Thursday, April 14, 2011

Permaculture training and trip to see the farm

For the past two months the ladies class has been having Permaculture instruction. I will post some pictures of a planning lesson we had here in my drive way and another lesson we had on how to design your gardens and plan your living spaces. Planning is something strange in and of it self. So it was fun to see the ladies talk through where to put things. Each item took a major discussion, but in the end they all got a general idea. Over the course of the past few weeks I have take small groups of women out to see the teachers farm. His name is Biswick, which is father told me is short for Busy Working. Biswick has given these ladies hour of instructions but they had yet to see the actual result of what happens if you do the work. Because maise is a major food here he flet it was important for me to bring the ladies out to his farm before all the maise had been picked and it was critical for him to bring it in soon. Therefore for rather than small groups of ladies we decided to bring them all out at one time. There were about 25 ladies who still hadn't seen the farm. We rented a two ton truck and piled all the ladies in it. Then drove slowly to the sight. The ladies sang the whole way and it was beautiful. Once we got there we devided the ladies into two groups and Biswick took them on the tour. His brother did the other tour as he is also studying permaculture. Biswick comes from a Godly home which as it turns out is an added plus. While the ladies had their tours I wondered around to see if there wasn't anything I had missed on previous visits and then sat down with his mother and sister and helped depod beans, maise and popcorn. It was a lot of fun and the ladies were thrilled by what they had seen. They came back excited about planting trees and starting their farms. My friend told me that for a Malawian to be excited about planting a fruit tree is a big thing and Biswick gave them each a tree to bring home so they were excited. After piling back into the truck they sang all the way home. What was even my encouraging is they also sang as they walk home. You could tell that they walked away with hope in their hearts dreaming of a new future where they would have food growing year round. Fresh fruits and Vegetables.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Sauna or License Renewal office

On my way into town I was stopped by the police which by the way is a sometimes daily occurance. I knew my licence was about ready to expire but had forgotten until I saw the cops on the road. Lucky for me I had one more day to go to the office and have it renewed. So after I did my errands I drove to the Renewal office and parked in line for a car inspection. It was almost eleven so I knew my time was short. I walked into the inspection office and asked what I needed to do, partly because I had forgotten and partly because I figured if you play dumb they are more likely to help you get through the misery of the job at hand. The men told me and half guided me to the office and line I needed to be standing in. Mind you there were 6 lines and 80 or more people standing in those lines inside a room that was about ten by ten feet. The fan in the room is broken, I was in the line closest to the door so at least there was some hot fresh air coming througth the door. After a thirty minute wait, It was my turn. I waited patiently because it keeps your blood pressure down and there were already 40 men moaning, groaning and complaining not to mention yelling in the room. Apon receiving a piece of paper they sent me to the bank,which had air -con. I'm not sure how long I waited there but it wasn't long enough to cool me off. I was sent back to the first room to stand in another line. This time I was as far back in the room as you could get. It was steaming there, but there was a glass seperating the waiters and the workers. That glass had two holes in them at each station. The workers had air con, so there was some cold air coming out of the two holes. I tried to get as close to the window as I could in hopes of getting some air. Before I said a word,the man behind the window looked at me and said you need to be patient madam. To which I replied : Thats eazy for you to say sitting in Air Con. He laughed and somehow gave me mercy. I put my hand in the lower window and fanned the hole in the upper circle to get more of the air out of his room into my room. After about 20 minutes he gave me my paper. But it was time for lunch everyone in the cool room left and the "Sauna" emptied out. I knew I needed to get this done but lunch is lunch and no man works during lunch. Besides by that time I was ringing wet and tired of hot have air and listening to all the angry people. So I decided to go home and perhaps come back early in the morning. On my way home my friend called and said the guest I was expecting weren't coming, so I planned on returning to the "Sauna" after lunch. At about two I returned and took my paper to the car inspector. There was a wait there too, so I decided to turn on the radio. It was a good African Station so I listened and tapped on the drivers wheel as if it was a drumb. The guys around smiled and enjoyed the music with me. Suddenly the inspector came and started his work. He was shouting commands and I was doing my best to follow, but finally he said if you would turn your radio off it would be eazier for us to work. Of course, by this time there were 20 men all standing around watching the inspector and I and I got the giggles. Why are you laughing? he said. I told him I felt like this was a tv show so all the men slowly turned as though they hadn't been intertained watching as I tried to follow his instructions. He sent me off to buy reflectors which I think was more to give him time to have my papers ready. Now back to the Sauna I went. My guy was gone, but after a few minutes returned. A man came in the room and started yelling in my ear. I asked him why and everyone laughed . Stupid woman . He said. Then another guy was fanning himself and I asked him if he would fan a little faster. He wasn't pleased. At anyrate finally the papers were done and so was my sauna. Apon handing me the papers the man said: See you next year and smiled. It was a long painful day, but all in all it pays not to get argry and just to take it as it comes, sauna and all.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Showers and a Funeral

On the possitive side. We have Hot Water thanks to Scott Emerson an MK from Liberia days. Scott came for dinner and before we fed him, in the thirty minutes he had before sun down he climbed up on the roof of the house and hooked up the electrical wire so we could have hot water. Now to figure out how to get the solar part working.

A student at ABC contracted Malaria and in less than five days he was dead. I felt so bad for his family, but he's a fortunate guy.

We are up on the news in both Libya and Japan. Mom and I took flowers to the Japanese embassy to express our sorrow. We met both the Ambassador and his Assistant. They had a book for expressing your condolances so mom wrote a message in Japanese and I in english. We were the only two who had come in to show sympathy. I must say Malawi looks better every day when looking at the rest of the world. Thanks for your prayers for us here.

Ladies in Class

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

When looking for Snakes don't Jump at Frogs

This morning the ladies were digging in a broken brick pile and I heard some noise about snakes. I thought they had killed one and his skin was there in the heap. But in fact they had just seen it slip down a hole and they were looking for it as they picked broken bricks which we call Maduga off the pile. I was afraid for them because you never know if you find one if there will be more in the same pile. So there I was leaning toward them with my head and shoulders with my feet and legs trying to move away from the whole scene. As one of the ladies pulled one of the bricks back with her shovel I saw a reptile and jumped back squirming and flapping my arms like a helpless baby chick. While my head know it was a frog my body was saying snake and thus the antics. Everyone laughed at me. They know I want to save frogs because they eat Mosquitoes but they were taken a back by my antic. Anyway I left and had to take mom to her class.

I quickly dropped her at COTNI and then drove to town. As soon as I got out of the car I noticed a guy with one leg, his other leg was curled up into a ball. That was a normal sight, but what caught my eye was a nasty burn he had on his crutch arm. That's the arm he uses to move around with. Anyway it was oozing and looked painful. I asked someone to ask him what had happened and he said it was a burn. Anyway I took him to the hospital to have it looked at. The doctor put him on medications and had the nurse wrap it up. We paid a the bill and then took him back to where he sells pictures to make money. The crippled guys all used to just beg on the street, now they are trying to make a living by selling pictures.

After Picking up my mom, we went home and they said they had killed the snake. The left it where it was and tip toed over toward it to see it from about 10 yards. I'm not to keen on snakes. later that afternoon the dogs found it and started to bark and then they tipped toed up to see it. I just plane didn't want him or her around dead or alive so I asked one of the men to move it to a better home or burial ground. Wearing gloves and boots he got a stick and hung it off the stick caring out the gate. I pray that snake is the first and the last. They say snakes don't like smelly plants so guess what I'm going to look for.

Well folks, I've taken my malaria pill and sat up long enough for it to sink to the bottom of my stomach. They tend to burn holes on the way down if they don't get to the stomach so you have to wait until they make it there. Now for the fun part. Sleep. Sleep packed with crazy dreams that is. Which is a side affect of the drug.

Its raining so that means it will be a fresh and cool night.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Keep on Praying for Dorthy

We have had four classes with the Ladies. Everyone seems excited to be in class and learning. This week we had over sixty ladies in class. We pray that as they come they will learn about the goodness of the Lord.

Please continue to Pray for Dorthy. Her flag is still flying so we know that she hasn't stepped back at all . Each day she continues to come to Bible study and hear the words of the Lord. Tomorrow we will take a look at Noah and Job and see why God called them the most righteous men . Both had remarkable faith and walked with God in spite of the circumstances that beset them. We are all called as believers to walk by faith and not by sight. Sometimes thats a very tricky thing for all of us to do. By faith we will pray that Dorthy will come to know Jesus and that Satan will be throw out of her life.

Everything is incredably beautiful here now. Such green. wish it was always this green and lush. I will try to post more pictures, but have had some tech problems with my camera and computer. Blessings, Michelle

Monday, January 31, 2011

Next step

Saturday I went into the village to take some pictures. I visited with several groups of women and at the last home while I was talking with the women, I notice one of the children was lisless and asked her mother what was wrong. The mother said she had Malaria. I could see she couldn't wait till monday to get meds so I called a doctor and took her into the hospital. It was pouring down rain, we both got drenched . I had to go find the sleeping guard so we could go out of the gate and she had to go to get her daughter out of the house. It was raining buckets and the dirt roads were turned into muddy rivers. Once we made it to the main road, even thought it was paved it to was one big river. I felt like my Rav 4 was a speed boat we spayed water all over the place as we went. The hospital gave the girl medicine and this morning when I went into the village to check on her both mother and daughter were walking to the clinic. The little girls fever was gone and she looked good. Thank Jesus a life was saved from Malaria. You get to see the pictures I took on my walk and this precious little one gets to live another day. Sunday morning another mother and Child was at my door for the same reason and we did the trip again. One child, one happy mother at a time. Thankyou Jesus So far this week we have not seen any children dye of Malaria. It's a blessing not to have a funeral this week.

One step at a time.

First of all, an update on Dorthy. Yesterday I found out that Dorthy has worked as a witch doctor. All the while she thought she was doing go and that the spirit she has been working with was a spirit from God. Today in Devotions we talked about testing the spirits in I John. She now sees that this is a false spirit, so keep praying. One step at a time. I think she want to do what is right. May God trasform her life.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Back home in Malawi

We have arrived back home in Malawi. As the sun rose this morning so did the little hummingbird like birds. The maze is growing in the fields. The country is a beautiful lush green. This is always a happy time of year. As I walked down to the village I noticed a white flag flying above the house of one of my workers. It seemed a bit precarious but no more so than Sunday morning's drum beat. The drums beat all day long. In the past three years there has there never been a time when drums were beating constantly all day long on Sunday. It reminded me a lot of growing up in Liberia in the Bush. At any rate I began to ask questions only to find out that Dorothy one of my workers has declared herself a traditional healer. I'm still doing research to find out what exactly that means. She says she belongs to a church called Zion which works with herbs. I have several people checking into exactly what her belief system is at present. Prior to this she has declared herself a Baptist but I also know that she has a lot of knowledge concerning the herbs that have medicinal value. It's my desire to try to work with her and help her understand how while medicine has a value it also has its limitations and it is God who we call on when man's knowledge falls short. Please pray for Dorothy and asked that God would open her mind and help her to understand his great love and power.