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Showing posts from September, 2014

Fighting the Battle

Malaria is a killer disease and it's a common disease.  The mosquitoes that transmit malaria are extremely common and numerous.  And it seems that half of them live in our house.  I have never, ever lived in a house that has as many mosquitoes as this one.  In Tera we could sit outside in the evening and get bit less than we do inside here.  It seems that we wage constant battle against mosquitoes even though we have good screens on our windows that don't seem to be full of holes.

We have a handy tennis racket zapper.  This is extremely satisfying when you make connection with a mosquito and hear the frying sound.  However, it doesn't just work on its own.  It requires that a person picks it up and makes contact with a mosquito.  So, it doesn't work so well if you're trying to eat dinner or sleep.

We have a new little contraption another family told us about.  It has blue LED lights which apparently attract mosquitoes.  There is also a small fan inside.  So when the …

Looking back on Our Vacation

We are so thankful we were able to go back to the USA for a month.  Our main reason for going was to help our daughter when her first child was born.  We spent the majority of our time welcoming the new love of our life, our first granddaughter.  We did a lot of cooking, cleaning, laundry, and caring for pets, but we also did a lot of cuddling, snuggling, and loving on this beautiful baby.  It was with tears and sadness that we left....it may be two years before we get back to the USA.  We are just very thankful for emails, Skype, and Facebook.  When I was a kid my grandparents didn't have those luxuries.

While in Ohio with Suzanne, Theo, and Tera we did a few fun things like going to the Corn Festival (yes, it is southern Ohio, after all!)
and visiting Yellow Springs, a nearby small town that has a very unique atmosphere.  
We also went to Young's one night where we played mini golf and had ice cream afterwards.  And we all went to a Thai restaurant for our anniversary.  But m…

What It Takes to Get a Doctorate, Part II

I forgot to mention another part of John's doctoral process.  As he transcribes the interviews he has had to figure out a way to keep track of his findings and to analyze what people have said.  There are computer programs one can buy to help with this, but we've heard mixed reviews on them.  John's conclusion is that it sounds like a lot of money to shell out for a program that may or may not be very useful.

So, John goes through each transcription and codes the interview with a note such as "griots" or "traditional views of music" or "worship music".  Each subject is given a code number.


 Some paragraphs may have more than one code applied to them.  So we have to print each page twice if the comment has to codes applied, three times if it has three codes, etc.
He then prints out the interview and we cut them up and glue them on to 5x7 inch cards.  

Then we file them in a box under the code number..."griot" for example might be #5, so w…

What It Takes to Get a Doctorate

No, I have no plans to get a doctorate!  But John is working on his.  He is getting is degree under the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies which works in conjunction with Middlesex University.  


So when he gets his official piece of paper it will be from Middlesex University.  He is doing his research on the Songhai music and its use in church (that's a very simplified description....you'll have to talk to him personally if you want to know more!).  He is working on it part-time, so it will take about six years.  I think he is about half way through it now.

The British system is quite different from the American system so what I describe here may be quite different than what you've heard other people talk about.  Even within the US, I've heard of very different procedures for obtaining a degree.  Because John does not live in Oxford, most of his degree involves research.  He doesn't go to classes at all.  He is required to be in Oxford six weeks every year.  While he …