Coffee along the way

Coffee along the way
Coffee along the way

February 26, 2011

on a Thursday......

the namesakes

in his element!
Living far, far away from family gets to you mostly in times of crisis, doesn’t it?  If you want to be there for loved ones when they have to go for an operation, or if someone passes away, or even not always in a crisis - like when it is a special birthday or just because it’s a Thursday…

Yes, definitely painful at the worst of times. 

My uncle passed away yesterday.  I only really got to know him over the past two years.  He somehow crawled into our hearts.  He was kind to us and warm, we will miss him. 

One very cold and wet day we went up to Elephant’s eye with him and his son.  It was beautiful and cold and wet of course, but he was in his element.  There in the cave he told us how he became a believer, how he came to love our Lord.  Looking back I am extremely thankful for that time up in the mountain, because I know he is with Jesus now.  What a privilege to be able to know for sure!!  So unlike most “religions”!!  What a privilege to have a relationship, to be a son, a daughter, a friend of the Living God.

And so, dear uncle, even though we lived far apart, thank you for the time you spent with us.   

I know you went in peace.

February 09, 2011

Letting go.....

Late yesterday afternoon a mother of a small baby came asking for help - the child has had diarrhea
for 7 days!  She first went to our closest clinic, 4km away - no meds there!  Then on to the next clinic 20km away - no meds there either!  So back to our house!

I prayed for her, I mixed rehydration fluid and sat with her for a long time dropping drops into the little parched mouth.  I walked back home with them to make sure she understood all my instructions!  At the house i had it again had it translated into her own language and yes, she understood.  Drops trhoutout the night, no sleeping!

Early this morning i was there again, hoping, praying that the child was still alive!  She was! And i asked to see the bottle of rehydration fluid - it was obvious that the mom gave about 20ml throughout the whole night!!!!!  And then in my sweetest tone i said it........
You need to take this child to the hospital (20km in the other direction!) - even if you have to take out a bit of money now for a lift on a bike or motorcycle it is nothing compared to what you will have to pay for all the food at the funeral!!  Tactful?  Of course not!!!  Will they go?  I don't know.......i had to let go.  And it is hard.

February 08, 2011

I was explaining something to the boys this morning and they didn't get it, so then i said "well this is what normal people would do"  Why did i say that?  Were we not "normal"??  Obvioulsy not!

We once saw a moving van and the boys asked what it was, so we had to explain it to them that this is how people normally move (that word again!)  And even though we have moved countless times, they have never experienced this normal kind!  So how "normal" do we live?

It got me thinking...
When we need bread, i bake it, when we feel like pizza we make it ourselves (or drive 150km to buy some that is kind of good), when i feel the need to talk to a friend, i blog or open facebook (not very sucsessful ways, i know, but you have to work with what you 've got!), we have to teach our boys some things about our own culture - they can't jsut observe like normal little A's can!  We take holidays in strange places and once one of our children when asked in our home country where he comes from he answered just that - i am from (the home country)"  when actually he lives in M and was only born in his home country!  We have never given a lesson about different currencies to our kids - they figure it out themselves - we have 5 different currencies in our money drawer!  Etc, etc!!  Very Normal??   I think not!

But there is always the  other side of the coin too!  Our boys actually have time to play!  Yes, PLAY!!  They grow up not just having a vague idea of the lost and suffering, they see them daily.  They are our friends!  "father give us our daily bread" is not some fancy words from the Bible repeated effortless ona Sunday - God is the one who takes care of us every day!! 

And as a good friend recently said (thank you Nickey!) we try and live a normal life in abnormal surroundings, maybe we should live a bit more abnormal and then it will all balance out?  Quite a thought!!

And so off i go - to infinity and beyond!

February 05, 2011

Ode to the onion

Not sure if i previoulsy wrote about this or not, but nobody will mind?  So back to the onion, the Deep-in-Africa type, not the pampered green house type!  This kind is tough!  This kind can make it in Africa!  (Totally off the point but, Africa is not for sissies, and it's true.  But what happens to a sissie if she lives there?  Not sure yet, but will keep you updated!)

The onions i find here are hard to cut, they have a very hard base and it's so thick, you won't eat it, except if you must like at someone’s house for example.  The onions here have a hard life - near drowning in the rainy season and definitely dried out in the dry season.  They need to be tough, otherwise they will be thrown out.  Just think of it - most fruits here are tough - they don't need anyone tending them.  No TLC required to get a mango to grow and bear LOTS and LOTS of fruit.   Or think of the pineapple, needs basically a few drops of rain and any type of soil and off it goes, or what about the (IM)famous cassava!!  Now, That Plant needs nothing, but still feeds many!  (although it's debatable how much good is in it!)  No, the test of time has shown the onion to be tough or to be not.....

I guess you can see where i am going with all this?  Well, yes, it's about living here!  Or rather trying to live here.  If you need a lot of TLC - good luck!  If you need a lot of anything for that matter, good luck!!  No, you need to thicken yourself, not be dependable on the outside "seasonal" stuff, just get on with what you have to do!  But goodness, nobody said it was going to be easy, did they?  So when the hard times come, it's ok, hang in there.  You have a purpose where you are, keep your eyes on God - like a sunflower looking up to the Son.  No other help will be better or more suitable, said i to myself, wondering if i am a delicate flower or a hardened onion...........