Saturday, December 26, 2009

Traveling Road Show

Even though Christmas 2009 is officially past, we thought you might enjoy the adventures of the Traveling Christmas Pageant Troupe:

The children had been practicing a Christmas play about Jesus' birthday. They learned their lines well, and memorized the verses to several songs. They attended rehearsals and subjected themselves to costume fittings. Finally, they were ready to share their Christmas production with the world!


There are two villages near our site, and a few days before Christmas, we took our show on the road! We gathered up the shepherds, the wise men, townspeople, angelic hosts, and the holy family, and went to share the Good News with our neighbors. First stop, Zorkpah Town, where we performed under a large mango tree. The performance went well, except for one minor glitch when one of the shepherds refused to kneel before the baby Jesus after his staff was confiscated due to improper staff usage. This shepherd had a little discussion with the village director on the way to our next performance arena, and he willingly adjusted his behavior, and later even got his staff returned.


Our second performance was at Boy'sTown, where we were ushered into a large hut that was the main meeting hall for the village. It was very warm in the hut, but we were acting professionals, and the show must go on! The children gave another fine rendition of the first Christmas Night, and the audience was appreciative.



Our last stop on our tour was the orphanage down the road from us. We performed for about thirty children and ten adults. Once again, the show was flawless, although one of the angels was rather distracted by the water tower's wind mill. And then we sang Christmas songs on the way back home. It was a fun afternoon, and we hope God was glorified by His little traveling troupe of Christmas actors.


Thursday, December 24, 2009

Joy to the World!

The older girls have the privilege of helping in the kitchen/dining hall after the noon meal. Today, Patience was wiping tables and sweeping the floor. And while she was doing her chores, the wrapped presents were placed under the tree. Patience no longer was just sweeping the floor, but she was dancing while sweeping! What fun to see the excitement of a child who has never before experienced a Christmas such as this one! Patience has never had a Christmas tree, nor a wrapped present. She quickly identified a package with her name on it, and that is when the "dance sweeping" began.

Sometimes, in the middle of the mundane things that need to be done to keep this place running smoothly, one loses sight of what we are doing here. And then Patience sees her Christmas gift, and begins to dance and sweep and sing. And we remember that we are here at God's request, to help children live His grace.

We wish all of you a wonderful, blessed Christmas, and it is our prayer that you, too, experience the joy of the abundant life in Christ.

Happy Christmas!
Dave & Babs

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Shopping With Melvin

I love taking our social worker into the interior with us to investigate leads on children because Melvin is a shopper!  I am a little retail-deprived here in Liberia. I am married to someone who rates shopping right up there with getting a root canal, and so it is difficult to get Dave to stop at shops that look interesting. 

But Dave stops for Melvin! On our last trip to Buchanan with Melvin, we made several stops on the way home, so Melvin could load up with goodies.

We stopped at the crawdad boys. Melvin was not impressed, because the crawdads in the basket were not as large as the ones they were waving about to get our attention as we drove past. Melvin did not buy any crawdads, and chastised the crawdad boys for false advertising.

We stopped at the fella' holding the large grouper. It was a beautiful fish, probably 8 pounds or so. The guy wanted $5 U.S.  Melvin said that was way too much..."drive on, Dave."

We stopped at the guy holding a large ugly creature by the tail. It was an armadillo, except the Liberians call it an "ant bear". Melvin said this is a delicious animal to eat; kept saying the meat is "sweet", whatever that means! And it would make great soup or barbecue. But Melvin did not buy the ant bear, as the man was charging twice as much as Melvin thought it was worth.  That is a problem Melvin has when he is with us...because of the color of our skin, all prices go up!

We stopped at a market where a man wanted to sell a live fawn. It was so cute, and Melvin told me that it would make a great pet. If the guy had been selling a Black Lab, I would have gone for it, but I have a hard time seeing me playing fetch with Bambi. And do deer bark at strangers? I don't think so.
(Dave and Melvin take some time out from shopping to tinker under the hood)

Melvin bought two bags of coal, as the price is much better on coal the farther away from Monrovia one gets. And Melvin had Dave stop at the sugar cane stand, so he could bring sugar cane stalks home to his kids as a treat. Another stop for cassava, and yet another stop for cucumbers.  By the time we got Melvin home, he had coal and food for his family and neighbors. What a great shopping adventure!

Wishing you all a great day at the mall!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

With Fond Memories of Vella's Fruit Stand

Well, I guess the fruit stands in the California Central Valley have pretty much closed for the winter.  It is always a little sad when the last stand stashes the empty lug boxes for the season and shuts the doors against the rain and fog. However, here, in Liberia, the fruit stands never close!  The growing season is never over and the fruit stands stay open all year round.

When we drive inland, fruit stands are a regular part of the scenery. They are small "Mom and Pop" stands, owned and operated by people who live near the main roads. Most homes offer something for sale along the side of the road. Often, only one type of produce is available per stand, and often, there is not much of that item. Mostly, it is whatever is leftover from the garden/orchard after the family eats. Sometimes, there will be a pile of cassava, or a little pyramid of cucumbers. The neighbor's stand might have two pineapples on the table, and the neighbor across the road might be offering a pile of palm nuts or a bunch of bananas. Down the road, there might be three papaya , with some sugar cane.
We often stop on our jaunts into the interior for bananas and pineapples and watermelon. It would be difficult to find fresher fruit at a California fruit stand, although more variety per stand would be nice. There are some things that are impossible to find at these family stands, like tomatoes and navel oranges and lettuce and nuts. But then, mangoes, edo, and coconuts are not regularly found at the roadside stands in Modesto, either, so I guess it all evens out!  
Customer service is a big thing, for as soon as the car stops, produce is pushed through the open window, with the salesperson loudly stating the price. One can buy all the produce offered by the road without ever leaving the car. It is sort of "drive by shopping." If more than one fruit stand is in the vicinity, the car will be mobbed with people from every stand, hawking their wares. It is not a shopping experience for the timid!

But even as convenient as it is to get fresh fruit here from the roadside stands, no one offers a cup of coffee and a fresh-baked goodie from the bakery. Oh, I miss Vella's Fruit Stand. That place is a Modesto treasure!

Anyways, here's wishing you happy banana shopping!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

"Oh, What A Night"

WOW! It was a doozy of a storm! 

Last night, just before midnight, the rain began. To say it was raining was like saying the Grand Canyon is a nice valley. Just when it seemed that the rain could not get any heavier...that no way could the air hold any more water droplets! and then the rain would ratchet up another notch! Within minutes, the ground surrounding our house was flooded.

Soon after the precipitation started, the lightening/thunder show began. We were at the epicenter last night, with several booms hitting at the same time as the flash. Lightening lit up the sky continually for an hour, often within seconds of the last bolt. It was wild. Now if you are a person who was raised in the Midwest U.S., this storm may have been "normal" for you; but for us native Californians, it was crazy. I am getting braver about the storms (the choice was get used to it or go totally insane!), but this storm was in the "Top Ten Storms That Can Freak You Out".

At one point, the main generator cut out and the whole village went dark. (Well, as dark as it gets with lightening bursting all around. It was like a crazy black light show!)  The generator is wired to a GFI. For those of you who are not technologically in the know, that means Ground Fault Interrupters. I personally have had this explained to me several times, and still do not understand! But apparently, last night there was a lightening strike close enough somewhere to cause the switch in the generator to know that for it's very survival, it had better shut down NOW or be fried.

One of us bravely ventured out into the wet, saturating night to re-start the generator in order to restore power to the security lights while the other one of us stayed inside, nice and dry (one of the perks of being technologically ignorant!) The storm raged overhead for an hour before slowly moving to the west. What a night!

I asked the children at breakfast this morning if the storm was scary. Most of them slept right through it! Lucky kids.

Wishing you a pleasant, dry day, with no interruptions to your "current" (electricity).
Love, Babs

Saturday, October 24, 2009

A Sunday's Drive

Because of Liberia's close ties with the United States, many buildings and areas are named straight out of U.S. history books. A county is named Maryland. A town is named Hartford. The public medical facility is "J.F.K. Hospital."  Monrovia itself is named after president James Monroe. So Sunday, driving through the New Georgia area to get to Louisiana Baptist Church did not seem odd.

(A beautiful mansion in it's day)

We were checking a reference for a possible new hire at the village. In the process of finding this lady's home church, we discovered territory that we had not previously driven. We only got lost twice. Pretty good for us!

As we drove along the unpaved road, we asked people for directions. We were told to "continue on" and "just axe further down" and that we would see "the bulletin by the road."  We balked at crossing a bridge, but a gentleman declared "the bridge-o fine." As we got to an intersection in the the road, and had to make a decision of left or right, we were advised to "go down"  and later were told to "bend here." And we understood all these directions!  Our Liberian English skills are improving!
(This bridge has not been retro-fitted for anything!)

Forty five minutes from the main road, after dodging pot holes, creeping across two bridges, and sliding through several streams, we found the church on the top of a hill. What a lovely place for a church! We enjoyed worship with this small congregation who so warmly received us into their midst. How wonderful that our common faith transcends language and culture and skin color and hand-clapping abilities! (We still have none!)

(All dressed up for church)

It was a joy to worship our great God with newly found friends at the end of a muddy road.

Dave & Babs

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A Hard Life

A Liberian cemetary

We met an older gentleman who was recovering from stomach flu. He went on and on in great detail, about how he had "the diarrhea" and how he was dehydrated and it lasted more than a week, but now he was better and gaining his strength back a little each day. "Thank the Lord" he said. It seemed like an odd conversation to us, with someone we hardly knew, but he was very pleased to have survived this bout with stomach flu and wanted to share this fact with us.

We all know people who are overly "in tune" with their bodies. Every ache and pain is a big deal that they seem to enjoy sharing with anyone who will listen. Upon our arrival to Liberia, I at first thought that this place was full of these types. Not so. Every illness, infection, accident, has the potential of being life-threatening. And Liberians are painfully aware of this fact. When they are recovering from some ailment, they freely praise God for healing. When employees return after an illness and we ask, "How are you doing?", they usually answer, "I am better; praise God!"  or they will say, "Trying small; praise God."  "Trying small", in this context, would mean they are slowly getting better. 

One of our employees had a baby recently, and she called Babs within hours of the event and said, "Mother, I have given birth and I am OK!" (The nationals call Babs "Mother.") In a country where the maternal death rate in childbirth is one of the highest in the world, it is an accomplishment to give birth and be well. She was happy to have had a baby and to be alive.

Last month, one of our maintenance men took a day off to bury his brother in law. The brother in law had a fever, and hailed a taxi to go to the clinic for treatment. In route, the taxi rolled over, killing him. He was thirty five years old.The next day, another employee had a niece die from unknown causes. Her niece was thirty four years old. Two days later, one of our mother's had an older sister pass away. She was in her fifties, "a good age." And then another employee lost a ten year old nephew from unknown causes, and a cook buried an uncle who died from malaria complications. It was a rough month.

Yesterday, we were reminded again how hard life is here in Liberia. I had to go into town. Going into Monrovia is not an activity I enjoy. It is much work! But I could put this chore off no longer. We were out of some essentials in the kitchen. At 8 a.m. I was out the gate, dodging pot holes filled with water from the overnight rain. About a mile from the highway, ten young guys flagged me down by standing in the roadway. The spokesman of the bunch said that they needed help getting their friend to the hospital. One of their cohorts was being transported in a wheel barrow. I was informed that he had been "chopped" in the head and was not doing well. Would I transport him to the clinic? Sure enough, this young man had taken a "chop" with a machete, right in the middle of the face. Being the gracious Samaritan that I am, I said, "You can put him in the back seat. Keep him from bleeding on the upholstery," and off we went. This young man did not need a clinic; what he needed was a trauma center and a neurosurgeon, but today the local hospital would have to do. His buddies informed me that everyone had been robbed in the area where they worked, and a neighbor thought this guy was the thief, so he chopped him.  When we arrived at the hospital some 30 minutes later, the victim was alive but not responsive. If he lives, his life will never be the same.
This is how it is here. If you get sick and have "the diarrhea" and you put off the visit to the hospital too long because you know the visit will use up all the money you possess, you die. If you deliver a baby and everything does not go well, you most likely will die. If you get into an altercation with a hot headed neighbor and you do not have friends that will run the neighbor off and load you in a wheel barrow and stand in front of a white man's car, you will die. 

So, when I ask that question, "How ya' doing today", and they answer, "Doing well, praise God", they are not answering flippantly. They are quite serious! They are alive today, by the grace of God.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Road Hazard Ahead!

On any given day, one can come upon some driving situations that are far removed from anything we have experienced in the California Central Valley. 
Here are some traffic hazards we have encountered recently here in Liberia:

---How many guys can stand on the back bumper of a Toyota pick-up?

---Nothing like a parade to cheer up your day!  It was not even a holiday! You gotta love a country that can muster up a parade on a regular weekday.

---We were hoping this fella did not have to go far with his load of poles.

---Miles of mud, lots of jungle, and no cell service!  Sounds like the beginning of a horror movie to me!

---Home Depot delivers!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

"Let us go to the house of the Lord" Psalm 122:1

Today is Sunday morning and Babs and I are "on duty" this weekend. This means that we will stay on site while the other staff and children leave to attend church. It becomes a ghost town around here shortly after breakfast as all the children are old enough to now attend church with their mothers. So this morning, everyone is gone...well, all except Obadiah. He has had malaria since Tuesday. Malaria is not that common with the Rafiki children since they are in cottages with screened windows and they sleep under mosquito nets. Last year we had one confirmed case of malaria with the children and it was about this time of the year.
Every morning, two year old Obadiah has been saying to his mother and the medical manager (Babs) that he is all better as he laid listless and feverish on his bed. The closer we got to the weekend, the more he tried to convince them that he was all better and that he would be going to church. These kids love going to church!
The "outing" of attending church takes an effort. At breakfast, they are all be dressed in their Sunday best. By 8am or 8:30am they leave through the front gate. They walk a mile down a muddy road to the the "junction" where they hail a cab. This morning it is raining. I think it rains every Sunday morning.  Hailing a taxi is a process, as there are more people than cabs to transport them into the Monrovia area. It is not uncommon to see adults verbally fighting over who will get the empty seat when someone gets out of a taxi. Our mothers and children have an advantage because they can fill the whole cab and pay for each person riding. More children can fit into the cab than adults; a lighter load too. Taxi drivers like that!
Church lasts for about two hours. Some of the churches have Sunday school for the children; but some do not or it is sporatic because they have a hard time getting people to lead Sunday school. After church, it is back to the street to find a cab to get back to the village.  
This whole process of going to church can take hours to accomplish. Somewhere in this process the children and mommas eat their sack lunch that they took with them. Any time between two and five o'clock the four families will come walking back through the gate. We have voiced our concerns to the mothers about walking out into the mud when it is pouring rain. The mothers replied, "This is Liberia; it will rain. The children need to go to church". What a good attitude!

 So, this morning everyone is at church except Obadiah and the auntie who is with him. He is bummed. He is feeling better, and has been without fever for twenty four hours. The duty personnel are thinking that they may show Obadiah a video when the power comes on at noon. It will be our secret; hah! like it is possible to have a secret in the village! But I don't think we have to worry about the children faking malaria to stay home from church to see a video. Going to church is too big an adventure!
Hope you enjoy going to church this Sunday!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Sweet Dreams

There's a scene in the movie "The Sound of Music", where Maria looked at the Von Trapp children in their stiff uniforms, and asked if they had play clothes. No, she was told, the children had uniforms!
Later, Maria eyed some curtains slated for replacement, and then in the next scene, all the children are wearing new play clothes made out of old drapery fabric. Good recycling, right?

We had our own recycling program here. Every child needed new pajamas. For one week, we were blessed with a clever, gifted seamstress from the States. She took an overabundance of crib sheets, and operated her own little sweatshop out of a vacant home here at the village.

Voila! Nine sets of boys' pajamas, and nine nightgowns for the girls! All out of crib sheets! The woman is a genius! Plus, she also made seven dresses and two skirts: a new Sunday outfit for each girl! The dresses are not made out of crib sheets, but fun African prints. The girls felt very pretty going to church this past Sunday.

Don't you love how God gives different abilities to His people, and then uses them so creatively?

P.S. In the pictures, the children have had their evening baths, and several of them have baby powder rubbed all over. That is the "white" on their necks and chest.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Fire Ants vs. Babs


OK, it was a perfect day to get some serious yard work accomplished. A breeze was blowing in from the ocean, and the sky was overcast. I donned my official gardening apparel (capris, ratty tee-shirt, gloves, flip-flops) and grabbed my favorite gardening tool, a eighteen inch hoe/chopper thing. The gardener's here call it my "baby hoe." It is a tool from Smith and Hawkins' store. I recently found out that Smith and Hawkins have not made it through this economic downturn. I am sad. I will miss their good garden items.

I began hoeing weeds around the hibiscus with my "baby hoe." All was going well...I was happy, the hibiscus was happy...until I stepped on the ant hill. The ants were not happy.

Our village is situated on a huge sand hill and ants love it here. So we always have many, many of them around, and when the rainy season begins, they get especially cranky. I guess they do not like having 180 inches of rain flooding out their tunnels. So, now, having size nine flip-flops standing on top of their village made everyone of them come boiling out of the hole...and right onto my foot.

Being completely absorbed in my weeds, I did not noticed until my foot was covered and the little guys were heading up toward the kneecap. At that moment, some General Patton ant gave the word: "Bite now!" Yikes! That got my attention.

I began to do the "Fire Ant Shuffle!" With arms and legs flailing about, it only took 15-20 seconds to get all the little monsters off my leg, but it seemed forever. It got the guards attention (could have been the screaming). The guards were concerned, as I now had several ant bites all over my foot. Well, so much for gardening. I soaked my feet in the tub, rubbed on the aloe gel, and generally felt sorry for myself.

My question is: How is it possible for such a tiny creature to inflict such a painful bite? And why? Yes, I did remove my foot from their home, but then I sent Dave out with the ant spray. So, really, who won?

My advice for the week is: Do not step on the ants.
Have a good one.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

School Daze

Hello, again.
For the last two weeks the weather has been very nice. Usually in the lower 80s and the humidity has not been too bad. It rains on and off throughout the day.
We are all reeling with new job assignments because our Education Director and our Child Care Director have finished their term of service and returned to the States. They left two full time jobs that need to be absorbed by the four of us who are left here in Liberia. Home Office has assigned our village two new staff members who should arrive in October. We will be counting the days!
In the meantime, Babs is doing the Child Care. She just returned from the doctor's office after sitting there for four hours with a little girl. Thank goodness she had an appointment!
The question you might be asking is that if Babs took over the Child Care, is Dave going to take over the Education? To be a Director of Education, shouldn't one have some sort of degree and maybe a little experience? I must admit I do have a little experience when it comes to education, but it was not an especially good experience and I think it was worse for my teachers. My degree is one from "The School of Hard Knocks", something that we are trying to spare these young children. 
Each morning, I meet with a capable staff of teachers. We pray together, and then I leave them alone so they can teach!  This morning, there was a class of boys that was rather rowdy, so I popped into their classroom and said "hi" to the students. I gave them the old line that they have a good teacher who is here to teach. That is a very important job, so she should not be wasting any of her valuable time on students who did not care to learn. Those students who did not wish to behave and learn from her, she could send them to me! In my younger years, when I was pretending to be a student, that line usually got my attention. As I left the room, it was quiet, as several pairs of big eyes watched me leave.  Maybe I did learn something in school!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head

Well, it is raining. The rainy season is here with a vengeance. Like "two-inches-of-precipitation-in-two-hours" sort of rain!  In case we have never mentioned it before, Liberia gets about 180 to 200 inches of rain a year. As Liberians say, "Plenty!"

People plan their lives around the rainy season. Many roads become inaccessible. Trips to the "interior" are minimal, as dirt roads become massive puddles and hardy four-wheel drive vehicles often save the day! Perfect country for an International Scout (motto: "Everything Else is Just a Car"). We do not have a Scout, but a very functional Toyota Land Cruiser.  Good thing, too, as one of us likes to drive through mud and sand just so he can use the four-wheel drive capability as often as possible. One of us is very excited that there is a lot of mud around these days.

The seasons really should be called the mud season and the dust season. We exchange clouds of red dust billowing off the roadway for red mud splashing up over the hood and windows of the Land Cruiser as we venture into town. And we are never too far from an umbrella, as it can go from sort-of-cloudy to torrential-downpour in five minutes. One always needs to be prepared (another Scout motto!) 

Wishing you all a pleasant day from drippy Liberia. Stay dry!
Dave & Babs

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

More Shopping!

Fresh pineapples travel to market.

Various vegetables are neatly displayed for sale.

Need a new bucket?

Clothes are hung up for easier shopping.

Unique Boutiques.

Colorful flip flops should sell quickly.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

A Good Day for Most...


This is a picture of a fish delivery. That fish weighed in at 27 lbs.
She was glad to get it off her head;
the cooks were happy to clean and cut it;
we were happy to re-stock the freezer!
Everyone was happy!
Now, that is a good day!
Although, all things considered, it was not such a good day for the fish.

Hoping you have a good day,

Thursday, May 28, 2009

A Year in Liberia...


We have now been living in Africa for one year.
It seems appropriate to mention some of the things we have been privileged to enjoy in the past 365 days:

---An abundance of fresh pineapples, mangoes, and bananas.
---Sitting by the ocean in our camping chairs, not another person in sight for miles.
---Missing all the political ads that bombarded the U.S. from May, '08 until November, '08.
---The joy of rescuing children from severe poverty and hopelessness.
---An endless variety of multi-hued bugs and moths.
---Being clueless as to what Britney Spears is doing.
---Playing soccer with enthusiastic preschoolers.
---The "Chicken a la Belle" at the Firestone Plantation Country Club. Very tasty dish of spicy chicken and Liberian rice.
---Daily hugs and smiles from children.
---Being saluted by the security guards and being called "Sir." Yes, both of us are called "Sir."
---Meeting people who are so different than us, and yet so much alike.
---Incredible cloud formations, brilliant lightening, booming thunder.
---Colorful fabrics and interesting African attire.
---Worshiping with a wonderful unity of the Spirit; worshiping with folks who do not seem to mind that we have two left feet and can't clap.
---Good health and many laughs along the way.

Dave & Babs

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Not in Kansas Anymore...

It occurred to me today that there are several things I do now that seem quite normal in my daily routines, but which actually are new and incredibly different activities in the scope of my many years; things that I never dreamed I would be doing even a year and a half ago! This deep thought came to me this afternoon as I not only was I doing laundry for many children, but in the process of doing that laundry, I was dismantling mosquito nets in order to throw them in the washer. I can honestly say I never washed mosquito netting in California.

I always scan the sidewalks, lawns, sand, and verandas for snakes as I move around. Early in the morning, I carefully open metal security doors throughout the compound, watching for large spiders, frogs, creepy insects, and, of course..always!...snakes. Again, not typical Modesto-type actions.

When I drive, I use the horn freely. I honk at the taxi in front of me, as it pulls half-way off the road without blinker or tail lights. I honk at the people who are walking on the road pavement (no sidewalks). I honk at the trucks barreling towards me with their tires on the white line. Never was a big honker before Liberia. Now, it is a matter of survival! Actually, one of the first questions a policeman will ask at an accident site is, "Did you use your whistle (horn)?"

I find myself imitating the "Curly bird." That is not it's real name; I do not know what it is actually called. But it is a big brown and black bird whose call is the same noise Curly of the Three Stooges know, "Whoop, whoop, whoop, whoop, whoop"....Curly's signature sound, which usually led to Moe bopping him on the head! These birds go through a series of "whoops" , and hence, we have named them "Curly birds." And this is the annoying sound I imitate when I hear the Curly birds calling to each other as they flit from tree to tree. Yep, I never did that in the Central Valley.

When someone complains of fever, radiating back pain, general body aches, chills, or cough, my first thought is "malaria?" I also know the cause and symptoms of typhoid fever. I have mixed several liter bottles of Oral Re-Hydration Solution (ORS) to offset the effects of "runny tummy." I have seen, and treated, scabies. Whenever people have been in Africa for a time, they take malaria and parasite medicine before going back to the states. These conditions are not regular health issues in the U.S. and may not be readily diagnosed there.

I marvel at the sky daily: clouds billowing up into the high heavens. Thunder in the distance is noted, but not a huge concern. Coconut trees bending with gusts of wind and the sound of ocean waves colliding with the beach are normal background events. Swallows circling the house at dusk and crepe myrtle bushes growing wild in the jungle are expected. Papaya and mango trees loaded with fruit; tidy rows of pineapple plants; nicely hoed cassava farms: not what one would encounter in Stanislaus County.

It also occurs to me what a big, diverse world our God has made. With THAT deep thought, I think I will pack some fresh pineapple and mangoes, and talk Dave into sitting at the beach for awhile. Time to enjoy God's goodness!

Wishing you all a wonderful week,

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Fun and Games

We have had a busy, busy week here. The children are on school break, so different activities were planned every morning to keep little hands busy (and also to prevent mommas from going crazy!) 

Some of the fun stuff we did was finger painting, beach volleyball, play dough art, water games, and drawing lessons. One morning, the boys flew kites on the beach. Another day, we began our fun with a rousing game of kickball.
We also tried our hand (or rather, feet) at some line dancing. It was a busy week which everyone enjoyed. At closing ceremonies on Friday, the kids received an official "Certificate of Completion" as they had participated in all activities with great enthusiasm, laughter, and good spirits.
It is Saturday today. We are and adults. Thank goodness for weekends!
Dave & Babs