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. =)