Saturday, September 26, 2009

Home in Yabus

Hello All!
Yesterday afternoon we flew home to yabus, Sudan, but this time with my parents, Skip and Ruth Sorensen. It's been one big fun adventure since landing. I never realized what a big deal it would be for people to meet my parents. But we've had a steady flow of visitors and friends who are eager to meet them, especially my mother. For some reason, she is significant and receives many affectionate hugs when she's introduced as Bethany's mother. (People have also commented she looks young enough to be my sister and young enough to still produce more babies!)

Mom and Dad fit so beautifully into life here. Mom's love and joy in life overflows and impacts everyone she comes in contact with. I know how to find her on the compound by listening for her laugh (or the laughs of those in her company!) Dad has been working way too hard. He's doing a lot of fix it jobs around the compound, gardening, and manually pumping water for the whole team. Both have been sweet servants.

I'm so thankful we have more than two week to spend together here. Tomorrow we'll venture out to Gondollo, the Ganza village 4 km from our home, to encourage the believers there and introduce my parents. It should be a fun and very eventful day.

I just want to comment on one more interesting thing. Everytime we return to Yabus, Isaac and Evan are overjoyed and so obviously feel more "in their element" when they're here. Yabus is their home and where they're most comfortable. But this time I noticed it with Joshua as well. While we were in Nairobi, I was shocked that Joshua wasn't interested in eating any of the delicious foods that we'd missed - they were too new for him. He was also very clingy and nervous around most people. But as soon as we settled back into Yabus yesterday, he polished off his first bowl of rice and beans and has been eating like a horse ever since. He's also happy to be back to lots of open space and all our animals: goats, chickens, cat, dogs, and donkey. Seeing Joshua so much at home here, has made Yabus all the more home for all of us.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Fun in Kenya

Tomorrow, Wednesday, we start our three day journey back to Yabus. We've spent a wonderful two weeks in Nairobi and feel rested and ready to head back to our "family" in Sudan. This time we're heading back with Bethany's parents, Skip and Ruth Sorensen who are coming to visit for two weeks.

Isaac had a great sword fight with his Uncle Stan

Last weekend was our highlight of our time in Kenya. We went to Kijabe where Rift Valley Academy is located. My little brother, Stan, is a junior there. We stayed with our colleagues and good friend, the Congdon family, and enjoyed a fun and relaxing weekend including: sledding down a grass hill, watching Stan and Eli play rugby, roasting marshmallows over a fire, and eating lots of yummy food.

Friday, September 11, 2009

A day in Gondolo

This sweet lady passed the time by smoking on her pipe.
The balloons I packed were a huge hit with all the kids. They lasted longer than I thought they would with so many thorn trees everywhere. I even caught two grown men fighting over one!

Last Sunday, we spent the day in Gondolo village to celebrate our teammate Lori's house opening. Until now she's lived on our compound in Yabus, but she now has her own mud hut in Gondolo. After church, all the church members and other neighbors walked back to her house and we immediately began making coffee and tea for all the guests. But as you will see in the pictures, we made coffee Sudanese style. First you wash the coffee beans, then roast them, then pound them, then brew the coffee in an old tin can over the fire, and finally you pour the brewed coffee into a jebuna - a clay coffee pot. It's quite a process but makes deliciously strong coffee. In the course of the day I think we did the process at least 6 times until everyone had drank all the coffee they wanted.
It was a very hot day but the boys did amazing. One fun thing wedid was teach some of Isaac and Evan's friends how to play Uno. The kids caught on fast and had a great time playing in the shade of a tree. Meanwhile Joshua had fun pushing around a homemade bike made of wood (see the picture.)

Quite a full day but also a very special day. After lots of goat soup, kisra (sorghum pancakes), and coffee we left in time to get home before dark. The next day we flew out of Yabus for a two week break in Kenya. It was a great finish to our time there.