Sunday, August 29, 2010
Monday, August 23, 2010
We have a guest room/office too. So if you are in the neighborhood, come on over!
Saturday, August 21, 2010
Yes, this IS the biggest avocado you have ever seen! I cut into it thinking it was a mango! That is a mango above it. Unreal!
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Emma started preschool Wednesday. We are so excited that she loved it. We were pretty nervous that she might struggle with being away from us for 4 hours since we have only been here for 2 weeks. Starting preschool is a pretty big deal in itself let alone throwing in the fact that she just moved to a new country. She has been awesome through all of the changes. She says all the time, "I love living in Africa Mom! It's Awesome!" Wait until she actually sees a zebra or something! She'll really love it.
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Today I was able to venture out and do some grocery shopping to stock up the cupboards. One thing that I always find interesting when visiting another country is the price difference for certain staple items.
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Over the last several years we have been involved with many clean water projects. Matt worked on wells in Malawi, we worked with our youth groups to raise money for wells, we were involved with the Rwanda Clean Water Project at Mars Hill, etc. I have seen the pictures of kids carrying large yellow containers of water from the river. Matt has walked with women in Malawi for miles to gather water in the pond and carry it miles back to their homes. You can do all those things and think, “Wow, that’s horrible.” But then you walk over to your sink and drink glass after glass of water and don’t think about it again.
We have been driving around town seeing people carrying containers of water. We are in the capitol city of Rwanda. This isn’t some little village in the middle of Africa. It really hits me when I come home and I turn on my faucet. I can turn on my faucet and there is fairly clear water that comes out. Yes, I have to boil it and then run it through a filtration system and it still tastes like you are licking a ceramic pot or a rock. But, I don’t have to walk for miles and then boil and filter my water.
The water situation is interesting. Each home has a water tank. Well at least the homes with running water. The city will fill the tank randomly so there will probably be times when we will not have water. Maybe even for a couple of days at a time. We only have hot water in the upstairs shower. None of the faucets, including the kitchen, have hot water. So, anytime I do dishes I have to boil 2 kettles of water and then add cold water from the faucet. I use some faucet water for washing dishes so that we can get our stomachs somewhat used to the water. I’m sure there will be times when we eat something that wasn’t washed properly so if we can get our stomachs used to it we might not get so sick. We only plug in the water heater or the water pump right before we take showers or baths to save electricity.
Enjoy a yummy glass of water from your tap...even those of you in So. Cal...and be grateful!
Here it is! We are so pleased with our new home. The yard is fenced in so once the dry season ends we will be able to let Emma play outside more in the yard and not worry about anything happening to her. I haven’t taken too many inside pictures yet because we are still unpacking and settling in. All of the walls are yellow which of course makes Emma very happy. (it is her favorite color.) There are lots of window with great light during the day. The kitchen is pretty retro. I actually love it. I feel like I’m in the UK actually. Everything feels very British right down to the tea kettle.
There are 3 bedrooms. Emma loves her new pink and yellow bedroom. She picked out some fun wall stickers before we left and had lots of fun helping me put them on the walls. Some new friends gave her a doll house and she is just having a blast with it.
I will post more pictures of the inside once we get unpacked. It is actually a really big house. We love it!
Monday, August 2 we woke up in our hotel room just outside LAX at 4AM. We had an 8:30 AM flight and wanted to make sure we had plenty of time to get all of our bags checked in. We had 10 check bags and 6 carry-ons. Insane! We actually took up the entire luggage rack on the shuttle to the airport.
As I mentioned before we left, we have been praying that our bags would make it under 50lbs each so that we would not be charged $400 extra per bag. Matt and I specifically prayed that morning that our check in agent’s eyes would be blind to the scale or that he/she would be very generous. Well, one of the too happened. Half of our bags were 53lbs and the rest were 50lbs. She didn’t charge us anything extra for being over the weight limit. She just smiled and rolled them through. Praise God!
At our gate we met Jennifer. She is from LA and is also a new teacher here at KICS. We were hoping to have time to chat with her in DC but our flight was late and we almost missed our connection. When I say almost missed, I mean we were literally sprinting through Dulles flagging down the agent as she said, “last call for Brussels.” It was complete OJ Simpson style. Once we got settled on the plane we realized the Jennifer was not on the plane. She ended up missing the flight and had to stay in DC until Thursday...along with our 10 bags of checked luggage!
We had a 4 hour layover in Brussels. They have these great, however dirty, play areas for kids. Fantastic idea! Emma had a blast playing with the touch screens and running around with the other kids. It was perfect timing for her since we were pretty much on a plane for 13 hour straight from LA to Brussels minus or quick sprint down the hall in DC.
She did amazingly well on all 3 flights. She hardly even fussed. She slept most of the flight from Brussels to Kigali which really through off her sleep schedule since we arrived at 7pm. She woke up at 4 the next morning. She is now sleeping through the night and not getting up until 6-6:30, which is still early for her.
When we arrived in Kigali at 7pm on Tuesday, we came down the stairs to the baggage claim area only to be greeted by this sign. We finally got our luggage late Thursday night. It flew in from DC with Jennifer.
Sunday, August 1, 2010
Wednesday we visited Sea Life Aquarium. We had purchased discounted tickets through Groupon and needed to use them up before we left. Emma had a great time with her Uncle David looking at the sharks and sting rays.
Thursday was Mommy's day to play. I was able to have dinner with my So Cal Mommy's. We had an amazing time catching up laughing. I just love these incredible ladies! There are 11 kids between the 5 of us. We really needed a break!
Friday we spent the day with some of Matt's family. 7 great-grand kids had a blast running around the yard playing baseball. There were Dodger, Padres and Angel fans present. It was a "big game" as Emma said. It was awesome to see Matt's cousin, her husband and their 4 kids home from Africa. They serve at an international school there and just returned to the States a week ago. We were so happy to be able to spend the day with them. We hope to spend Christmas with them in Africa! The day was full of food, laughter, and prayer...the perfect send off!
It is now Sunday at 1:30 AM. The bags are packed-for the most part-and ready to go in a few hours. We will be having a send off in the morning at church and then heading to LA to stay the night before flying out early Monday morning. I really can't believe that the last 3 weeks have gone by so quickly. I also can't believe how much this feels like when we left for China. There is anticipation, planning, packing, unknown. I also know that this is not only a new adventure for our family but it is also bringing us another step closer to our son.