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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Experiencing MAF in Madagascar

Rob with the children in a village where MAF built a landing strip. MAF is the only one who flies into this village.

 The landing/take-off strip.

 Rice fields.............................................................................................................................................

 Rice fields..................................................................................................

 Excitement, as the locals wait for us to park the airplane and visit them.

It's so exciting to be able to go along on flights and visit some of the places MAF Madagascar flies.  In the next month, MAF will be flying a team of doctors around the island to do another MMS (Madagascar Medical Safari). This is where the doctors give their time and resources to visit isolated villages that do not  have adequate medical care. It's during these medical visits that surgeries are done in tents, and under primitive conditions, yet the medical interventions are necessary and many times, life-saving!

Please keep these doctors in your prayers as they prepare to go and serve in the coming weeks.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

For the Garden

It's time to have fertilizer delivered to our compound for the gardens!

Much to our children's delight  :)

Could having a pile of zebu manure delivered to your backyard be anymore exciting?
By the zebu themselves?

Saturday, August 11, 2012

August Newsletter Is Here

Barber August 2012                                                                                            

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Finding Familiarity

We have experienced a lot of change in the past year! Languages, weather patterns, shopping experiences, relationships, etc.

But there are some things that help us remember home:

We are so thankful for the wonderful house provided for us here in Tana, but it's not without defects. Which is fine, we're not complaining. People have asked us how renovating our house in Canada helped to prepare us for the mission field, and well..... some things just help us find familiarity in this foreign land.

Here is a picture of our dining room, and you can kind of see a wire poking through the ceiling, where we haven't put a light fixture yet. I guess those aren't normally provided by the landlords here?
Seeing wiring like this isn't very different from what we're used to. Even better, here it's out of reach of the children! :)

Also, you can see right beside a piece of the ceiling came down. This came down because of a broken water pipe on the outside wall of the house there. So the water was just pouring in underneath the upstairs floor and the ceiling here. This made the plaster ceiling.... wet plaster again.
But it's all okay. More familiarity! The next picture is a picture of our living room in Mission after a small accident happened while we were building the addition upstairs. This hole just became part of the decor while we finished the rest of the home. It was fixed eventually before we sold the house.

So there it is, a bit of how renovating a house helps make Madagascar feel more familiar to us. :)

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Two Girls

Our daughters are so sweet; they look similar, but boy do we recognize some differences already!

Joyanne loves babies. If given the choice between buying a Barbie or new baby, there's no question, she wants the new baby of course! We bought her this little babydoll stroller in Quebec, managed to bring it to Madagascar, and we still can't believe it's not broken! She takes her babies for walks every day out there. Although Faith also loves "babies," it could be any stuffed animal! I've seen her wrap any number of toy puppies and teddy bears and monkeys in blankets and snuggle with them at nighttime. And Faith is definitely eyeing the BarbieDolls (or cheap knock-offs rather) in Shoprite these days.

Joyanne takes after her mother more when it comes to the creepy-crawlies in Madagascar. If she spots fluff or a little stick on the floor of the bathroom, even, she starts screaming and won't go in there, thinking it might be a bug! (Joyanne does, that is. Karina is a tiny bit braver than that. A tiny bit.) Faith collects these things! She even has the gardeners in our compound collecting grasshoppers and crickets for her. If she finds a "coccinelle" (French for Ladybug) it is immediately named her newest 'pet'. In fact, there might be a surviving ladybug upstairs in a container near the kids' toothbrushes in the bathroom still! Today, our helper caught a large grasshopper (pictured above) for her, and Faith was thrilled to keep it with her all day long. After quiet time this afternoon, we discovered Faith had even snuggled with it in our bed while she was reading! Ah! Even worse, mommy says, "Ew I don't like those. They jump on me and tickle!" And Faith says very matter-of-factly, "It's okay Mommy, Lalao (our helper) took the jumping legs off."

I can't remember who the teacher was, but there was one time in Mission a couple of years ago when we went to church on Sunday and were told after the service that Faith had brought something to show her Sunday School teacher. We were all surprised to discover she had actually smuggled a little salamander or something from our yard all the way to the church. She had hidden it with her in the van, kept it concealed during the singing time, and then managed to share it with everyone in her class. We laughed, in surprise, and the teacher kind of shrugged and, smiling, said something like "Oh well, she's preparing for Africa!"

We love our girls :)