Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Habuub!

There are a few times in life where pictures are truly the only way to communicate.  I could tell you that we had a dust storm (called a Habuub).  I could tell you that it layers the entire city in fine dust.  I could tell you that it takes your breath away to see this massive wall advancing quickly towards you and makes everyone in the house spring into action to close windows, doors, etc.  But pictures...that is truly the only way to communicate this phenomenon.  Enjoy.


The Habuub advancing on the city is an awe-inspiring sight.


Did I mention it the dust was thick?

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Fit Fit Anyone?

Yesterday was a stretching day.  I went to a local market to buy several items including a transformer, extension cords, screws, mollies, caulk, and a couple tarps.  It went well and I found an older man, Rashid, who helped me find several items.  In typical Sudanese fashion, he was extremely hospitible and invited me to eat breakfast with him (it was 11 AM).  I declined, he insisted, I declined again, he insisted...on and on went the game.  Finally, he got me very interested in trying something called fit-fit.  I had never heard of this before so he ordered some and while it was being prepared, I tried to inquire into what exactly fit-fit was made from.  I couldn't tell whether the issue was my limited arabic or his dodging the question, but I never got a straight answer. 
The fit-fit came and it was DELICIOUS.  I could see onions, a bit of white sauce, and some chewy dark pieces of thinly sliced meat.  They kindly left the ridiculously hot spices on the side instead of adding them to the fit-fit. 
We would tear off a bit of Kisra (sorghum pancake) which was flooded in a soup and eat that.  We would chase that down with a small hand full of fit-fit.  It was an excellent meal.  However, I noticed that after we had finished eating, either my Arabic got suddenly better or Rashid felt he could tell me what fit-fit was.  With a laugh, a smile, and a wink to his friends, he shared that it was raw cow stomach.  Now I understand!  
Fit-fit and I spent the rest of the day together, happily watching the Manchester United-Barcelona game at 10pm (what a game!) but this morning was a different story.  That might be my last fit fit for a few days. 

Friday, May 27, 2011

Our new home

 I want to give you a brief tour of our new home. For those of you who know me, I usually enjoy blues and more neutral colors but our new apartment is painted orange through most of the apartment and our 2 bedrooms are mustard yellow! At first it made me cringe but I've now decided to embrace the bright happy colors and when I went shopping for towels the other day I purposefully chose bright yellow! The best part about our apartment was that it was furnished. Since we paid 6 months of rent up front the landlady also installed a water filter, a brand new washing machine, air conditioners in the bedrooms, and even a water heater in one of the bathrooms. So far we've enjoyed the cool showers but we're told we'll want warm showers when it cools down. :) The picture above and below are our bedroom.
 This is my picture wall. I had one in Yabus and it was daily encouraging to pray for our friends and family back home and be reminded of all who love and support us.

 This is the boys' room. Eli's going to buy or make bunk beds so they'll have more space to play in their room.
 My beautiful orange kitchen. It originally only had a stove top as you can see on the counter but Eli bought us a small oven from a family leaving - just big enough for a 9x13 pan.

 This is the living room. Isaac and Evan have their rest time here every afternoon.

 I discovered a great way to keep Joshua happy for an hour at a time! Basin with bubbles and cold water and he's happy.
This was the amount of dirt I swept up after the giant dust storm we had on our first day here. But I sweep up just about this much every day.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Settling into our new home in Sudan

 Bethany and the boys in front of our new home.
Today is Day #3 in Khartoum. We live in a 3 bedroom apartment/flat on the 2nd floor of this building. It was already furnished and we even have a fridge/freezer, gas stove, and air conditioners in the bedromoms! We are very thankful. I have been unpacking like crazy and everything is out of trunks and already set up. Now it's starting to feel like home.


 Views from our balcony
 Eli and the boys playing soccer in our medan (backyard that we share with about 20 other families)
Lunch time - we love the fresh Sudanese bread

Monday, May 23, 2011

Here we go!

Our flight today is at 5:20 pm. We are so excited and a little nervous too. Please pray for safe travels, smooth interactions at the airport with our visas and luggage, and good settling into our new home. More updates to come...

Sunday, May 22, 2011

A Wonderful Weekend with Family

 We got to spend our last weekend in Kenya with family on both sides! We had our niece Anna stay with us for a whole week while her parents were in Burundi. Then Bethany's parents came from Uganda for a special rugby tournament for her brother Stan and they stayed with us for 4 days.


 Jason and Heather returned from Burundi in time to see the end of the tournament and spend a night with us.
 We had a special meal at Java House with Stan before he headed back to Rift Valley Academy for the last 5 weeks of his senior year.

Bethany and her bald bro.

Monday, May 16, 2011

A week with our niece Anna

 We have the joy of spending a week with our 6 year old niece, Anna. While her parents travel to Burundi to get a better idea of where they will be moving in about a year's time, Anna is staying with us. This is day 2 and we're all having a blast. This morning she joined us for school.

 Then of course we had to go for a swim. So far it's becoming a daily thing

 The kids did a great job reading and coloring quietly from 1-3 while we had our last Arabic lesson with our wonderful Sudanese friend, Butrus.
And finished off the day with a good Bible story on the couch.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

God really blew us away this week!

This was a big week for us! Not only did God grant us visas for N. Sudan but within the next 3 days we got plane tickets for May 23 and a 3 bedroom apartment secured to be our home for the next year. We are so excited and grateful for our wonderful friends/teammates Jeff and Heather Ladine, who have worked tirelessly the last few months to help us get to Khartoum. We will update you with news of life in Khartoum, the capital city of North Sudan, in only one week's time.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

VISAS!

Yes - you guessed it! Today we heard great news from our teammates in Khartoum that our visas have arrived! Thank you to everyone who has been praying and trusting with us that God would provide in His time. We are now buying plane tickets and wrapping up things in Kenya to head back to our beloved Sudan.

Monday, May 02, 2011

A Mama's heart made glad

 I can't express how happy it makes me to hear my boys' voices playing happily outside. I am so grateful that our boys make new friends so easily. Now that we've been here for a full month, their friendships have deepened and no day is a boring day. Thank you Lord!