Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A Week Off

 The month of Ramadan fasting is officially over which means we are now in the week of "Eid" celebrations. It's very much like Christmas here. Everyone was out and about this morning in new shiny clothes and neighbors visited from home to home, wishing each other a happy New Year. This has been a new experience for us but we dressed in our nice clothes and did the same, going house to house, stopping in for brief visits in each home and eating an insane amount of cookies and candies! Due to the holiday all of us have a break from school so we get a whole week off.
    Yesterday we spent the day with some friends at the German Club in town at the pool. It was so refreshing as you can see.

We will keep you posted how we spend the rest of our week.

Monday, August 22, 2011

A fun time at the park

 We still get amazed by what we find here in Sudan! Being in the capital city this year, we are constantly surprised by what's available here. A few days ago we went to this lovely park to have a picnic supper at the close of the day's fast - around 7:15. We went with a bunch of friends to celebrate a friend's birthday. We went early so the boys could play.

 It was a hot muggy afternoon so we were a mess of dirt caked on with sweat by the end of all the fun but we had such a good time. The boys even got to ride on a ferris wheel!

Here I caught Eli with that look of, "Where am I again?"

Friday, August 19, 2011

Special times with friends

 With our lives being very full with language study and our busy boys, it is always a joy to spend time with friends. Last night we went out for ice cream to a local joint called 41. We took our friends from our neighborhood and had a fun time. After everyone had their own ice cream cone we stayed long enough for all the kids to run off their sugar high.

This was little Mustafa's first ice cream cone and boy did he make a mess! But isn't he a cute mess?!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Special month

 August is the month of Ramadan this year as many of you know. So the majority of our city are fasting all month long (they eat at sunset and seem to eat throughout the night.) We have been learning so much during this month about culture and our friends' religion.

 A few nights ago we were invited to our friend Sam's house to break the fast with his family. We had a lovely time along with our teammates Jeff and Heather. The food was delicious, great conversation, and Eli taught them all the game: Concentration at the end. We finished the evening with some good laughs!

 Last night Bethany got to go out with a few lady friends to celebrate Heather's birthday. We tried a new Indian restaurant and had a great time.

Something I've been marveling at lately is how so many quality people end up in Khartoum!

Monday, August 08, 2011

A peak into the lives of our 3 MK's

 You might wonder what life is like for Isaac (7), Evan (5), and Joshua (3) here in Sudan. I will try and paint you a picture with these photos taken this week. In the above picture we all worked together to make a chocolate cake.

 We received our first care package in Khartoum and it took less than 3 weeks to get here! The boys were so excited to pull out all the fun treats (even new underwear which Isaac liked so much he wanted to wear them on his head!)

 Evan invented his own new game using discarded soda bottle lids. He had a little checker board going.
 Isaac - being the usual boss - giving instructions on how to play the "game" using a mixture of English and Arabic.

 Joshua found his own toy to play with - he pranced around the medan/yard on a dry branch.

 Isn't this priceless? Don't you wish you could listen in on their conversation? What language are they speaking and what are they talking about? And what's so funny?!

How many kids can get on a bike? As you can see, our boys are happy and thriving and watching them bloom here in Khartoum makes it all the easier for Eli and I to blossom as well.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

My Best Friend's Wedding

 My life-long friend Jessica Carr was getting married on July 26 and I wanted to be in her wedding so bad. What could I do from way over here in Sudan?! Between my amazing husband and God's perfect timing, I got my visa and plane ticket the day before I flew out to South Carolina for 10 days of wedding fun and seeing friends. It was just the refreshment and encouragement I needed after our first 2 intense months of language study.

 I arrived 4 days before the wedding, just in time for the fun stuff, including a delightful ladies tea party/bridal shower.

 I brought henna from Sudan (a dye for skin and hair) and when we went to the salon to get our nails done the day before the wedding, God worked it out so that we got in touch with a beautiful Egyptian gal who does henna art in Columbia. We called her up and she came down to the salon to paint henna on all the bridesmaids and on the bride. The bride had special decorations on both hands and both feet.

 The wedding day was beautiful. Though Columbia, SC in July is very hot and humid, God gave us a cooler, cloudy day and we enjoyed a sweet riverside ceremony. Here is the beautiful beaming bride and her 3 bridesmaids.
 The cherry on the top of this whole trip was my sister! Audrey flew from CA to sing a duet with me in the wedding and play the guitar for the wedding. Both of us really needed some sister time so it was a beautiful blessing.
Of course we had to celebrate with a dinner at the Olive Garden - a favorite place.
I arrived home earlier this week, excited to be reunited with Eli and the boys and ready to get back into language learning and the rest of life in Sudan. Eli did a marvelous job with the boys and I can see that they all have a tighter bond now. Thank you Lord for this unexpected gift from you!