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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

So What Did We Do Last Week?


Last week we had a cyclone come through our city while Rob was away in Nairobi! While it brewed near the east coast of Madagascar, it was gaining strength and by the time it hit our island, we were feeling it! Tana, the capitol city where we live, is about 4500ft above sea level and almost in the very center of the island—fairly protected from stormy coastal weather such as this, however, we still felt the storm, as it maintained momentum passing over Madagascar. When you look at satellite pictures of Cyclone Giovanna (as it came to be named) you can see that the entire storm just about covered our island!

We had a bit of notice the storm was coming, so I we prepared for an extended power cut, and made provision in case our water supply was cut off or damaged somehow. By the end of Monday it was getting pretty stormy out, and by the time the middle of the night came, it was raining like crazy and very windy out. The power was out, and we were housebound until the rain let up a bit. There was a small waterfall in our backyard where the drain runs, and the little lake in our compound rose extremely quickly! A tree ended up coming down in one of the yards of the other homes, and when men came to remove it, a branch fell – which disconnected the telephone wire delivering internet service to our homes. By Thursday evening the power was back on, and off, and on again... we are quickly getting used to intermittent power. It’s a little bit funny because when the lights begin to flicker Joyanne runs to me and says “Mommy! I need a candle Mommy!” There was night in particular when they were watching a video upstairs and I was giving Calvin his bottle downstairs. I had no candles or anything lit, when suddenly the power went out, their movie was cut short (which the children weren’t too pleased about) and we were left in the pitch dark, literally. They all started screaming (a mixture of anger and terror, I think), and I calmly tried to feel my way upstairs to my bedroom (with Calvin in my arms of course) to light the candles and get the flashlights. I think that experience has their senses a bit heightened when it comes to any flickering of lights now. J

Rob is safely home from Nairobi, which we are all thankful for. He enjoyed a full scheduled week of meetings with other engineers from African MAF programs. Our MAF plane in Madagascar is very busy flying over the next two weeks due to the damage from the cyclone. So Rob’s main responsibility, with the huge assistance of his co-engineer, is to keep the plane “flight-ready.”

Your prayers are needed for the people of Madagascar. Even though people living along these coastal villages are somewhat accustomed to cyclones, it still means devastation and sometimes death, and once again, starting from scratch. Now many people are in the rebuilding stage. Rebuilding their homes, and perhaps for some, rebuilding lives as a single parent, or an orphan, or a family missing another.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Victory!!

One of the things that some of you who have been to Africa will know is that Africa has Rats. Even though we live in a very beautiful compound we still see probably 3 rats a day running around. Karina even saw one at the kitchen door once and since then we have made sure to keep the kitchen door closed. Well I don't like rats and neither does Karina so the other day I was talking to my neighbor about the rats and he asked me if I knew how to make a snare, well it's been a long time since I have made a snare but hey I had some wire so why not try it and VICTORY!!! we have killed our first rat! hopefully not our last. Now me and my neighbor are both on a mission to rid our compound of as many rats as we can. So more snares went up tonight.

I would share a picture of this victory but most of you probably wont want to see a picture of a dead rat so for now you will have to use your imagination. Or if you really want to see my boy scout snare just send me an e-mail.

Rob