Archive for November, 2009

market girl


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Dinner Time

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Pi Day!

Today my sixth graders made a momumental step in their academic careers. They learned, for the first time ever, about Pi! We had actually already talked about Greek letters in history, so the symbol was vaguely familiar. To celebrate this happy day, I made frozen peanut butter pie…in a sauce pan… we have no pie pans I discovered at about 9:00 pm last night. It was that or the  square casserole dish. But it HAD to be round, obviously, for Pi Day. (Can you tell it froze on a tilt?)

*Jacque desires I inform you that she whipped the cream. I live with a super star. 🙂

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My life is so much more defined by routine than ever before. It seems ironic that this truth lives right next to the fact that this place is so foreign to anywhere else I’ve ever lived.  So much sameness amidst such a big different. I’m reminded of a discussion C.S. Lewis pens in either Mere Christianity or The Screw Tape Letters. He says God made humans to need patterns and familiarity, but also variety and change. Take seasons as a prime example of both of those ideas. The dependable yearly cycle of each: winter, spring, summer, fall. But when you’re living in one season and the next comes, what beautiful variety! What a welcomed change from the previous months. New colors, new clothes, new holidays, new scenery in the world around you. Thrilling variety to enjoy and delight in. This concept is true in art, too; a successful composition generally has a balance of unity and variety to be aesthetically pleasing.

Here in Togo, my experience of variety and constancy is so flip flopped! Seasons are NOT familiar or as varied and almost everything is unfamiliar, but what I do with nearly every day and evening of my week is very constant. I’ve said in conversation to family that my world here is so small, but it’s taken a while to realize what exactly I meant by that. Let me be clear that this reality in itself is a neutral thing. It is not inherently positive or negative, but can FEEL positive or negative on any given day. Now let me explain what I mean by “small world.” Rigorous routine and constancy in my schedule means there isn’t a lot of options for what I can do. The reasons for this include:  my time/life is at the service of families who need set routines to do their family life and their work, I don’t have a car, I don’t speak the language, this is a small town with out many options for going out or entertainment (there are a couple restaurants and a hotel with a pool), I have a very small social circle, and I don’t have internet at my house. This is reality, this is fine, and usually I’m very content with these things. I have moments of longing for people, places, and activities, but always with the voice of truth reminding me, “These are not the things of substance that have eternal value in the kingdom. And they are not what should make you happy.”

In college, the world was open to any and every possibility. My time was my own, and I could imagine a hundred different adventures in my future. Well a hundred adventures don’t happen at once. Only one does. And sometimes something worth doing doesn’t feel like an adventure every day. The bible talks so much about working hard, about discipline. I believe the Lord is teaching me that, along with steadiness.

The positive side of having a small world is a novel treasure after the chaotic stress of college life. It is simplicity. It is clarity of purpose and sufficient rest. After a day of work I can read or draw for fun. I can take pictures, journal, read my bible, and meditate. I have a steady workload, without which I would be bored and restless and unhappy. After crazy sleep deprivation and immense stress in college, I appreciate a slower pace of life… And still I miss so many people, so much beauty about home as well. I’m full of contradicting emotions. But still, I can cling to and rest in Truth. “The Lord is in His Holy Temple, the Lord is on His Heavenly Throne.” -Psalm 11:4

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We had the fall festival in the Reeves yard. They made this sign in festive orange for the occasion. Here is Becky Reeves and some of the kids.

fall fest sign_S

Jacque painted some adorable balloons on my cheek 🙂

Hannah Reeves and Maddie Kennell hang from a tree. My cute little monkey girls.


Hannah and Mads in tree_S

Here I am painting Nicole Kennell’s cheek. Andrea Miller and I were the face painters. 

painting NIcole's face_S

Anna Marie Miller. So cute.

Anna Marie Miller_S

The intense participants of the pumpkin rolling relay race.

pumpkin relay race_S

Elijah Reeves and Aidan Miller (left to right). They’re such fun! They’re creative ideas and passion reflect that of their parents. They’re going to grow up to be mighty men in God’s kingdom. 

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A girl gets water

getting water_Sthis is how most people in town get their water. Many of the buckets are 4 times that size, but flatter and wider. And they don’t slosh.

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