Sunday, March 28, 2010


Last night I picked up a wonderful children's book and started reading it. I'd read it when I was younger, but I'd forgotten how wonderfully well written the story is...

I decided I loved this poem out of the book since my life here lately has been effected greatly by the dust of the Harmattan.

Dust and Rain

On Sunday
winds came,
bringing a red dust
like prairie fire,
hot and peppery,
searing the inside of my nose,
the whites of my eyes.
Roaring dust,
turning the day from sunlight to midnight.

Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse pg 46

After having 2 sick days this last week with ear infections I feel I should add how terrible dust is with your ears and throats... oh yes.. and our floors :( Even right after mopping, our pitiful floors begin to have footprints showing the red color our floors are painted beneath a fine layer of dust.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Living in Togo

Day to day life here has become normal. The other day I was asked about my day and I felt like saying "Oh, just normal. Nothing exciting.." Then I started to think about all that I had done that day. Which included so many things that would not be normal in the states.

In a normal day I wake up to see whether the electricity is on or off, and recently whether the water is on or off. Then I determine what I'll eat for breakfast, either heating up some oatmeal in the microwave or making pancakes on the gas stovetop. After cleaning my dishes and getting dressed I go downstairs to my classroom to teach, which for the most part is rather repetitive each day teaching spelling, math, science... etc. to the kindergartners. Then I go over to teach fourth grade french, then sixth grade french.

After teaching, I usually end up exhausted on the couch watching a movie with Bethany or Jacque or both depending on the day (whether it is an art day or science day or music day). Then there is either an errand to the market with Andrea, or a trip to the tailors to re-explain all of our instructions in french again... and reassure her that yes, those squares cut out of the corners of the pagnes are intentional... and she can still make the items with the remaining fabric :) Or randomly walking to the market, receiving cadeau calabashes, eating "pizza" at a local restaurant and then taking a moto taxi back to our street and racing the neighborhood children to my door. After any assortment of these activities we are whisked off to dine with one of the missionary families most nights, or we fabricate our own fabulous food! Sometimes we even cook in the candlelight due to the lack of electricity.

At the end of the day we now rejoice in relaxing in the refreshing cool air created by the new air conditioner we're blessed to now possess in our bedroom. I sleep on the same wall as the a/c so the old machine with the broken motor would put put put all night and then start booming the wall next to me in the middle of the night, so the new machine is such a great blessing to have, I have been sleeping splendidly and enjoying the cooler temperatures it creates in our abode.

Thinking of going back to the states in 6 weeks seems crazy to me! I can't imagine how much time has gone by, I still am unsure of what to expect when I go back... and after adjusting to the rhythm of life here in Kara, Togo I'm expecting quite a shock when I return to America. There are so many unknowns, where I will work and live, what I will do, and even as the unknowns get answered I feel uncertain as to whether the plans I make are going to work out or whether something unexpected will happen. Perhaps I've been in Africa long enough that I now naturally expect the unexpected.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Some of My Favorite Photos

I may have already posted many of these, but these are some of my favorites from my time here so far.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Picture Book!

I just wanted to share some fun pictures with all of you. This is for those of you who prefer to skim blogs and not read them :) Like a picture book! Oh dear, I've been teaching kindergarten too long...

This is the waterfall we visited after going on team safari at Penjari.

Again at the waterfall, I enjoyed dipping my feet in the cool water and watching the brave swimmers (such as Jacque) dive off the far rocks on the left.

Les Trois Filles at the Women of the Harvest Retreat-- Bethany, Jacque and Me :)

more pictures coming soon....

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Patience and Hope

I remember a story I wrote in fifth grade in which I named the main character Patience, which I find fascinating because I think that is a character trait that lately I have been practicing and honing during my time here. This last week during the women's conference I feel like I was reminded of this quality that I need to continue to embrace even in the face of an unknown future. I need patience and hope.

One of my favorite things I loved at the WOTH retreat, was my small group full of amazing women all serving in such marvelous and unique ways. My favorite moment at Coconut Grove was the night I sat in our small group and we discussed hope.

What does hope mean? We all seemed to just need to hear it and be reminded of the beauty of the hope that God promises us. It doesn't mean everything is going to just go our way. It doesn't mean everything will be a piece of cake. It doesn't mean that because God loves us He will cater to our every whim and desire. No, it means that we will be faced with challenges, that we will struggle, that we will fight, that we will desire peace sometimes and get strife... But, we won't be alone in our challenges-- God will bring us through them and help us to grow stronger. We won't struggle hopelessly as we continually fall, we will face our enemies-- we will find forgiveness in the cross. It means that even when we are confronted with someone wanting to fight we will find peace through God's presence in our lives.

Hope is looking into the completely unknown future with a smile on your face, knowing that the Lord your God is going to see you through-- the same tomorrow as He did today, the same today as He did yesterday.

Hebrews 11:1
Proverbs 31:25