Friday, June 29, 2007

after the rain

ok, after it rains all these bugs come out. they are flying termites and tessa said they called them hallelujah bugs in brazil because people rejoiced when it rained and they always showed up. anyway, they swarm to the light and are actually really annoying because they each have four wings and always shed them. in reality they come out after the rain, shed their wings, mate, and die. bleak outlook for life. the next morning most of them are dead already and the malians sweep them all up and fry them. i had a one and...well, i don't think i'll have any more. kinda' makes me think of the plagues when they get to swarming at night. kinda' creepy...especially when you have to walk out the door and they smack you in the face, get caught in you hair, and get caught in your clothes.

the house and yard

ok, here we have some pictures of the house we are staying in. one of them...not sure what order they will be showing up of the house with me and ellen standing outside. half of our team is staying here and we do all our cooking down here as well. it is in the far corner of the compound. one of them is of ellen sitting on the cement pad that is on the back of the house. that's where we hang out most of the time and that's other other hanging out on the cement pad. alrighty, one of them is of the daily mop of the pad because it gets dusty. that is also ellen's slip and slide time of the day. one shot is of our room and ellen in her crib with the mosquito net. finally, we have a picture of the living room. in that picture the kitchen is off to the left and our room is in the back right corner from there. that should help as you think of us here in the house.

mint farm

one major part of malian cluture is taking tea. they do it once after lunch and once in the evening after supper. the tea is brewed nice and strong with a hint of mint and sugar. our team as purchased everything to partake ourselves and we are loving it. anyway, we went to get some mint in the market and i went ahead and planted some by the side of the house. they reproduce by propagation. ok, someone help me on this...christi. is that what we call it in the plant world. we have split thoughts amongst the team and need some professional input. all you have to do is break one off and plant it. man, i need that house plant book you gave us. anyway the mint has taken root and looks good. we'll be harvesting in no time. we have land to the west to expand as well, depending on how well they do. oh, and you can't see the mint yet because we covered the little plot with branches to keep the chickens from getting in there and kicking them all up.


thought you might enjoy some pictures of ellen helping do laundry. pretty cute. oh, she is also standing up at random times and taking a step or two. i'm sure she'll be a real walker in a month or less.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

baby genius

we pushed some things way to the back of the shelf so that ellen couldn't get to them. then we walked back around the corner about five minutes later only to find her in this position. baby genius.

potty trained

there are times we see that ellen is cooking something up (her face gets all red). we immediately run her to the potty. i think she is catching on. it is also cheaper as well, saving on some of those expensive diapers.


most dismounts from the bed are successful. this one was not.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

when the pavement ends

i'm sure you were all wondering what the roads were like when the pavement ends...

Friday, June 15, 2007

pizza hut

thought you might like to see one of the huts in the village that we visited. not a whole lot of head room for michael jordan. twice now in the city here someone thought i was #23 for the bulls because i was tall. guess they don't know much about michael jordan. =)

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

the bush cont....

ok, so after lunch we drove out to the "lake." it's not really a lake now because it has dried up because of the heat and the lack of rain. they said that when the rains come next month we would be in water over our heads. we learned another interesting thing about creation yesterday too. they said that this lake is teeming with fish. we looked at each other a little questioningly. he noticed our doubt and went on to explain that the fish burrow deep down into the mud and hibernate for the dry season. when the rainy season hits again and the lake fills up then the fish come back out of the mud and spawn and there are more fish than they could ever hope to catch. our god has created an amazing world...
after the lake we drove out to konoton, a small village in the middle of nowhere. i don't think the kids had seen white people before. that was exciting for all of us. =) we have also come to conclude that ellen is the 8th wonder of the world. they just can't get enough of her. we spent the evening with the people of the village and then hit the road for home. it has been such a blessing to meet the believers in these small villages. you can tell they are truly happy to see you and love you as a brother or sister in christ. there is a real spiritual connection. we also got to help them pump water out of their well. that was an adventure in itself.
still loving being here....can't wait to get back to that village.

the bush

yesterday we went out to the city of kolakani. it was good to get out of the city and see the countryside a little bit. ok, a little breakdown of the pictures. the top is a picture of the village's well. it is about 55 feet deep and that is the source of all life in the area. the second picture is of ellen and tessa as we were walking around. then we paused for lunch; the last picture is of our driver holding ellen as we lounged around and took tea. the tea is pretty good, but it's strong. they actually brew it twice, add a little sugar and sometimes mint, and serve it up piping hot in a little shot glass. pretty good stuff. the next picture is of lunch. they grind up millet in their mortars and then add it to boiling water. it comes out something like a gritty, bread-jello like substance. not half bad in taste. then you dip it in the green sauce like you see tessa doing. the sauce is made from the little leaves of the tree that you see pictured second to last. in kolakani we visited the pastor and his family as well as the christian radio station in town. we also stopped by a couple that is working with world vision. they said that in kolakani and the surrounding area there are over 2,8000 kids sponsored. the funds from sponsors have built a sh cool, feed the kids and their families, and a good share are open to the gospel or have received christ. fun to see the other end of the whole operation. that sums up our day until lunch. the afternoon will be continued in the next post.....

bottoms up

coca cola. the international presence. thought you might enjoy some cute pictures of ellen

Monday, June 11, 2007

man killers

this picture isn't the greatest but only because i had to take it earlier in the evening to get good lighting. in the evenings, man-killing bats come out and they swarm the skys. i assume they are eating the mosquitos that come out in the evenings but it kinda creeped us out at first. when it gets even a little darker than this the bat count doubles if not more. they basically fill the sky. we also noticed that during the day, guys run around with pellet guns and pick them out of trees. guess where they end up...bbq stands. i might have to try that sometime. sauteed man-killer bat. oh, and for the record i have never actually witnessed one of these bats attacking a man with the intent to eat.
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Thursday, June 07, 2007

kan ben sini

i think we have come to realize that this city is huge. 2 million people live in bamako and most of them in extreme poverty. the area that we are staying in is "downtown." it doesn't take more than a 2 minute drive to see the way malians really live.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

walk on

this morning we had language training for an hour and then we took a hike. it was only a mile but it was a warm one. one of the picutes is as we were on the bridge over the niger river. what you can see is about half way over already. i had no idea it was so huge.
the place we went to is the home of an american doctor. he and his wife grew up overseas and they have been overseas as a couple for a number of years as well. he has been the embassy doctor here in bamako for two years now. the US government pays for their house, cars, and everything else they want. pretty sweet place (see the grass?). our tax dollars at work =). they are a christian family and we had a lot of fun talking to them. we'll see them again on sunday at the "english worship" as it is apparently coined.
this afternoon we are heading to the big market. i guess it is the place that we can buy anything under the sun. no pun intended. we're not really going to shop but to see it and get lost for a half hour or so probably.
102* and not a cloud in the sky

"cool down" baths

every evening and a couple times a day, ellen gets "cool down" baths. thought she was pretty cute and that you would like to see her.