Thursday, December 25, 2008

Jelly Belly Christmas

Thanks to my aunt Judy I received a package with wonderful pictures of my family. Included in this package was also these lovely jelly bellies!! I was so impressed that she remembered that these are my favorite. So I shared with some of the friends here and we decided the mixture to make candy apple was good and pink lemonade. Thanks Judy!!

Thursday, December 18, 2008


After a long trip and much entertainment, this is what turned out of my suitcase. Hmmm. So I started at the train station to go from Seville, Spain to Madrid. When I got up to the counter to purchase a ticket my card would not work. So I went to the ATM to get cash. The first machine didn’t work, the second machine didn’t work, the third and last one… you guessed it, it didn’t work. So here is when I freak out just a little bit. I don’t have the numbers of anyone in Seville and I have no other way of getting money, so I am just completely feeling quite scared that I may be stuck here, I pray and apologize to God for getting so frustrated and saying something I should not have, then I go up to the ATM one last time and it works. Hallelujah, praise Jesus! I get onto the train with about 5 minutes to spare. Some of you may think that is no big deal, but I don’t mind being an hour early. I have about 2 hours to relax and I do. I arrive in Madrid at about 12:30 and my flight is at 3:30, so I am pretty sure I am going to have plenty of time. I get my suitcase off of the train and one of the wheels breaks. Not off completely, but enough that every few feet I have to fix it. From the train I have to take the subway, or here they call it the metro to the airport. I have to take 3 different lines to get there. I make it on the first one just fine, but I head down the escalators to get to the second and my wheel breaks off completely. The guy behind me trying to be polite hands the wheel to me, I say gracious and move on. I then have to go down another set of escalators and this time I wish you all would have been there because it was like watching Elf, but in real life and I was going down and not up. I got to the escalator and since I have a wheel missing I carefully pick up my suitcase and I am about to put it on the escalator. What I don’t realize is that my left foot is already on the escalator while my right and suitcase are not. So my foot just starts going down and down. So I try not to panic, and the guy behind me is trying not to laugh, although I would have been in hysterics. He kind of helps me, but in the process the other wheel pops off. Hah. I couldn’t help but laugh and tell him gracious as he hands me the wheel that I don’t have any idea what to do with. =) I am finally on my last ride. I could get off at terminal 1, 2, and 3 at one stop or terminal 4 at another stop. Well, you would think this would be where I look at my ticket, but no not me. I thought since I arrived at terminal 4 last time, that its probably where I should go this time. I get off at terminal 4 and look at screen and my flight is nowhere to be found. So I get out my ticket and sure enough it is at terminal 2. I get back on the metro and get to terminal 2. I get to the counter and my arms are quite tired by now since I was carrying my suitcase and it is now 2:30. The lady is so nice and gives me the sweetest smile and a bunch of tape to fix my suitcase. Boy did it look trashy by the end. But I made it! and my beautiful luggage did too. Now everyone breathe. =)

Friday, December 5, 2008

Columbus sailed the ocean blue in....

My first day in Seville was spent going down town and walking around. We started our day at about 11 am and ended taking a bus home around 10 and bed didn't happen until who knows. One of first stops was one the largest cathedrals ever!! It was the Santa Metropolitana Patriarcal Iglesia Cathedral de Sevilla. I literally had my mouth open for the remainder of the visit. I was in awe. I had never seen a confessional before and these were very beautiful and elaborate, there was a room that the walls were made completely of gold, you could walk up to the top of it and see the view of all Seville. The first picture is from the top of the cathedral, second is from outside, and the third picture here is Christopher Columbus' tomb. How amazing is that? Hope you all enjoy.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Family Reunion!

Upon coming to Zambia a second time I had a wish and that was to get to see the family that I stayed with my first time coming. I had planned on taking a trip to see them, but before that happened I ran into my sister at the camp. I had the opportunity to give her all the pictures that a friend developed for me in the states (Cody, they absolutely loved the pictures!!!) and then tell her I was going to come see them.

A few days later I am walking through the market and I hear "Angela." Now you would think that I would just keep walking, but if you remember that is my Zambian name that this family gave to me. I look over and it's my Zambian mom, Agnus. We had a brief moment to catch up and her tell me she has showed the pictures to the whole family! It was wonderful!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Field trip to the Farm

One day we took all the kiddos to a farm down the road. This baby goat let everyone hold him. We also saw rabbits, chickens, cows, pigs (a dead skinned one too), Guinea fowl... and a fun ride in a ox cart. This is Madi and Justin. We had a blast.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Fantasic Four

So here in Malawi we have come up with our own fantastic four and they include plastic, metal, wood, and straw. In these photos we have the amazing women with plastic buckets.. water women, then wood man, which his pile is kind of small compared to some that we have seen. Third we have metal woman, and last straw man!!! These men and women carry things on their head or on their bikes and its just amazing to me!!! Please enjoy our very own Malawi Fantastic four.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Sorry for the delay....

Hey friends. I am using someone elses computer for the next 2 weeks, so I am without pictures for a while. But fun ones are coming, I promise! And all is well with me!!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Goat slaying 101

I bet you were expecting a horrible picture! No worries. On this particular day, I was very busy. I had to go to the market with the team, we picked up a goat, headed to the village, drop people off for ministry training, drive to the house where we were having lunch, help kill a goat (yes, you have it correct), then we headed to the market to buy produce, and we ate the goat for lunch (it was quite tasty), then lastly after all the meetings I got this great picture with these boys. You can't see, but I was blessed with goat blood splattered on my shirt. I do have video of the goat, but I hear some people would prefer not to see it. If you do want to see pictures of me killing the goat, you can email and I will send you a pic. To make this story even cooler, we saved the skin so that our friend Phillip can make a drum from the skin. I'm taking it to him tomorrow. Awesome, very awesome!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


A few Saturdays ago we had the opportunity of going to our first engagement and taking the two volunteer teams with us. So there was over 20 white people at this party. The two soon to be married were Lewis and Thokozani. Lewis was our language teacher and also one of the interpreters for our group. Here an engagement is like a wedding. When they get engaged, they have to get divorced to end the relationship. So… what is fun about this party you ask??? There are a few things! The groom comes out with another man with their faces covered and the uncle has to pick which one it is. Then the groom holds a basket and the DJ has everyone come and give the groom money. If you have brown hair come give money. If you are pastor, come give money. If your are an mzungu (white) come give money. Then, the bride comes out with 2 other ladies with their faces covered and you have to guess which one is the bride. The aunt has to pay to pick the right one and if she picks the wrong one, she pays more. What was tricky, was the bride was not even in the first group of 3 girls, she ended up being in the second group. So we gave money lots of times! It was so much fun!!! And some of the guys broke out into some great dances including the worm. I got a lot of ideas for my friends and when they get married.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Birthdays.. birthdays

We have been celebrating Johanna’s birthday throughout the month of August. You should never only have one party!! At the new school that we are teaching at the head mistress said that she wanted to meet with both of us. I thought… I sure hope that after only a week of teaching here that I am not in trouble. So we sit down in the conference room and the other two ladies sit down next to Mrs. Beatrice and then they break into Happy Birthday. It was great. Surprised us both. And they got her the wood carving of Malawi. On top of having cake now at least 3 times, we are planning a trip to the lake with the ladies and one more dinner to celebrate Johanna turning a ¼ of a century. Whoo hoo for birthdays!!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Gule Wamkulu

From what I have learned the Gule wankulu consists of a secret society based on animism. Most of the costumes represent animals. These men are usually tribal dancers. They often are used for entertainment, such as weddings or celebrations. When a new chief comes to a village they are hired to dance. Their meetings are taken place in graveyards. This is where they initiate new people and where they all get dressed and prepared for meetings. They almost always have a group of women following them. They dress as different characters or different animals. When they put on the costume they are no longer human, they are the type of animal they are wearing. One of the pictures I have taken looks like the men are wearing my grandma's aprons. Quite amuzing. Although most of them are just for entertainment, some are also used to call spirits. We have seen some while driving and instead of wanting to laugh, I have felt a need to pray. They made me feel very uncomfortable. Some like the ones in the aprons.. we just laugh at and try to figure out what kind of animal they are trying to be. What do you think these men are???

Monday, August 4, 2008

Happy Birthday MOM!!!!!!!! (and Johanna!)

On Thursday night we had a girls night. We had great food and we watched Hairspray. I made this lovely sign for my mom and then since we had just watched the movie, we felt like there needed to be some great poses. We took two and this one was my favorite!! Mom, I do love you and miss those great long phone calls. The bottom of the sign says "love you and miss you." My supervisor is in pink, that is joviel Janet. Then we have the adorable Anna Marie on the end in the striped shirt, Joyful Johanna is next to Anna Marie, then there is the lovely Lisa in blue, who happens to be Anna's mom. And then there is Spontaneous Sam in black and her mom Marvelous Mary on the other end. Just fabulous ladies!! just fabulous!! And happy birthday roomie!!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Red Light, Green light (Aka:stop, go)

After a week in the village, the last day we spent the afternoon playing with the ladies and their children. While many of the men were setting up for the Jesus film I was having a blast. They taught me a few great games where there was a lot of running, dancing and laughing!!! After many of their games they annouced that they wanted us to teach them some games. This would be red light, green light. Here I am trying to show the ladies to run when the leaders back was turned. It was quite entertaining because I met some of the most competitive women that day. These ladies kicked some tail on duck, duck, goose. We renamed it duck, duck, chicken because they didn’t have a word for goose. Duck is “dnima,” so you say “ndima, ndima, ….koo koo. Man those ladies can run and the children, but most of the ladies were carrying their children on their backs and still running with all their might!! I lost a few calories this day!!!!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Our bathroom after a summer of teams...

Throughout the summer if we are lucky the volunteer teams leave us goodies. These goodies include things such as granola bars, fruit roll ups, cheese crackers, pop tarts, vanilla wafers, real Fritos, sunglasses (for me), and many skirts from all the ladies, or at least I think only the ladies gave us skirts. But the one of the best has been the shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and lotion. Although many of these bottles are almost empty we enjoy them ever so much. They are ridiculously priced here!! And I was recently introduced to "love spell." No, no one tried to trick me into falling in love with them.. although I have that effect on many. =) Anyway, Its like any many miney moe (never actually spelled that.. don’t know if that’s right) in the shower. Our guard that cleans our house once a week organized them and I think he might of color coordinated them as well. Way to go Charles.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Mozambique Bound

This past month has been busy with all the volunteer teams, and once they left we went to see some friends. I'm sorry it has been a month since an update. I will try my best to update away. We spent 4 days in Mozambique and I was blessed with another stamp in my passport and having the feeling once again that I don't understand anyting. It is a Portuguese speaking country. Where we went you spoke Portuguese or yao. It was funny when I did actually have a conversation with a man, it was in Chichewa. Never thought that would happen. My chichewa was very broken, but I was able to tell him where I was from and where I was going. First breakthrough in Chichewa 101. My teacher will be proud.

Friday, June 27, 2008

We were very blessed to spend time with the secretary at Dzuka and she is precious. She was so hospitable towards us and cooked us lunch everyday. Her sweet sweet smile is contagious. She asked us many questions about God, and knew all the right things to say, but she does not know Jesus. I love spending time with her and already feel so blessed to have met her. She and her husband are building and new home and have invited us to their house warming party. I am really excited about continuing a friendship with her!! and..Sandra, I shared my playdough with her and she had so much fun with it, maybe more fun than her daughter.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Definetely a hair no no: cornrolls

So we only taught at Dzuka girls school for two weeks, but we had a blast. A few of them really wanted to play with our hair and here is the results of me letting them braid my hair. And you may be fooled… it almost looks decent, but check it out in the next picture. =) They fixed Kelly’s and my hair… we were styling and I had a pretty nice headache later that day to show for it. A few days later another girl really wanted to play with my slippery hair and she put it once again in a side ponytail. I don't know any of you can say that you looked like Napoleon's girlfriend twice in one week, but I sure can!! I am guessing that the 80s are back in... or at least in Malawi.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Funky Monkey


At the end of out trip to Zambia we went to Livingstone to see Victoria Falls. While we were there we went to a pizza place about 2 minutes from the place we were staying at. It was good food and we had milk shakes that were ALMOST thick. It was awesome. I just couldn’t help myself I thought I would drink from all of them. =) They were actually all empty when I took a drink. And no I didn’t get bit by a baboon on my nose, just a sunburn gone bad, but all is good. And just in case you were wondering, my nose has fully recovered!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Home Sweet Home

This was my house for 4 days. It was really cute and cozy. We did have a few friends, but found it easiest to just name them and not think about them at night. One of the mice, maybe rats.. I don’t know the difference (it was pretty big) I met him face to face. He was named Charles. At night we had mosquito nets and they were called our happy place. And believe me, it was. With all that said… I did absolutely love my village stay and am so glad I had the opportunity and would jump on it again in a heartbeat. The extra critters just made it really fun for stories later. Try going to the bathroom and a cockroach fall down your shirt, which happened to one of the girls staying with us. Fun times!! The ones (cockroaches, not people) that were with me in the chimbudzi (bathroom) just fell on my head or ran across my foot, I was very thankful one didn’t land in my shirt!!

Sunday, June 8, 2008


I never did learn this lady's name because everyone called her agogo (grandma) or Amayi (mom). I love this pictures because you can see so much detail. To Agogo's right is where we washed the dishes and then placed them on top to dry. Next to the drying area is the bath house. Every day Agnus would heat water for us and put it in a bucket and put it in the bath house for you. If you look closely, this was made out of straw and there were many gaps. Talk about feeling a little bit vulerable!! And, you stepped up into the house, so it was just about as tall as me. Not that planes ever flew by, but if they had and they probably have in the past, they would of got a pretty nice show. Then to her left is a storage bin. It is full of maize. We picked the "corn" with her in the field, then they store it in these bins. Every morning Agogo came to visit us. It was such a blessing. We didn't share much because there was a huge language barrier, but just knowing she wanted to come and sit with us, brought a smile to my face!! Philipians 1:3 says "I thank my God upon every rememberance of you!" That is what I feel when I think of all my friends and family. And now.. that is what I think of when I see pictures of this village and my Zambian family.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Introducing..Angela Phiri

I bet many of you were wondering if you were ever going to get a new update from me. Well, here I am. Thanks for patience. After over a month in Zambia, we are home. While I was there I was given a new name. My new name is Angela Phiri because Kym is a boy name. I knew it was in China, didn't know it was in Zambia as well. So here I am with my family in Zambia. Agnus was our mom for the week. When she asked me to pray in church, she said she wanted her daughter to pray and asked "Angela" to stand. It was very sweet. She is in the back with the Tommy sweatshirt on. The sweet older ladies were like the grandmas of the village, they came to see us each morning. The babies name is Katy and they had me hold her many times just to see her cry because she never did get used to us. =) It was such an awesome visit and I know if we were able to go back to visit, they would be waiting with open arms.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Thako Village

Today we went to a village for church. When we arrived, there was a funeral in Thako village, which is the neighboring village, so everyone was gone. We decided to walk there to give our regards, which ended up being about 2 kilometers, maybe a little bit longer. After walking through 2 streams in flip-flops, up some shady rocks, (and no that does not me we went under a tree, these rocks were slippery and steep) and many maize fields, we arrived. The funeral is usually all day, so when we got there, the procession had already started. Everyone walks by and sings and then sits down and waits. Since we were not formally invited, we didn’t have to stay the whole day. We met many of the deacons, and the chief of the village. We sang a few songs, and then started walking back. It was really hot and with the altitude, we were all having a little bit of a hard time except for Chifundo. He thought it was quite entertaining that the white people were out of breath. This is the path that we took. If you look at the top of the hill that is the road we were heading for, when you reached the top of the hill, you were then about half way back to the village. It was a really neat experience because many women were carrying food or water on their heads and traveling on this path. I met some very sweet ladies.
Here is the entertainment, or what I thought was stinking hilarious. In Chichewa, would you like to know what Thako is?? Our supervisors shared with us that you don’t ever want to invite someone over for tacos because… taco or thako means your buttocks, or dairy ere, or you know whatever you want to call it. Also a volunteer team had done really well with not saying anything wrong in Chichewa, but at the very end of their week they were riding in the back of a truck and started saying taco bueno (which most of us would just be thinking you were talking about a restaurant), but that means nice butt in Chichewa. They got some really weird stares when they said it to other men in the streets. =) So when someone asked us where we had been yesterday, I was able to say we went to Buttville. I bet you can’t say that everyday. Hopefully none of you took offense to that…if you did, my apologies. I couldn’t resist, found it quite amusing.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Pens and Flat Stanley

So a very sweet girl by the name of Courtney
in Alabama sent me a letter. If you guys know about flat Stanley, then just ignore the next few sentences. Courtney’s class read about a boy who became so flat that he could go on vacation by traveling anywhere in a envelope. Well Courtney named hers’ flat Carly and Carly was sent to me here in Malawi.

When returning from South Africa I was blessed with some packages, one of them had pens in it from my church the others had m&ms. We handed out the pens to all of standard 7 & 8. The students were so excited. Then we gave all of the preschoolers and standard 1-6 a few m&ms each. It was there first time to ever have one. Try to remember when you had an m&m for the first time?? I bet you were a lot younger than any of these kids. If you look in the back there is a kid with his tongue sticking out, he has a blue m&m in his mouth. The other picture is with our standard 8 and flat Carly. I am pretty sure Carly had a very fun time. Courtney, if you read this, thanks for sending her our way!!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

We love to see you smile...

So what is the saying?? “it’s a small world.” You bet it is. At our singles retreat in South Africa I walked into the home and looked a girl and she looked at me and we realized that we knew each other. Turns out that we were in a crazy beginning guitar class at OBU. So across the world I run into a fellow OBUer. SO cool!! and all of you who would appreciate this, yes we did go with KaRip. It was such a great time of reconnecting and …we got to have McDs. The French fries are still as good as I remember. And who leaves mcds without a picture with Ronald himself? We definetely had to.

Monday, March 31, 2008


Today my sweet cousin Lauryn is 9 years old. I miss you and our great sleepovers sista. Hope you had a great one!!!

Friday, March 28, 2008

So the last day with the kids we were taking lots of pictures, here is one of the many. These are some of the standard 8 students. The one on the bottom looking like he is throwing up a gangster sign is Watson. He is really funny. Most of the time he enjoyed making gestures that he thought looked American. It was quite entertaining. The girl that is actually shorter than me, she is Charity. She was the smartest in our class. Very impressive, and so polite. The guy smiling right by my ear is Dennis. He was always willing and ready to do anything we asked and one day when we played hangman he picked Jet Lee for me to put on the board. Nice! The girl in black is Mercy, and she is 6’1. She is funny, smart, and a very good netball player. We have decided we need to find a recruiter to come to Malawi. The guy sticking his tongue it is Lupakisyo. (lu-pa-kiss-e-o). I always wanted to call him Picasso, so he laughed with me all the time and by the end of our two months there, I did actually get his name right. The guy in blue and orange is Ishmael. He has the most beautiful smile, and he was such an actor. You couldn’t help but be entertained by him. The guy right behind me is Yorram, and if he could be in the army he would. One of the strongest and tallest guys ever. He was also the “popular” one. He could easily get everyone’s attention. The other girl with her tongue sticking out is Apatsa. In Chichewa apatsa means, to give. And Apatsa lived up to her name. She has the sweetest, giving spirit. Next to Apatsa with the blue shawl is Naomi. Anytime Naomi saw us she greeted me with “what’s up?” I taught them that phrase the first week and from then on, she always asked me. It was so sweet. On the very bottom chilling out is Andrew. Andrew was I think by far the hardest worker. Even when he didn’t understand something, he kept trying and trying. If only all students would do that. Last is Charles in the white shirt in the back. Charles was an entertainer just like Ishmael and Watson; together you could have had the three amigos. What a great crew.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Friday, March 21, 2008

Are you nkhuku? (koo koo)

What you are looking at if you didn't figure it out is a a chicken foot and in chichewa a chicken is called a nkhuku. Which is what I was feeling when I ate that thing. Here's the story....our teachers threw us a going away party because Thursday was our last day at the school. When I was fixing my plate I grabed what I thought was a leg, and then I noticed after it was already on my plate that it was a foot....YIKES. So what is proper etiquette here, I have no idea. What do I do??? I asked one of the other teachers how to eat it and she gets one and procedes to eat the feet, finger nails and all. WOW!!! What in the world do I do?? I picked that thing up and ate it. "She ate it bones and all!" Fun times.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Wheres Kym???? Oh wait…she’s the mzungu (white person)

So everywhere we go in the village, even though we have been going there now for 2 months, they yell mzungu, mzungu. We find it quite entertaining. I feel like I am in a parade everyday. I have perfected the beauty pageant wave and now I will have to find a year round parade or something when I get back. I wont know what to do when people don’t wave at me when I drive by. =) Ok, so on this particular day, we were waiting for our class to start with standard 8 and these sweet kids surrounded me. OK, so I admit it, I know you are not supposed to have favorites, but I love the kid on the end in yellow. The first day we met, I didn’t mean to but I scared him pretty bad. We actually didnt meet, I was running around a building and when I reached the other side he was there and when he saw me, he screamed and went running. I didn't know I could have that kind of affect on kids, but it happens here quite often. But, then the next day he thought it was a game and we have been playing chase ever since. I LOVE IT and I don’t know, I may be wrong, but I am pretty sure he loves it too!!!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Hand stacks... Is that what you call it???

This is one of my favorites. Johanna took it for me. I love how the little girl has leaned forward at the perfect time for the picture!! So cute. I really wanted a picture of my hands surrounded by all their sweet hands. The contrast in our skin color I think looks so cool. I am gradually getting darker from the sun, but I still get burnt, and the teachers here laugh at me regularly. The first time I started peeling, one of the students told me I was like a fish with scales (this was right before I peeled and my skinned was kind of bubbly), and then when I started peeling they told me I was like a snake. Pretty cool that I ended up being two different animals in one week. And the teachers helped peel the skin off of my arms. I know, kind of gross, but they were very helpful.
Hope you enjoy seeing the picture as much as I did playing the game with them. If anyone can tell me the real name of this game, that would be great. Hand stack was all Johanna and I could come up with.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Cheeze it up!!!

This is our standard 7 students. They are the most well behaved students I have ever had. The one if the front raising his hands in the air is Chefoma, he is so funny. Would definitely be the class clown back in the states. The tallest boy in the back is Isaac and he loves to smile. And his favorite song is baby shark. He especially likes when we have a “shark attack.” Down towards the front in the middle with the red shirt is James. He is I think maybe the most polite student I have ever met. He always wants to help and has a smile on his face all the time. (he is very good in math too). Last, I want to tell you about one more student, he is in front with a plaid shirt on and is not looking at the camera at all. That is Chembekezu (chim-ba-ga-sue). He is so smart and a really good speller. He really likes it when you give him challenging words, he also tries to teach me a Chichewa word everyday. Pangona pangona (little by little) I will have it down. Thanks for reading a little about my students that I love getting to work with everyday!!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Mail Call....and new hair

So I received my first package ever and it was by far stinking exciting. I must brag on my aunt for a few sentences because she is the one who sent the first one.( if you send one I just might brag on you too) My aunt Linda is awesome. (I miss hanging out with you tremendously Linda!!). When I moved to Conway I had the opportunity of getting to know her on a friendship level and not just “family” level. I am so very blessed that she is part of my family, but even more blessed that she is one of my friends!! We often watched movies together and just enjoyed each other’s company. Along with being my movie buddy she was also my hair stylist. I would stop at Sonic and get her a regular coke and me a diet and then head to her house and she would cut my hair. She has cut it many many times and I am so thankful. So, now I am in Malawi and Linda is not here…. Sad sad sad. The other night after having an attack in our house of fleas and mosquitos I was feeling very itchy and when I got out of the shower I had an “I need to cut my hair moment.” Now usually these pass and Johanna a few times had reminded me that my hair is very cute long. But this particular night I was combing my hair and I grab some scissors and cut. This is the result of my hair cut. I must say…its not too shabby for being cut by myself. After I cut it I had Johanna check the back to make sure it didn’t look ridiculous and I am guessing that it must look ok or Johanna lied to me to make me feel ok. If by chance you cant see my address or haven’t seen it yet in an email….here it is. And if you send something in a padded envelope it is much more likely to get here. =) Thank guys!!! Miss ya and would love to hear from everyone.

Kym Pennington
Baptist Mission
P O Box 1001
Lilongwe, Malawi

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Just around the Corner

So last week we were invited to escort one of the other teachers home. On this particular day the headmaster had told us that they would be preparing lunch for us. So we told the teacher we could not be gone very long because they were going to have lunch for us. She told us no problem and we were off. We started walking and she told us it was just around the corner and it was not far. We kept going another 5 minutes and we went around another curve and through another neighborhood and she said “we are almost there, just a little bit farther,” so we walked about another 5 minutes and she tells us it is just around the corner, so another 5 minutes have passed and now we are in the middle of the village and have made so many turns I couldn’t tell you even if a lion was chasing me how to get out of the village. We finally walked by another home and she tells us we are in her neighborhood. We left the school at noon and arrived at madam’s house at 12:35. On any other day, this would have been ok, but like I mentioned earlier, they were preparing us lunch and actually it was probably waiting for us. (sure enough it was). We arrive at madams home and were greeted by her squealing mother who is so very pleased to have us. It was the best bear hug I had had in a very long time!!! We go inside and have a seat in the living room. While we are sitting there…the true Malawi or African thing happens. All of madam’s neighbors start coming and sitting down. They don’t say anything, but they all find a seat. It was quite a quotable moment because Johanna and I read a book that talks about this exact moment. Fun fun fun. They are all there because they don’t want to leave us alone. Malawians believe that you dont ever want to be left alone. So although the ackward silence was almost unbearable for me, it is completely normal there. After about 8 people coming in a sitting down we had some introductions and I was able to say she had a very nice home in chichewa, and then we told Madam that me might need to go. She said she just needed to eat really quick and then we would go, go. Yes this is a great term here. There is go and go, go. and there is now and now, now. When they say now now or go go, it is really that minute, but otherwise, not so much. So madam ate quickly and we were on our way. We arrived back at the school at 1:10. So the few minutes we thought we would be gone turned into an hour. The headmaster was very understanding and we then ate our lunch.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Need a gardener, landscaper, housecleaner, ironer, dog walker, or guard?????

This is Charles. He is our day guard that watches our house. But he is also all the things mentioned above. In the picture he is cutting the grass. Yea, you got it right, cutting the grass. If you ever thought you had it ruff with mowing the lawn, think again. So, one Wednesday we decided to ask him if he would take our dog Kiyara to get dipped (if you don’t know what dipping is except for a really bad habit, let me explain, because I had no idea what it was either. If you do already know, just humor me). There is a veterinary clinic down the road from us and every Friday they have dipping for the animals. They are put in a huge bucket and cleaned to get rid of fleas or any other gross insects that might be infected on their body. When we asked Charles to do this, he was so excited because he gets really bored during the day. Then when we asked him if he would do our dishes on Fridays, he was even more excited. This past Friday we went out and when we returned our whole house was clean and he asked if he could iron clothes next time. I could not believe it. I was in heaven. I did not realize how incredible of a feeling it is to come home to a spotless house. We had a pretty clean house, but spotless….no. It was so great!!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Suffering for Jesus…..the sacrifices we make

So this past Friday we went to the lake. I must say this is by far one of the hardest things I have had to do so far in my ministry here. If the Lord needed me to go every Friday, I just don’t know if I could handle it. I would really have to pray about that decision. Man, it was hard work; especially the part where we slept under the umbrella and did absolutely nothing. Being a missionary is such a hard life!! Ok, ok, so of course its not hard work. After being on the field for a month our supervisors thought it would be nice to go to the lake for the day. The everyday easy things that you can do in America… like driving, grocery shopping, getting your mail, cooking, and teaching, are magnified here and can be quite stressful. I have students who kind of give me blank stares sometimes and tell me I am talking way too fast. I hit a bicyclist the other day; actually according to Johanna he hit me. You constantly have to keep your eyes open for random objects in the road. Our mailbox is not at our house; it is down town, which is entertaining because everyone is always at the post office. You would think there was a party there. (oh wait, I was there, so there was a party) =) Grocery shopping takes about half a day because there is never everything at one store and the store you saw an item at last week, well it just might not be there this week. You never know, that is what makes it even more fun. Which secretly…don’t tell Johanna, but I enjoy shopping. And a really like it when I remember that something was cheaper at one store than another and we get a bargain. I love bargains!!! After over a month of busyness, we got to take a mini-day vaca. So…. the lake was absolutely incredible. There were not motorized anything on the water, so all you heard was pure waves…nice!!! And there weren’t very many people on the shore, just as quiet as can be except for the waiters coming to see if we would like anything to drink. The coke light was almost heavenly! I was sitting there reading my Bible, listening to the tide come in and drinking my coke light. Wow!! I am so thankful that God blessed us with a day off and we were able to enjoy his beautiful scenery with no interruptions. Awesome, awesome!! We also saw 15 baboons, or like I have been saying Ba-boons, but also I called them bamboos, and baboos, and baboobs. I know I just couldn’t get their name right. Pretty entertaining for Johanna. And she reminded me that actually we saw a lot of baboobs at church in the village on Sunday. But something that was absolutely incredible was 35 baptisms, yes you read it correctly 35. And I held a baby that didn’t cry, it was a miracle. Us white people can be pretty scary to those sweet village babies. We left the village on Sunday and had sloppy joes for lunch and I was blessed to have a Sunday afternoon nap. Thank you Lord!!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Pizza Pizza

So besides teaching and learning about the culture Johanna and I are trying to learn how be domestic. I thought I could cook decent in the states, but here its completely different. So the Laffoon family invited us over to make pizza. It was very fun. And.. Janet if you are reading this, we made a wheat crust, you would be very proud. On top of having to make your own crust, you make you own sauce too. And did you know that cheese doesn't come shredded... you have to shread it yourself. Who knew??? We had so much fun. I think the best part about this picture though is sweet Jeremy in the back ground with his droopy drawers!!! very nice. Our pizza turned out incredible. And last night I learned how to make tortillas and I made chips for salsa. It was by far a highlight. If you didn't know, chips and salsa are my favorite food, and now that I know how to make them it has been sure delight at our house.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Super Bowl African Style

So here is the crew that got together and watched the superbowl. We all promised to not check the news…which wasn’t hard for Johanna and I seeing as we don’t have a tv and we don’t check our email but once a week. We watched the game the Monday night after and this was by far the best superbowl game I have ever watched for a few reasons. One, it was recorded the night before so we watched it in half the time. (I know the commercial are one of the best parts, but they are not shown here, the commercials would have been a bunch of advertisements for African soap operas and food. Although I love to hear about cheese, fanta, and drama drama drama, I must say the fast forward button was awesome!!! )So every one of these men had something to say about what was going on. If there was a bad call, “that is allowed now,” or “this is going to be the most important play of the whole game.” I learned those two phrases pretty quickly. And way to go Giants. The underdogs got it again…whoo hoo!! We had a blast!! And something you dont get to see very often...the cute couple with the little girl. We had a tea party during the superbowl. The dad, his name is John, he had a necklace on, was holding a teddy bear, and drinking tea while getting very excited about the game. It was aweswome!!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

In Christ alone

Last sunday we sang this song in church and it was such a blessing. I don't think I had truly understood these words. I was surrounded by people that danced and sang to the Lord and they didnt worry about the people they were around. How much I wish I was like this all the time. This morning we went to a church out in the village and although I didn't understand but maybe 10 words, I felt Gods presence more than ever. WOW! Go God. Ok, here is two of the verses from this song.... enjoy. Just soak in these words. Sing it out loud!! Who cares if you have a good voice or not and if you don't know the tune, just make one up. =)

In Christ alone my hope is found;He is my light, my strength, my song;This cornerstone, this solid ground,Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.What heights of love, what depths of peace,When fears are stilled, when strivings cease!My comforter, my all in all—Here in the love of Christ I stand.

There in the ground His body lay,Light of the world by darkness slain;Then bursting forth in glorious day,Up from the grave He rose again!And as He stands in victory,Sin's curse has lost its grip on me;For I am His and He is mine—Bought with the precious blood of Christ.

Friday, February 1, 2008

What can you fit on your bike?

So I apologize for the blurryness of the picture, but we were driving by so I got my camera out quick. We have seen many many things on bikes. I have a challenge for all of you. Try putting one of the following things on your bike, which by the way, these are all the things we have seen.

A huge pig, goats (seen them riding in front on the biker like a person as well as on the back), chickens, wood, umbrellas, brooms, boxes, corn, mangoes, and up to 3 extra riders. So I don't recommend trying all of these at home, but hey maybe one or two. And don't do them all at once. =)

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Play or Pray

So the other night when we got home Johanna took some coffee to our night gaurd. When she was getting ready to leave she asked if there was anything else we could pray besides his house. He kind of hesitated and said no. Well, Johanna started walking away and Nota asked "when?" Johanna ofcouse confused by this asked him what he meant. He then asked her "when are you and Kym going to come to my house to play?" So Johanna after saying "yikes" in her head had to quickly tell him pray... not play and she added motions.

With all that said, try to make sure you are being understood. Here in Malawi play means many things that we wouldn't really want to be associated with. =)

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Say Cheez!!

On Thursday after lunch we were hanging out with some of these sweet kids and I asked to take a picture. If you look on the end (left side) there is a girl with a brown purse over her shoulder. That is Ellizah beth. She is the nicest and smartest kid. In this picture she wanted to hold my purse and be like me. I know.. can you believe it….a cute precious girl wanting to be like me. She hasn’t seen the krazy Kym yet. Are these students not beautiful?? The girl in the middle with the big smile and braids, her name is Kathy, and she has the best laugh. Very loud and contagious!!! The guy looking off to the side (there is always one in a picture), he throws the best paper airplanes. We made a really good one today and played catch with it. Don’t worry, I am taking Frisbees tomorrow. =) The other girl in the middle with her hand by her mouth, she is so shy, but one of the brightest students. I could go on and on, but just want you to enjoy these smiles I see everyday.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Fried Bananas...yum yum

A couple came down to Lilongwe for a visit. This is Susan and her husband is eating fruit by the foot in the blue shirt. After dinner at this great restaurant we were served fried bananas. On the plate it look just like donut holes (which I was secretly really excited thinking that that was what is was). I am glad someone warned me or I would have been completely surprised and possible disappointed. Anyway…they were awesome. If you cant tell we are really enjoying them.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Anyone have an aloe vera???

At school there is an hour in a half lunch break. Since we are in the middle of a village, the students walk home for lunch. They cook, eat, and then come back. Today we ate our lunch outside and hung out with some of the kids. We didn’t realize that we were baking like a toasted cheezer (If you can name this movie, you get some brownie points). Johanna and I were only outside for about an hour and here we are nice and pink. Who would of thought on January 21 I would have sunburn. Fun times!!! It rained today too, but then after the rain….hello sun!! The high was 28 degrees, Celsius that is. Which I would tell you how much it would convert to in Fahrenheit, but I have no stinking clue. I would like to say somewhere around the low 90s, but its very humid!!! So, here is our first Malawi sunburn.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Fruit by the foot…..Priceless

So my mom bought me some fun goodies to bring with me and because I am such a kind person I decided to take some fruit by the foot with me to a picnic we were having and share. It was very entertaining watching one of the kids eat it because he was only three but the true show was this!!! Fruit by the foot…$5.00, suitcase to put it in …$50, gas to drive to the picnic….k2500. (2500 kwacha= about $20). Watching two grown men look ridiculous eating it….. Priceless. They said…please no autographs. They already are too famous!!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Ngala Mountain

So every Monday-Thursday Johanna and I drive to school. This is what we see. Can you even believe it??? Reminds me even more of God's beauty. The road that we have to go on into the village is very ruff and sometimes stressful. You think.... Do I swerve around the person and hit another car?? or do I hit the huge(I mean huge) pothole to miss the car and the people... Or what about the goats and chickens?? And you can't forget the little kids who are runningto our truck and yelling "mzungu" "mzungu" "mzungu" which means "white person." You definetly don't want to hit those cute little guys.. And let me tell you, they are stinking cute!!!! So...after a day at school of 7-3:45, we drive home and see this. WOW!!!!!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Explorers of Tomorrow

Here is the school that we teach at. The students are standard 1-8. Johanna and I teach standard 7 and 8. They laugh at me daily, which isn't any different from the youth I worked with in the US. I am really enjoying the pupils!! (that is what they are called here...not students) They are always smiling even when they are confused and don't understand what I am saying. (Which happens often because I talk too fast for most of them. I am learning to slow down) I must be really good though because the chickens even try to join the class when I am teaching. =)