Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Back in Ghana

All of us are back in Accra and ready to finish the journey and head back to the states, except the few who are continuing their trip on to Sudan to survey there. Our survey of the Dogon and the Gourma was very inspiring!

Well, computer time is limited as interns wait for the computers here. Can't wait to see all of you back in the states :)

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Bonding and Upcoming Survey

Happy Fourth of July! We actually had a party for Independence Day on the second, which was a lot of fun with face painting and games :)

Since I last updated, a lot has happened, including my bonding experience...

The experience of staying in a village and eating and sleeping with a family in Ewede was amazing. The compound I stayed at had two mothers with babies so it was constant work cooking and taking care of the children, along with one of the mothers Piyalo showing me around and teaching me how to do things there and new Kabiye words. I loved the experience and getting to know the family, I'm so glad I was able to visit them again with the Millers. When we went back we were able to visit a church they are starting up in a nearby village, it was neat to see the beginning stages of a church in rural Africa.

Also, my family gave me a Kabiye name when I went back to visit. Manuodowa which in Kabiye means my head went off, which translated means I am very blessed. They accompanied the naming by telling me of how when I return to America, they hope the blessing follows me and they hope I receive a good job and get a nice husband who will buy me a way to get back to visit :)

Thank you for your prayers! Keep praying as we will be going on survey for the next couple weeks! We will be going to Ougadougou in Burkina Faso tomorrow morning and traveling around to visit several people groups throughout the next weeks. I'm so excited, I truly am very blessed as my Kabiye name suggests :)

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


The experience of staying in a village and eating and sleeping with a family in Ewede was amazing. The compound I stayed at had two mothers with babies so it was constant work cooking and taking care of the children, along with one of the mothers Piyalo showing me around and teaching me how to do things there and new Kabiye words. I loved the experience and getting to know the family, I miss them now that I'm back in Kara.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Cultural Observation

I went to the market again today, but this time it wasn't to look for material or food.. instead it was a time to watch and sit and learn. I sat with a woman named Benedictine also called Eso Wazim "God bless me" in Kabiye and I watched as she worked her booth of clothing in the market. As I sat there I noticed so many people would stare as they passed, but I just enjoyed myself trying to learn new vocabulary and to just see how her life was. It was very interesting to see how she as a mother worked at selling pants all day. She not only had the job of actually making the sales, she had to advertise her products and change money... all while her son whose name translated means "winner" slept or ate the food she purchased for him. I have so much respect for how much energy she had to put out in the few hours I observed her... She was really an amazing woman, another thing that impressed me was how she spoke Kabiye, French and a bit of English... I taught her a few words as she asked and she helped me learn a few as well. It really made me more excited about the weekend of "Bonding" coming up where I will spend three days in Ewede a village near Kara. I've been to the area and I'm excited to meet the people and hopefully be able to learn more and find a better appreciation for their culture and lifestyles.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

The internet connection isn't always too reliable with the power outages. On normal days we experience at least a couple during the evening hours usually around dinner. Today we fixed meals for the missionaries, so we split up into groups of three to cook for each of the four families. I cooked with Lacy and Alan, and helped fix up a spaghetti, salad and an apple crisp. It was good to spend time with them and it turned out pretty well. I've really enjoyed the experiences at the market. I still need to learn how to haggle.. It's been good language practice though when you are forced to communicate what you want when you are shopping in a completely different language.

I think my favorite experience here so far was when Brett Emerson took us girls out to a village to practice some Kabiye and we played some soccer with them. There was an older woman who came over to us while we were there, she couldn't speak french, but she was very willing to help us learn more Kabiye words. She seemed to really enjoy us being there and was continually giving me a big grin. When we were getting ready to go, she took my arms and started to say things in Kabiye I couldn't understand. From what I could understand I realized she was giving me a blessing. I felt as if I would cry, she was being so kind to me... a stranger who just drove into her village and tried to speak with her... I'm so amazed by the love I've seen in strangers here, and hope that they see God's love through the missionaries, the interns and most importantly through each other.

I really appreciate the entire team I'm here with. All the interns have been great, us girls living together have bonded and become a little family. We all have so much fun in the evenings when we're all together after each days experiences are over. Thank you for all your prayers as we've been learning and trying to keep healthy.

Friday, June 8, 2007


This above picture is of some of the children who played with us after we had car trouble heading to Kara. They asked Mary Margaret to take a picture of them with me, there were so many crowding around that not all of them would fit in the picture :)

This picture is of the first church we visited in Lassa tchou, it was cool to see how they involved all ages in the service. The speaker even stopped at one point to question the younger ones to see if they understood the lesson.

Saturday, June 2, 2007


So today was nice and cool at around 80 this morning. I can't believe how much cooler it felt after the rain fell this morning. I'm the lead teacher for the preschool, so today I started planning for class and afterwards we all had Kabiye lessons. It's so exciting how much I learn each day, not only about the people here, but about myself. Keep us in your prayers as Mary Margaret has been ill today with a fever of 104-101. Hopefully tomorrow she will be able to join us in the village for a worship service with the locals. I'm really excited and looking forward to using more Kabiye and french. Today after a short nap Angela and I walked around the town looking at the Market and seeing what was being sold in walking distance of the house. We ended up chatting in Kabiye with two women using sewing machines, it was good practice for us. Then we walked toward the other side of the area where there is more farmland and spoke in french with a few people, which was hilarious. It's hard to always understand what they are saying and often they don't understand us. Probably because of accents, but it always creates laughter. It's been tons of fun and such an adventure :) I love you all and hope you are growing each day as well!

Thursday, May 31, 2007


We hiked up to the top of a mountain that overlooks Kabiyeland today. It was a hard hike, but definitely worth it. Once to the top we sat on a huge rock and sang together. It was beautiful to hear all the interns and missionaries voices harmonize with one another. The beauty of the trees and even the vibrant colors of the dirt continually surprise me. At the end of our hike we saw a chamelion which I was able to hold for a while, the Kabiye think they are poisonous, so the locals probably thought I was crazy while I helped carry it down the mountain for the missionary school :) This has truly been an amazing week, hope you all are doing well!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007


So we made it to Togo today! It was a long drive to get here and we had some car trouble... One of our vehicles lost a whole wheel with part of the axle on the way, everyone was alright but it did add several hours of culture experience to the middle of our trip. We had an opportunity to speak french with the locals about everything from politics to school.. it was amazing. They sang for us, and we sang some songs both in french and english and played clapping games with them. A few of them befriended me and gave me a blue necklace, a few of the other intern girls recieved similar gifts :) Continuing our journey with two cars instead of the three for all twelve of us was cozy and a lot of fun. Our car enjoyed playing a game of figuring who we would be if we were disney characters, vegetables or in different eras. I can't wait to see Kabiyeland in the light of the sun, it was dark when we came in so we couldn't see many of the views, but I already know it will be beautiful! It's getting late here so I better go catch up on some sleep. Hope you all are doing well! Keep us in your prayers, we'll be on a long hike tomorrow!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

In Ghana

We all arrived safely in Ghana this morning. Two of the Miller's bags didn't make it, but all of our teams bags went through :) It's pouring outside and stormy which is making it much cooler. I'm excited to be here and thankful all our flights went well! I'm tired from flying, but we're trying to stay up until a reasonable hour so we can adjust better. I will be able to call home on occassion, but because of the time difference it's only 3 right now in WA so I decided to not wake the family up. We have a nine hour drive tomorrow to Kara, Togo so keep us in your prayers. I love you all!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Packing for Togo

(The Togo Intern Team (left to right): Me, Olivia Sambursky, Bethany Yarbrough*, Angela Scott, Rachel Sawyer, Amy Wiginton, Travis Trull, Mary Margaret, Sky Vanderburg, Kacy Meadows, Lauren Greek, Alan Lee, Lacy Clayton)

*Bethany will not be going to Togo but she is going to Ghana on an independent internship at the Village of Hope.

Every time I think of the people I'll be with this summer, I smile. God has blessed our team with great leaders and team builders. I pray we continue to work well together in the next two months as we travel together. Keep us in your prayers as we meet in New York this weekend and then fly together to Accra, Ghana and then travel to Kara, Togo.

Getting everything ready to go has been difficult. God has provided the money and the resources to go and I'm getting more and more excited by the day! Thankfully I'm almost done packing and ready to go. Just a few more items to squeeze into my luggage :)

4 days and I'm in Ghana!