Friday, January 23, 2009

prayer requests and praises

just a little update to let you know we are here and are doing great. i LOVE teaching literature and history! although i did just give a killer history test...oh well. i have a couple of prayer requests and praises to share with you.


we have to hire a gardener now that we are on campus. we immediately began thinking about Lucius. he worked at our old apartment complex, and we had formed a relationship with him. we pay him to wash our car each week, and we actually gave him a couple months salary ahead of time so he could buy fertilizer for his land (alot of malawians have a little plot of land they farm for maize and vegetables for their family). he's a great guy, very trustworthy. we wanted to offer him the job, but we weren't sure we could match what he was getting paid. also we are very worried about what happens when we leave. but we thought and prayed about it, and talked to other people on campus about it. and we asked him to come to ABC to work for us...he said yes! we are so thankful because we would definitely have missed him. i think he will enjoy working here alot.

also, praise again that we are on campus.

prayer requests:

you can begin praying that Lucius will be offered a job by one of the other families when we leave. there will be a family in our house when we leave, so they might want to hire him, or even just one of the other new people coming next year. we just don't want to leave him high and dry.

also, you can pray for Lucius in another way. we don't know the whole story (Malawians are very private about pregnancy, so we heard the story from another man at the old apartment complex), but Lucius' wife went into the hospital last week because she was sick. she was pregnant and she lost her baby. we haven't talked to Lucius yet about it...pray that we will know what to say to him and how we can help him. also pray that he will be comforted.

one last thing...this isn't a prayer request, just a question...there is a man here named charles. we like to call him "charles the tailor." he is a really sweet, soft spoken man. he does odd sewing jobs here on campus. he is supporting his brothers children as well as his own, and is always looking for any extra job he can have. if any of you want some african print napkins or placemats, anything, just let me know! we can pick it all out and send it home with my sister or bech's parents for you! i got 16 napkins made and it cost about $11.50 (thats including the fabric). i also ordered 6 really cute aprons (900 kwacha which is about $6.50) to put with a cookbook for wedding presents next year. i will take a picture of these things, and try to take a picture of his placemats (we don't have any, but the robbins do) for you all. oh yeah, and he also makes the cutest stockings! anyway, if you are interested just let me know...and i will put up some pictures of his work on here...he is coming by today so maybe i will get a picture of him to show you :)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

happy birthday katy!

it's my sister's birthday! actually it was yesterday, but (TIA) the internet hasn't been working since sunday afternoon. so here is a little picture post dedicated to katy (who is now 25)...and she's so special, that america had a national holiday in honor of her yesterday!

that's me on the left...we loved that big yellow chair!
my nana made us these dress up outfits for christmas one year
aw...isn't she cute?

okay, because the internet is so slow here and i am hoping blogger will let me even get this post up, you can go to her site ( and see more recent pictures of her! she is about to graduate law school and she just won an award for her legal memo, so you can see that she is very smart. she loves sushi, the beach, washington d.c. (where hopefully she'll live so i can come visit her and we will go to l'oreal plaza for margaritas!), "once upon a star," and "all i want for christmas." her favorite game in the whole wide world is alligator tag. she is awesome, and you should read her site and be her friend. plus she makes the BEST orange sherbert slushies ever!

i love you katy...happy birthday from malawi!

Thursday, January 15, 2009


Today is John Chilembwe Day, which is a National holiday, so Marley and I are at home this morning drinking coffee and putting puzzles together. We have been in the Boersma's house for one week now, and are really enjoying campus-life. I'm able to walk to my classes and come home to work or rest in between them.
Our Christmas break was incredible! We stayed home and enjoyed life in Malawi--we spent most of our time in the kitchen and in front of our computer watching movies from the market. We found the holy grail of market movies--a store across the bridge which sells each disc for 180 kwacha (before we found this store, we paid five to six hundred kwacha for each). Each disc is unpredictable, unreliable, ever-surprising in what it promises and in what it actually contains. Sometimes the disc has a theme, such as the one below. The "versus" theme is actually a rather common one for these market discs; it is also one of my favorites. This disc contains a bunch of Kate Winslet (or "Winsle") movies, and a bunch of Jennifer Lopez movies. While Jennifer does look ready for the fight, Kate seem uninterested and too sweet to fight. Oh well, let the battle begin!

And just in case you were curious, Jennifer Lopez loses big time.

Below you will find classic Market-movie-disc phraseology:




I wonder if the Chinese here (or there) have conversations like this:

Non-English Speaking Person 1: Hey, do you want to watch a movie tonight?
Non-English Speaking Person 2: Sure, but no more chick-flicks or funny surface penfans, I'm in the mood for a new irritable blockbuster.
Non-English Speaking Person 1: Yeah, that's fine, maybe something from Tom Cruise's portfdio?
Non-English Speaking Person 2: Whatever.

It's funny surface penfan. What does that even mean? We find ourselves scratching our head, trying to penetrate the translations. That assumes these are translations. It's funny...on the's funny when...penfans do surface...which happens in these kinds of movies? Heck if I know. Each disc jacket and menu is like a little Rosetta Stone composed and arranged by people who dimly understand the English language, and could care less.

Well, this is life in Malawi. It's rich and strange and funny and difficult to be away from home. We miss all of you.

Thursday, January 8, 2009


Sorry it's been so long since I last updated. We have had a crazy last week!

First of all, I am now teaching History and Literature. The teacher for these classes went back home over Christmas, a new teacher came, who is a science teacher. So the switched worked out! I am really excited to be teaching these classes. But basically, I had been working the first two weeks of break on lesson plans for science, so I had to get to work on my new classes!

Second of all, we are now on campus! The Boersmas (the dad was our current doctor) headed back to the states at Christmas. Their house is really the High's (the future doctor) but they aren't able to come yet. So until they come, we get to live in the house. But, the downside of that is, if and when they come, we have to move out. We will get a months notice, so that we can try to find another off campus place. We are very excited to be on campus now, but we also don't want to get too attached. We know that we might have to move before the semester is up, which would be hard. But the new doctor is really needed! Oh well, I am a good little Presbyterian, and will just trust that God is in control!

We are also sad to be leaving one of the gardeners at our old complex. His name is Lucius, and he's a really great guy.

One of the upsides of living on campus is cheaper, unlimited internet! Yay! Which means, more picture updates! We might even get ambitious and try a video internet...I wouldn't be counting on that anytime soon, but we will put pictures up more often!

Okay, I guess that's about it for now!