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Showing posts from April, 2016

Five-Minute Friday: Pass

I sometimes link up with Five-Minute Friday where we are given a word.  We are supposed to take five minutes only to write about that word.  I like the challenge of fixing a time limit and not having time to edit.  Of course, it can be a bit staged because you can see what the word for the week is, think about it, then sit down and write.....so maybe it's really more than five minutes. :)  Also, for me a good blog always has a picture, so I take a little extra time at the end to add in photos.  The word for this week is "pass".

I also like to link up with Suzanne at Outside the Frame.  This week's theme is to write about your strengths and weakness.  So I thought I'd try to combine the challenges and see what I come up with!

As Suzanne mentioned on her blog, our strengths are also often our weaknesses.  Some of my strengths are that I am very calm and practical.  On the other hand, I'm not always very sympathetic with people who are, shall we say, emotional.  T…

Five Minute Friday: Unite

The idea behind Five Minute Friday is simple.  A word is given at the Heading Home blog and you have five minutes to write on that word.  This week's word is "unite".  Why don't you join in.  You can go to the link above to link in. I love the way my friends here in Niger unite together.  So much is done in groups and being alone is not a concept that is understood.  While John is gone, I am asked all the time if I am lonely.  Being an introvert, and seeing how I'm at the office all day, and because I live on a compound with neighbors, yes, I miss John greatly, but no, honestly, I'm not lonely.  But the majority of Nigerien women would never stay alone in a house.  If a woman doesn't have children, she will usually have a sister or a niece come to live with her to keep her company and to help her with household chores.


Celebrations are opportunities that are seized for showing unity.  At a wedding everybody will buy the same cloth and make outfits that matc…

I Had a Little Buddy

Long ago when our kids were little, I had a little buddy named Karimun.  I'm guessing he was about three years younger than Suzanne, but maybe only two years younger.

His mom cleaned house for me, so I'd take Karimun off her hands and put him on my back until he fell asleep.  Let's face it, I'd rather put the baby to sleep than do the ironing! :)  I would take him to the market with me and on other errands and people would even ask if he was my son.

I missed seeing the President of Niger come to town because of Karimun.  He was a bit big to carry on my back by then, but he was dragging and moaning, so I picked him up to hold him.  I realized he was burning up with a fever, so I took him home.....meanwhile the President came and I missed it.

But I didn't realize how very sick he was.  He'd had malaria off and on, so I took him to the clinic with his mom for more treatment.  When I told the nurse that he'd already had several courses of malaria treatment and was…

Books on Marriage....finally found one I like!

A lot of books on marriage just frustrate me.  They seem to over-generalize: “all women are like this and this” and “all men are like this and this”.  "Men are from Venus, women are from Mars."  "Women are emotional and intuitive"; "men are strong and make decisions based on data."  I read these books and think, that doesn’t describe me, that doesn’t describe John.  Are we really that a-typical?  There are very few books on marriage that I have found helpful or that I would recommend.
     So, I was really surprised when I started reading Fierce Women:  The Power of a Soft Warrior by Kimberly Wagner.  I resonated with so much of what she said and was convicted in each and every chapter.  I wasn’t sure I liked the choice of word “fierce”.  I think I personally would prefer “strong”.
     I come from a line of strong women.  My great-grandmother’s family moved from Indiana to Nebraska in a covered wagon and lived for a while in a sod house.  When she was…

Stocking Up for the Lean Times

From December through March, we have so many wonderful fresh fruits and vegetables.  Much of the fruit is imported from other African countries nearby and some is even flown in from far away places such as South Africa.



A lot of the vegetables are grown in local gardens and are delivered fresh to vegetable stands around town.  



Some vegetables, such as zucchini and onions, we can find almost year around.  Others, like broccoli and cauliflower, are here for about two months and then we don't see them again for another year.



And some is grown right here in our yard, such as tomatoes and cilantro and other herbs.  John does all the gardening work!



And then the hot season comes.  And we have days like today when it was 111 degrees in the shade.  And it is currently 106 degrees at 8:45 p.m.  And all the vegetables, just like the people, kind of wilt and look sad and droopy.  And then before you know it the only things available are the limp zucchini, onions, and some imported fruit.  And t…