Friday, October 31, 2008

okay, as promised, a picture post!!!
here is bech eating gelatto at mamma mia's at old town mall. this is a special treat we love to do. the ice cream in malawi is gross...but the gelatto at mamma mias is wonderful!

here we are on our holiday at nkhotakota.

here our my 7th graders on reading day. 2nd row: caleb (usa), robert (new zealand), amungwa (half american, half malawian), sho (japan), gerald (malawi), gerteen (holland), sion (korea), maria (malawi), shalom (i think malawi), shannon (zimbabwe). 1st row: me (duh!), shea (usa), layomi (um, nigerian, i think?).
2 others weren't there yet, yodit (half american, half malawian) and caterina (malawian)

this is my favorite baby at the crisis nursery. i have no idea how to spell his name, but its something like chikoko, maybe? isn't he beautiful?

there i am with chikoko and delola. emily and i call delola "miss priss." this nickname totally fits her...she has tons of attitude and is so much fun!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

okay, so i have been horrible about updating! and i won't have pictures on this post...and i know i promised :(
i will try to add pictures tomorrow.

let's see...what have we been up to? grades were due monday, so i was pretty busy with all of that. yesterday and today we have parent/teacher conferences. yesterday went well...lets hope today goes well! emily, bech, and i went to the crisis nursery last friday and had a great time. we learned more of the kids names.

we realized yesterday that we have been here almost 3 months...that is insane to us! somedays we feel like we have been in malawi forever, other days like we have only been here a week. my parents and blaise and ansley will be here in less than a month (almost 3 weeks!) and we are both SOOO excited to see them. i am not looking forward to saying goodbye to them. katy will be here in march and bech's parents are coming in april. josh and mary elizabeth may be coming in february. we will be the most spoiled missionaries at ABC!

a lot of people are asking what they can specifically pray for. i have a big prayer request: wisdom in lending. we are often asked if we can lend people money. this is a strange request for us, because no one ever really asks to borrow money from us in the states. i mean, that would just be weird. but here its not. we have lent some and refrained some. we just aren't sure how to decide when to lend. sometimes it is for a lot, sometimes it is for only a little. i tend to have a hard heart in these instances and not want to lend at all (especially because sometimes it isn't really lending, it ends up being a "gift")...bech is much kinder than me and tends to want to lend. in girls bible study this past week, we read in luke 6:32 - 36:

"If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful."

i felt really convicted by that verse, but we still want to be wise in our lending. one guideline we have set is that we should not lend an amount out if we have to have it back. by that i mean, if we won't have enough money to buy what we need if we don't get that money back. one loan we have been asked for was about $500...we just can't do that. but $20 is a lot different. so i would love prayer for us in this area, and also any advice ya'll might have in this area.

i really will put pictures up soon!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

we have a charger!

I am writing this post on my beautiful mac. That’s right…we have a computer charger again! I am so glad to be able to use my computer again, especially since my grades are on here, and report cards are due next Monday.
We just had our fall break for school. We went to Nkhotakota with the Ketchums. It is a little town on the lake. We stayed at the pottery lodge, and Bech got to throw on the wheel one morning…he really enjoyed it. When he graduated last spring, he was unsure of whether or not he wanted to do ceramics full time someday, but he says that so far being in Malawi has made him more certain that he does want to do ceramics. I will put some pictures up soon. The lake was gorgeous!
My students are doing well. I absolutely love them and think they are all incredible. I have spent a lot of time with younger kids the past couple of years (babysitting, Sunday school, etc.) and had forgotten what a fun age group jr. high is. Kids this age are so fun to be around. You can talk to them like equals on some things. You can laugh with them or talk about serious stuff. Hopefully I am forming relationships with them that are more than just a science teacher with her students.
Anyway, in other news, I take the GRE Saturday at the American Embassy. I have been studying my words (the verbal section is the one I need to improve) for the past 2 months, but I still feel a little diffident (that’s one of the words!) about the test. Please pray for me to do my best!
Bech finished our screen porch tonight. We don’t have screens on our windows nor do we have air conditioning. This means it can get pretty hot at night. We have a fan that we keep on…it really helps. But now we can leave our back and front door open (well with the bars in place) and just let the cross breeze flow through. Plus, if you know Bech at all, you know he’s a perfectionist which means our porch is beautiful!
We feel like we are much more adapted to life in Malawi by now. I have only gotten upset at the power going out once in the past month (I don’t mean its only gone out once, I mean I have only gotten upset once!). I am becoming a homemade tortilla expert. Bech is great at driving here…I still have a little way to go on that issue. Things that used to be strange are getting more normal.
One thing we really miss right now is fall! It is the end of dry season here. Wet season will begin in December. Last time I was here, it was rainy season. It rains every single day for an hour or two. I knew there was a dry season, but I thought that just meant it didn’t rain quite as much. Wrong! Dry season means it NEVER rains. It has rained twice since we got here. Once it was just a slight sprinkle, and once was real rain but only for 15 minutes. We are ready for rain! It is also really hot, so we are ready for a break in the heat.
Well I better end this so I can post. We miss everyone!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

okay, i wasn't going to do this, but i got tagged twice, and had a little down time during my off period.  so here goes:  

A - ADVOCATE FOR: pro-life
B - BEST FEATURES: hm…physically, I don’t know. Personality wise, um, I guess I am passionate about what I believe in.
C - COULD DO WITHOUT: the guy singing from the minaret of the mosque at 5 a.m. every morning
D - DREAMS & DESIRES: I would like to go to graduate school for Classics. I want to live in an old house and teach at a small liberal arts college.
E - ESSENTIAL ITEMS: “melon of troy” OPI nail polish, my ugly doll (big toe), vera wang princess perfume
F - FAVORITE PAST TIME: board games (especially settlers of catan), reading, knitting
G - GOOD AT: reading, school
I - IF I HAD A MILLION DOLLARS: right now, I would just buy a plane ticket back home for christmas
J - JUNKIE FOR: right now, sprite!
K - KINDRED SPIRIT: anne shirley
L - LITTLE KNOWN FACT: I hate being called “marls.” I let two people call me it (I don’t hate it when these two people call me marls): Will Cunningham and Lindsey Greer
M - MEMORABLE MOMENT: landing in Malawi, my wedding
N - NEVER AGAIN WILL I: eat nsema, order a steak medium rare at mamma mia’s
O - OCCASIONAL INDULGENCE: pedicures! And they are so cheap here that I can have them often! Also, I like the gelato from Mamma Mia’s
P - PROFESSION: classics professor
Q - QUOTE: “An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered.”
“Man is an exception, whatever else he is. If he is not the image of God, then he is a disease of the dust. If it is not true that a divine being fell, then we can only say that one of the animals went entirely off its head.”
“Marriage is an adventure, like going to war.”
“When we were children we were grateful to those who filled our stockings at Christmas time. Why are we not grateful to God for filling our stockings with legs?”
Those are all G. K. Chesterton quotes
R - REASON TO SMILE: we have 4 days off of school this coming week! We are going to Nkhota Nkhota with Josh and Emily
T - TAG SOME FRIENDS: liz, nancy page, mom
V - VERY SCARED OF: snakes, and I’m getting to where I don’t like flying very much anyway
W - WORST HABIT: worrying, planning too much
X - X MARKS MY IDEAL VACATION SPOT: rosemary beach, new england
Y - YUMMIEST DESSERT: peppermint ice cream, peppermint ice cream pie, those sherbert slushies katy makes
Z - ZODIAC SIGN: cancer

on a more serious note...things here are good.  we had a restful weekend.  also, we don't have school this friday, next monday, tuesday, or wednesday.  it's our fall break.  we are going to the lake for 2 days, but i plan on getting some lesson plans worked on during some of the other days.

its so funny to think about how much we have adapted in the past two months.  last night, the electricity went out (it usually does this for 2 hours 2 to 3 times a week), and we weren't really phased.  we immediately grabbed our candles and flashlights and just kept doing what we were doing.  

we hope everyone else is doing well.  we miss you all!  we are also very sad about the auburn and ole miss games from this past weekend :(

Thursday, October 2, 2008

sorry we haven't updated in a week. things have been busy here!

first thing, no pictures today! in fact, no pictures probably for a couple of weeks. our computer charger broke. so we are without a computer...which is a bummer, because we use it to watch movies on. but luckily someone is coming from the states on the 19th and will be able to bring us the charger. i just ordered it today with next day shipping, so lets hope it gets there in time! we will still be able to check our email and stuff, but we can't skype and do pictures.

also, we ran out of internet at our house (its really expensive, and you pay per MB...very strange. especially because in america, we only consider it downloading if its an attachment or from itunes, but really your computer downloads a little everytime it opens a web page. its a temporary download, but a download none the less.). so we will only be able to check the internet while at school (which is fine...but is when ya'll are asleep!). we could get more internet, but decided to wait and see if we really needed it. its just so expensive that it would be nice to try to do without it at home for as long as possible.

i am bummed about not being able to put pictures up because i have some great ones to add! emily and i went to ministry of hope, a crisis nursery/orphanage last friday (and will be going every friday from here on out). it was amazing, but hard. there was a 3 month old there who looked like a premie. he wasn't a premie, he was just so malnourished. i fell in love with one little boy. anyway, i know ya'll will all love the pictures, so just start getting excited for them...only like 3 more weeks! just be prepared though...its hard to see these beautiful kids who need so much love, but don't get it. not that the nursery isn't is. but they can't love on each kid as much as they need it!

we had a treat on sunday...we video skyped with our fellowship group from christ pres. it was amazing! we both loved seeing everyone on the computer screen. it was extra special, because a lot of the kids at christ pres that we are close to are in that fellowship group, so we got to see them as well. jacq fortner (the love of my life) asked, "miss mawry (thats how he says my name), can you take a big vacation and come and visit me?" and piper wanted to know if we had seen ngiri mdogo yet. and mary liles kept making goofy faces at the camera. it was great. it was so strange though to see how much those kids have grown up since we have been gone (which has not been that long). piper is already losing her little girlness...her face is getting longer and thinner. and eloise looked like a full fledged teenager. and emily, one of our favorite girls from our sunday school class last year looked so old that bech didn't even recognize her at first! it was so good for us to see and talk to all of those people that we love and miss!

things are good here. bech doesn't have a classroom, so that has been a little hard on him. but he is an amazing teacher, and the children LOVE him. my kids are great. i have loved getting to know each childs personality. the kids are all so funny.

we were in charge of potluck last week with the ketchums. we have potluck every friday here. one family (or in our case, two families) are in charge of deciding on a theme for potluck. then that family makes a list of everything that needs to be brought and people sign up for the different items. its fun to have fellowship. i see most of the teachers at the academy every day, but i don't get to see the college proffesors and the medical people that often. well we had southern style potluck. i think it went really well. there was poppyseed chicken (this was a new dish to most people, but a big hit!), fried chicken, mashed potatoes, southern style green beans (you know, nice and soft, not crunchy like the british eat them), cheese grits (courtesy of yours truly), a little sampling of red beans and rice, broccoli salad, corn bread, and cobbler and apple pie for dessert. there was sweet tea to drink, and, of course, tabasco sauce and tony's on the table! there was no food leftover, so i think it went really well!

anyway, we are doing well. its funny how much we have already adapted. if our computer charger had broken a month ago, i would probably have freaked out. but now we are just like, oh well, that stinks, we'll figure something out! TIA...this is Africa. we miss you all!

p.s. lara! i am so glad you posted on my blog! i have looked through all my luggage for the sheet of paper you gave me with your email address on it and can't find it anywhere! i miss you! how are molly and thomas? how's doug? how is the office? our email is send me an email and tell me all about life!