called “Amazing Grace Butchery.”  I don’t really have anything to say about that, I just wanted to share.

I have seen people at least twice now use greens as hot pads.  Lettuce or more likely, kale is being used as a hot pad.  It appears to be a good tool as I don’t see the women getting burned.  So, if you’re in a pinch, now you now, just grab some fresh (probably best if not wet) greens and your golden.

They have a treat here that’s a donut-type treat.  It’s slightly sweet and sometimes has powdered sugar.  Here it is called a mandazi.  At home we would call it a sopapilla.  It’s not quite the same but it’s pretty darned close.  Pretty tasty, even without the honey.

Awhile back Melissa mentioned that it was a good thing that we have nose hairs to help filter everything that we breath in through our nose.

You might think this an odd remark.  

However, we were riding in a pick-up at that time through Dakar traffic with the windows down.  That means a lot of fumes and smoke and who knows what else wafting through the air.  The trash system here is not like home and much garbage is on the side of the street or in a burn pile, on fire or smoldering (lot of smoldering due to the large quantity of plastic bags, which is quite an issue throughout West Africa, I understand).

Upon arriving home that night and blowing my nose, I saw first hand exactly how important our nose hairs are to filtering out impurities.  We inhale a lot of bad stuff out there, many of you may first think of cigarette smoke, and our tiny nose hairs help keep our insides a little cleaner.  Think how bad it could be!

God is amazing isn’t he?

He new what we were up against and to help us he made nose hairs.  It blows my mind to think about it.  I can hardly begin to comprehend.  

It’s been quite an adventure the last week and I hope to update you soon, but it is a whirlwind here, so and when I get to an internet cafe it’s all in French so it takes a bit longer there. 

I love you!  Many blessings to each of you!

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