Stretching our Creativity Muscles and Eating Pizzas

This post was written while we were in Chad.

We become our most creative when faced with great challenges and inconveniences.  In America where we came from, life seems to work so seamlessly, to the point where I believe that we are forced to invent 70% of our problems ourselves.  It’s good for our brains to step out their comfort zone, and be stretched by facing real challenges, to which we must find solutions.

Monday was our first day of school, with Sonlight!  Surprisingly, the pace seems to be starting out much lighter for everyone, including for Sharon and I.  I guess that is youtube.com sonlightbecause Sarah is taking Business Math this year: math has often been a big time-consumer for both teacher and student.

Communication via email is a big challenge these days, with Airtel still down and Tigo running slow, sometimes not at all. 

Continue Reading »

Luggage, food, and lasting impressions of Dakar

This post was written while we were in Chad.

We watched the sun rise this morning from the porch, for our last time, until next time we are in Senegal. A last day puts a priority on getting some last-minute things done, and for us, it meant my going to the marketplace. faris041 luggageWe were invited over for supper at the home of a Canadian couple serving here in Dakar.

As Will and I watched the chicken marinated in St. Hubert sauce roast on the gas barbecue, he showed me their micro garden of squash growing on little tables with peanut shells 5 inches deep. It was incredible how much they were invading the planters they were in! We’ll have to try this in Chad.

Continue Reading »

Birthday clues and big rivers of greenish-brown water

This post was written while we were in Chad.

To get to church this morning, I took two taxis, one minivan, and waded knee-deep in greenish brown water in five places off and on for one hour. I didn’t actually have to go through all those streams and ponds, but I became lost a few times. Sometimes the water was slimy under me, other times it was sandy and solid.

clue in floodI saw little red dots visible to the naked eye swimming around in there, thousands of them per square foot on the surface, not to mention the millions that must have swum below the surface! A few times, I saw things floating around in the water my legs were in that you only see in toilets. Although black bags are illegal in Chad, my leg became stuck to one such bag for a few paces. I was thankful to a few strangers who lent a hand by showing me the way toward my destination.

IBRA radio has a training session going on now on production; after one week of classes, they are halfway through it. It was great to meet them at church this morning. Pastor’s wife prepared a delicious macaroni with chicken sauce for lunch; after enjoying that, I was on my way back home to celebrate Deborah’s birthday.

Continue Reading »

One step closer to a solar fridge

This post was written while we were in Chad.

Today, the holiday was solidly lingering in town, so things were harder to get. We needed ice for the cooler we used as a fridge in the morning; we keep the green cooler above the ground, so the melting ice is leaked into a bowl for reuse.

the cooler we use for a fridgeI went on to the meat market. There was one man selling goat meat, and another selling beef, but for a very high price even though the quality was questionable. So I decided against it.

I headed back to the house, then stopped by the ATM to get money for diesel for Twila. A soldier, dressed in desert fatigues and dark mirrored sunglasses, his feet on his submachine gun on a stand, guarded the bank, which was open. Then I took another rickshaw to the house, jumped into Twila, and got diesel at the OilLibya station. I picked up bread at the “Boulangerie la Rotative”, and stopped by at the meat restaurant of my friend Ali. But he wasn’t there; he had put his chairs away, and his metal grill was still smoking.

Continue Reading »

How to find the best gas prices in the USA

Save money on your next American Roadtrip

We are back in the US, and lately, our whole family is driving halfway across the United States to attend a conference. As we watch the miles pass by, we wake up each morning in the hotel or motel we paid for with help from a coupon we found in a magazine at a welcome center. Once we were all awake, we ate breakfast, and watched the Weather Channel or Fox News in the lobby. We packed the car and headed to our next destination.

We have been especially grateful for our relatives and friends who have broken up this monotony by graciously welcoming us into their home. You have been SUCH a blessing to us, and we do not take your gift of hospitality for granted.

Continue Reading »