Friday, January 28, 2011

A Walking Scrapbook

I learned something new. There is a lot of cloth available in the market. Usually I search for something with colors I like, patterns that are not too offensive or bizarre, and something I can envision in an outfit. I end up with a lot of purple, pink, blue and green. As I started asking people about their outfits they wore, they would say, 'Oh yes, this is the tissue form someone's baptism, or this is the tissue from someones goodbye party, or this is the tissue from Christmas last year.' I began to realize, this is a form of scrap booking. As the women wear their outfits, they remember people, times, experiences and memories.

So one day I was visiting with one of my friends, Kadjatu. She is 13 and loves to come visit whenever she can. She has a new cousin and took me to visit her. I was also invited to the 'Baptem' party for her cousin. She told me there was cloth and she wanted me to buy some and come dressed for the party. I decided to do it... and when the cloth arrived she brought it to me. I realized this was going to be my first REAL Malien outfit. IT is in orange and yellow, two colors I wouldn't have chosen. And there are some random designs all over it, like chalkboards and fingers... So here are some photos of the process... I knew I wanted to scrapbook while I was here, but so far this is the closest I have come.

What will I do with this fabric?

Yes... those are fingers in my fabric!

So I took it to my tailor... notice how they finish the zipper?

He made a beautiful outfit!

Everyone really likes it here... they say I am Malien now!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Movie of our Journey to Mali

Jeff has tried to get a video done to show everyone how our journey to Mali has happened. He started this soon after our arrival in Mali. He met with so many obstacles. Then, when it was finally done, it would not upload... he tried for three days. Finally after it was uploaded, he worked on the email to send out letting people know about it. As it was ready to go, the power went out. It really felt like the enemy did not want this video to go out as an encouragement to believers around the world. The power came back on, and the first batch of emails sent, then the power went off again... finally we received power again and were able to send out the rest of the emails. I am putting the video up here also so more people can find it that may not receive our emails... Thanks for checking it out...

Friday, January 21, 2011

Testing new waters...

The day arrived more quickly than I thought it might. Two girls showed up this morning to visit earlier than is usually normal. I sat on the porch with them for awhile before I finally realized that they came with a purpose. Their dad had visited last evening telling us his daughter had a swollen hand that was causing her a lot of pain. I gave him some Ibuprofen and said she could come see us if they wanted. Well here she was. She showed me her hand... and I wondered what to do. I tried to ask some questions, but she didn't have a lot of answers. She didn't know why it started. She didn't have any sores on her hand. So I decided first of all we should make sure her hand was clean. Then a soak in hot water never hurt. So as I was preparing all that, her father showed up. He helped translate some... and explained that the yesterday a friend had tried to open up her hand with a razor blade to relieve some pressure. Then they packed it with the leaves of some tree. I suggested going to the DR. but in the meantime I consulted my handy 'Where There is no Doctor' book. Her had was hot to the touch and definitely had an infection inside. Whatever caused it we don't know. So I told them hot compresses four times a day, keep it clean, and take her to the Doctor. I don't know if she need antibiotics or not. I dried up her hand and put on some antibiotic ointment and a bandage. I gave them more bandages and my antibiotic ointment and sent them off with blessings for better health... I hope she gets better soon... Pray for wisdom for me as people come to us with health issues. We are fortunate to have a medical clinic here as well as a hospital. I don't know how good the Doctors are, but I guarantee they have more experience than I do...

Thursday, January 6, 2011

My boundaries

I am struggling with my attitude. I know that I need some boundaries. And we are working on setting some up. But when kids disregard my requests to not enter our yard or to be quiet because our kids are sleeping I get frustrated. I realize they probably didn't really understand what I asked, and even if they did, they really have no framework for boundaries, or nap times. Kids nap on their moms backs, or pass out on the ground when they are too tired. Life is so different. A kid stops by convienently when we are eating lunch or dinner and Jeff with a heart twice the size of mine, invites him to join us. I just finished cleaning the house and not all these kids are even clean... After feeling protective of my time and my stuff and my house, I am reminded of Jesus.

In Matthew 25: 31-46 He talks about what we do for others, we do for Him... 31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

God help me to have a heart like yours...

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Diaper blow outs

Jethro modeling his cloth diapers!

Jeff changing a Zach diaper over a year ago.

Our daily diaper wash...

The diaper crisis has begun... We arrived in Mali with a weeks worth of disposable diapers and 14 cloth diapers that I used when Zach was a baby. Once we got settled in Kadiolo I started using the cloth diapers. We are working on potty training Zach, but we put a cloth diaper on him for naps and bedtime. About half the diapers have stretched out elastic in the legs. Between that and Zach and Jethro having diarrhea... I realize diapering is going to be a big challenge in Mali! We also finished our last package of wipes that came with us from France. You can find diapers and wipes in large cities in Mali, but they are expensive! So we are using washcloths for wipes and washing them along with our diapers! If I didn't feel like a pioneer woman before now, this will do it. Although those pioneer women didn't have nice cloth diapers like we do... Thank goodness for Fuzzibunz and bumgenius! I did order some replacement diapers and applied for a diaper grant so I hope those come soon!