Christmas with the girls, and a false start

This post was written while we were in Chad.

Our Christmas this year was simple, but very nice. We opened our stockings after breakfast, consisting of the cereals sent by Glad Tidings Church. Then we read from Luke and Matthew about the birth of Christ, interspersed with hymns that Sharon had downloaded. Then we opened the presents around the tree; this year’s big gift to the girls was an mp3 player, and speakers. Deborah even got one, in the form of a GREEN apple (green is her favorite color). The girls also got matching dresses, and typical Sudanese jewelry or headbands.

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Spending Mabrouk Al-Eid with friends!

This post was written while we were in Chad.

The Sonlight materials we have waited for came yesterday! Now we have most of what we need for Susan’s school; it had become messed up because we had portions of Grade 3 stuff here and in the US. When they accidentally sent the order to Maine, they fixed the problem and sent a new order to Chad. It was exciting to see a man on a motorcycle dropping off FedEx packages; it was a taste of home.BBC.com chad_fruitbuyer

Yesterday was the last Fast day of Ramadan in Chad; the traffic showed it, as people tried to get the last-minute shopping in before the holiday. In order for our family to celebrate with Sharon’s friend M*, I decided to find out where she lived. After that, we dropped her off at Dembe market with her two friends, where they went shopping for sandals. Right now, sandals, sugar, clothes and candy are the big sellers!

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This is Sarah

For those of you who read the Faris newsletter, this is Sarah. For those who have just learned about DSM, this is the oldest daughter of the founder of the aforesaid ministry.

Why am I writing the posts now? The short answer: I work here. The long answer: I graduated from high school, and, once I discovered that I needed to wait about going to college, the DSM board of directors hired me to take on some of my father’s work, to give him more time to do language work.

Facts about Sarah

little SarahNow don’t get me wrong; I love writing and look forward to creating these posts for you. Because I took two English courses during my senior year of high school, I gained a college credit for Language and Composition. I also enjoy reading books and composing essays in my spare time.

Over a span of thirteen years, I have intermittently lived overseas. Thus, I have acquired a plethora of idiosyncrasies, such as extreme verbosity, or using a lot of words. However, I will do my best to keep things interesting and  somewhat logical.

As a fourth or fifth generation Christian, I have practically heard the Word of God since birth. Also, you could say that my parents raised me in church. Some people might think that such a situation is enough to make them a Christian; however, that notion is incorrect. You can’t get to heaven by hitching a ride with your parents: you have to accept Jesus for yourself, like I have.

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My first birthday…..in Iriba

This post was written while we were in Chad.

I spent my birthday like I always do on Fridays; it seemed like a good way to mark the occasion. Only this time, I had P1000859to go over to the place where I go online to send some important e-mails; whenever I need to send attachments larger than 100kb, I have to go to the place with the wi-fi and log on to my e-mail accounts using web mail. Tigo internet in Iriba is too slow, and fails too often when messages get bigger than that.

I went there, and discovered that, even before the sun had risen in Eastport, Maine, I had over forty messages from old and new friends everywhere via Facebook, wishing me a happy birthday! The technology that makes this possible can seem so trite and impersonal at times to those who are used to it, but I must say that it really made my day to see all the birthday wishes, and to think of each person who sent them.

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14 Reasons Why I Love Chad and Africa

From my Diary: January 12, 2013

I was reading the blog article “Finding yourself in Africa”, by Nicki Kindersley, and began to ask myself, “Why am I here in Chad, and why do I keep coming back?”

For me, the answer is honestly, I love Chad! Call me insane… but what other explanation can I give for why I have lived here for twelve of the past twenty years?

And many do think I am insane; it’s amazing how many expatriates hate being here. Those who hate it worse get sick, and never come back.  Others endure life here until they have fulfilled their commitment… and, though promising to return soon, never make the effort to come back.

But thankfully, I am not alone in having a special place in my heart for Africa.  The World Wanderer gets it.  Noah Kaye talks about why his best friends are Africans. And KandiJ even came up with TWENTY reasons she loves Africa!

Laying aside preconceived notions about Chad

Chad is our sister, our mother, our friendWe miss so much when we arrive off the plane with a preconceived notion of how terrible life is in Chad, hidden carefully in our luggage.

Chad is not an experience to be endured.  She is a best friend, a sister, a mother, a daughter.  She is often misunderstood and misrepresented, but keeps waiting for the right person who will take the time to get to know her better.

Chad and I have been through a lot, and have somehow remained friends.

Those like me who endure despite the challenges are considered part of her family.

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