Monday, April 15, 2013



Reading - Soul Detox and Acts. (Though a big halt, with my kindle fire breaking. And two months or so till the replacement comes)

Crying- Over the silliest things, but not the big things.

Planning -  For visitors coming, the missions trip my church is taking here, the daycare, my trip home..... ok, just too much.

Hoping - We can open the doors of the daycare soon. There is so much to do in other regards for it.

Praying- The 40 day challenge for Circle Maker Or just reading the introduction so far.

Cooking -  Like crazy! Dry ranch packets, parm cheese, tossed in olive oil and potatoes and baked, has kinda lit up my world.

Searching - For real white flour.... seriously.

Eating - carbs. Because seriously all of you on the atkins diet, your carbs find their way here. Lunch was pasta with potatoes!

Enjoying - Watching my little man hit new milestones everyday, gaining more confidence, and becoming more normal. (whatever that is!) But is it odd to say I love he has a hesitency of strangers now days, and no longer see's every adult as a caregiver in a parade of caregivers in and out of his life.

Sleeping - On and off. Between the dogs always needing to go outside to go to the bathrom at 1/2am. And Moses crying now and then through the night. I can go pick him up, cradle him, and in 20 seconds lay him back down and its enough to get him to sleep through about another 2 hours.

Watching - LOST. Man, its even better the second time around. The girls cracked me up when they asked why these people keep flying when their plane crashes everytime. (I think the flashback scenes were a bit confusing)

Drinking - Hawiaan punch water mix in's.

Laughing - At the girls each night, as we seem to be putting on nightly productions!

Craving - Watermelon, Broccoli, and lettuce.

Listening - To Tenth Avenue North album The Struggle.... kinda A lot.

Feeling - Exhausted and hopeful.

Appreciating - My church family back in the states. And how they support me emotionally, spiritually, and in every sense of the word.

Frustrated -  That I am always waiting for something or someone.

Friday, April 12, 2013


My house has become somewhat of a revolving door. I guess it has been a revolving door from the day that I stepped foot on Rwandan soil, for a good long haul. With so many girls that are in boarding school, it just kinda is how things work out. The dynamic of the house is constantly changing, the faces are contstantly changing. But lately, I have loved to have two girls who live in Kigali now come to visit. And one thing I have realized as the door swings back and forth, is the relationships that have been made over time.
Time. It really says alot. Where we spend our time. What thoughts occupy our time. Who occupies our time. When we have free time, where we desire to spend it. Time. There never seems to be enough. And when we want it to slow down, it seems to zoom faster. And when we want it to speed up, it comes to a screetching halt. Time can make some things that were once technicolor memories, fade into light greys. Sometimes it makes the heart grow fonder, and other times, it makes things slip away.
But as the door has swung this time. I realize the stories, the inside jokes, the memories we are starting to all share.
"Please, please, Amelie, I am satisified. Please. PLEASE. I am satified." Sometimes I used to tell her when she lived with me, and after I finished my plate, she would be right there with a spoon trying to heap more onto my plate. Now the girls and I joke about this nearly daily. As they will fold their arms over their plates, look at me and say "please....please Tina. I am satisified. PLEASE! I cannot eat no more. Please." And we all bust out laughing.
Or how if we are eating something sweet, or something everyone adores, and we will take our fork, and steal a peice from someone elses plate and exclaim "UMUGANDA!" Which then everyone falls into fits of laughter, or stealing spree's. And no one is upset, that two people just took a peice from you, because you just took a few from them as well. Umuganda is the day here were everyone works to help the community. And so we are just helping each other finish their meal. Umuganda, your fair game. Everyone is fair game.
When I walk into the orphanage and the toddlers see me, and they start to clap and say "Ego! Ego! Ego! Are you sure? Are you sure? Are you sure?" A silly random song I made up one day, and they all mimicked me. So as I ask them all "are you sure?" and say it really slow, so do they. Or if I hop on one foot asking "Are you sure?" so do they. I have no idea why this song and silly little motions caught on. But it did. And now it is routine for every visit down the road to the orphanage, till I am exhausted, and have run out of random motions I thought of off the top of my head.
Time. Time has bound me and so may here with so many sweet memories. Everyday new memories are made and concreted together.  We have all shared in some pretty scary times. Weather that is being woken up at 3am by a house full of screaming girls, tears, half awake faces, me being the most scared of all. Because we had men with machetes who didn't seem to care to leave outside the house. The times we discuss our hopes, and ambitions. The times we are all laughing so hard, none of us can barely breath. Time. It comes with time.
The time here hasn't always been easy. I look back and want to laugh now, thinking of the first few weeks here. Of course then it was hard and scary and ground shaking to me, when theives showed up. But after time, I remember the last time in the old house, just laying in my bed, listening to the guards scuffle with the thieves outside, pressing buttons on my cell phone to keep a small bit of light in my room. And kept dozing off, while I heard the scuffling. Soon, it became something that didn't scare me so much anymore. Time can callous you to things too. Sometimes to things you should not be callous too.
Sometimes time it blends a fine line between brave and crazy.
And now time itself can cause my eyes to mist up.  To see the pictures of the kids, who are growing up back home. To see the milestones, the weddings, the losses. And to be so far away in the midst of it all. The lonesomeness for my friends back home. Time itself has become sometimes cause for some very ugly cries here.
There really isn't a whole lot of time, is there? Whe you think of it. None of us really knows how much we have here on earth. Eternity, the next life, it never ends. When our time here is done, we will find ourselves in a place not restricted by time. No beginning and no end. I know that is where my focus should be the majority of the time. Like presenting a kid with "You can go play in the sand box now, or have the entire beach next week." We are so apt to want the sandbox. We want it now. We want what we want, when we want it, and how we want it. "Do you want a peice of candy now, or do you want a candy store next month?" Why do we often opt for the few peices of candy now. My heart so longs for the day that God will right every wrong, when there will be no more tears, when for eternity we will worship him. But I must admit, so many times, I am sitting there in the sandbox, because I could not wait for something more lasting, something more meaningful, something with eternal value. Time, its hard to wait sometimes.
Kids seem to grow up too fast, the desert times seem too long, and the mountain top times seem to slip through our fingers. Time can callous us, time can heal us, time can make your eyes sting with tears, and time can concrete relationships. Time........ it’s going by far too quickly.
We have seminars on time management, aimed at helping us to organize our time. But really, once we know what our priorities are, then time management shouldn’t really be the issue. We all have the people and places we regret we did not invest more of our time in or at.
Time, can scream of our affection. Esp for someone like me. If you have heard of the love languages, mine is quality time. Time, just to spend some time with a friend chatting, really chatting, fills my love tank up. I had a friend who had a house full of kids, and always a million things to do. Often when she would fold laundry while the children napped, we would sit on the couch and chat. Fold and talk. And that meant more to me than a million dollars. Time, to someone like me is golden.  
Lots of love from Rwanda,

Friday, April 5, 2013

Bon Appetit!!

So, for pretty much 7 months, I have been eating
every single varation of rice, potatoes, and pasta that you
can think of. Even so much as pasta with potatoes mixed in.
Which I actually really like now. 
You sure get your fill of carbs in Africa!!
But then I met the chicken man.
He lives in Goma, and has some pretty delicious chickens.
His real name is Aaron, but that is irrevelent
So I started to call him, and he would cross the border
and bring me chickens when I would call him.
And I learned to cut up a chicken into 8 peices on my own.
I may have danced around the kitchen saying "Boooya!"
And hence has started my Rwandan cooking spree!!
Learning to cut up a whole chicken, has changed my life y'all!
Cajun seasoned roasted chicken? YES!!
Been making my own bread crumb mixture with seasoning and
parmesan cheese. My favorite now to make, chicken nuggetish things.
But then since I went on this chicken kick, it has not stopped there!!

So I decided to try my hand at homemade pasta sauce!!
And then start making spaghetti and meatballs!
Yeah, Africa has just gotten pretty awesome!
And then this morning, it was hashbrown, pancakes, and omeletes.
Learning to make hashbrowns has rocked my mornings!
Why have I waited for 7 and a half months, to start trying to make
these things before? Maybe it was because for like 6 months we cooked on
fire in the backyard. Maybe it is because of the stove.
I think the stove and the chicken man have changed life in Africa
for my little corner in Rwanda.
Bon Appetit!!