Archive | December, 2008

Good friends, not enough time

31 Dec

One of our Fresno holiday traditions is to have breakfast with friends the day after Christmas.  I love these people but we hardly ever get to see them.  Whenever we go home, we usually try to make it a point to connect with old friends and even though the time is short, it is well worth it.



Chistmas is the only time was are all home in Fresno.  These friends are from all over –

Chad and Emma home from Romania



Dave and Aris Shabaglian from the Bay Area

Jon Shabaglian from Fresno.


How often do you make time to see old friends?

If you want to feel tough…

31 Dec

…throw a hatchet.



This is my dad.  The day after Christmas we went with my parents and in-laws to some friends’ property in the foothills.  We rode quads and threw  stuff, namely hatchets and knives, at logs to make them stick.  It was so much fun.










This is Andrew with an axe.  I did not try this one because I was afraid of ripping myself a new one.




But here was my shining moment… After the hatchets, the guys started throwing knives.  It looked a lot harder than the hatchets because they weren’t hardly sticking any of them.  But then I thought I would try it.  The men were shocked to see the GIRL STICK HER FIRST THROW!!!  HA!




Once I stuck 2 out of 5 throws (a better percentage than any of the boys) I thought I would end on a good note. 



Aside from having a good time, one of the things that blessed me the most about day was hanging out with both my parents and Andrew’s parents together.  (My parents on the left, Andrew’s dad on the far right).

#1 – having in-laws that get along is a tremendous blessing.  #2 – not feeling torn about spending more time with one set of parents than the other… priceless.

Great day.

Drive to Fresno

29 Dec

We went home to Fresno for Christmas.  The drive up the 5 to the 99 is quite boring so Andrew and I had to find ways to pass the time.  Here are our acting skills at their finest.




































If these pics don’t get us into SAG I don’t know what will.

How do you pass the time on long road trips?

Hit my wall today

19 Dec

Jet lag.  The last few days I’ve actually been doing okay.  Andrew and I are sleeping at normal CA times but I still don’t feel completely adjusted.  Today at school, I hit my wall.  I was so tired.  I actually almost cried in front of one my classes I was so tired.  (That feels very vulnerable to me even to say).

Anyway, even though I made myself go back to sleep, I have woken up wide awake at 3:00am the last two nights and having the most INTENSE dreams.  I don’t ever remember that being part of jet lag.  I wake up a little disoriented because they feel so real and I have to tell myself that it was just a dream. 

Is this normal?  Any tips on getting rid of jet lag quickly?

Processing being home

16 Dec

Today I called in sick.  Lots of laundry to do.  Stomach not doing so hot.  I am mostly trying to process being home.  Today I thanked God for my bed as I made it.  I thought about my heater, my insulation, and the fact that I can go to my fridge and get something to eat when I am hungry. 

I prayed that God would give Andrew and I words to say when people asked us about our trip.  What can we say?  It was amazing.  My favorites:  being invited to have an authentic Swahili lunch in someone’s home, spending time with the family and getting to know them in their element, gaining a heart for the work they are doing in East Africa, praying that God’s light would shine in the dark places of that country. 

There are so many pictures, I had a hard time trying to decide which ones to share, so here is my attempt.



This is Dawn learning to shave a coconut with the family’s worker, Monica









The family around the dinner table.






Henna.  Its almost gone now, but I loved it!  The store we went to opened up to this girl’s home.  While they ‘painted’ us, we were also served some traditional Indian snacks.  They were so hospitable.





Andrew and I in front of one of the hotels we stayed at. 







On our Safari.  Nancy was not able to come with all the kids so it was just the 4 of us.


I love zebras!!  We saw giraffes, 3 lions, warthogs, elephants, impalas (like a gazelle), hippos, crocodiles (we saw some crocs eating a baby hippo), and a leopard!!!!!



Our stop-off in Amsterdam.  What a beautiful city!!  Andrew had long sleeves and pants this time but it was still bitter cold.  We only had a few hours, but they were well spent. 

Glad to be home!!!  Thanks for all your support.

On our way home

15 Dec

I will post pics later, but right now I am blogging from the Amsterdam airport.  We left the family we came to love even more last night and headed off.  The temperature change has been unbelievable.  We went from about 90 degrees and humid to getting off the plane in 39 degree bitter cold.  It was awesome.  Since we had such a long layover, we got out of the airport, checked out the city, went to a few cafes and even had time to tour the Anne Frank house.  That was really cool.

On our way back to Los Angeles.  There are good toilets here but the toilet paper still leaves much to be desired.  Craving my Charmin.  Out of all the countries I have been to, I am convinced that no toilet holds a candle to the ones we have in the states.

Pics to come later.  Be home soon.

Full Day

11 Dec

Here are a few highlights from our day.  We were fully immersed in the East African culture today.

dscn2263We went to an Islamic seminary and got a tour.  This is one of the nicest classrooms in EA (we got to see another school today as well).  I hope to bring these pictures back and show my students how great they have it.  We also got a chance to sit with one of the teachers at the seminary and ask him many questions about the school.  They do many great things for the community but are blinding people with their teachings.  It is amazing how the enemy can make darkness look so good.


We were invited to the home of a friend Erik has made while visiting a local park.  They served us an authentic Swahili meal.  No forks/spoons with this stuff.  Messy hands are perfectly acceptable.

To have us in their home was an honor.  They asked us many questions about American schools and Barack Obama.  Everyone here is very excited that he is our president.

There are some problems with uploading more pictures so I cannot show more.  But.. we also had a girly few hours and all got henna.  I have always wanted to do it and love it!  I will show later.

We are now leaving Erik and Nancy’s home to travel back to the big city (another 5 hour drive).  We are spending a few days there before we get on a plane to come home.  But first… SAFARI!!!  There is another “life list” check off about to happen!! So excited.

Please pray for safety as we travel.  Thank you for your continued prayers.

I think its Monday

8 Dec

Yeah.  Pretty sure it is Monday.  That is the great thing about being devoid of home responsibilities.  You loose sense of time.  Here was our Monday:   Today we were taken on a tour of the city.  Even in Africa, there are the rich parts of town, and the not-so-rich (to say the least) parts of town.  We were really given an opportunity to understand the needs of the city so we know what to pray for. 

Being a predominately Muslim culture, today’s Islamic holiday made the city an interesting place to be.  As people dressed in their best, rode donkeys, and went to their mosques to celebrate, we walked around the city… praying.  Being a part of a culture that is so different from my own is an incredible experience and opens my eyes to so much of who God is and how much He loves His people.  God truly began to give me a hurting heart for the lost around me. 

Later, we were discussing how we can bring this burden back to the states and prompt people to commit to praying for God’s work here in East Africa.  Andrew brought up an excellent point:  we are not even broken for the lost, how can we be broken for the lost in another country?  When was the last time I prayed that God would save the people I come into contact with every day? 

Just a little something I need to be chewing on. 

Keep praying:  The enemy has a strong hold over this place.  Pray that God’s light will shine through dark places.  Continue to pray for our health (no diarrhea yet.  Woohoo), and safety.  Pray that the hearts of Christians would be burdened to pray for the lost in other countries and in our own.

PS.  Sorry no pictures today.  The computer is doing some wierd stuff

Our adventure so far

7 Dec

So here are some pics showing just a few pieces of our adventure.  We have been in East Africa for 3 days now.  We are absolutely loving spending time with the family and being immersed in their everyday life here in Africa.  I am learning so much about what life is like here, not only for the locals, but for the “m’s” who live here. I am learning what “m’s” need in order to survive emotionally, spiritually, and physically.  I am confronted with how my own expectations interfere with how I perceive God’s people all around me.  And in only 3 days, that seems to be a lot.

But I digress, here are those pics I promised…beccas-pics-002

This one was taken at a cafe in Amsterdam.  We had a 4 hour layover and so we got the bright idea to take the train into the city.  As a party city, most stores don’t open until 9 or 10am.  At 7:15, we finally found a cafe open and had cappacinos.  Everyone stared at us because at a temperature of 37 degrees, Andrew was wearing shorts and a T-shirt.  We just laughed but had a great time.


After our friends picked us up from the airport, we stayed one night in the main city because it is not safe to travel at night. From there we made the 5 hour drive to their smaller city.  Sorry, Nancy, I know this is not the best picture, but I had to include it as a memory of our little stop on the way.  There are no ‘rest stops’ on the road so we made one stop to pee on the side of the road.  Its a good thing I’ve been camping before.


We also brought over 5 crates FULL of stuff for the family.  It was so amazing to see them blessed with so many things they cannot get here.  To those of you who gave to stuff the crates, thank you.  They were blessed beyond belief.  It was really fun to watch them open the crates.  Especially the boys.

We made it!!

6 Dec

I am blogging from East Africa.  We made it through the 30 hour flight and are about to make the 5 hour drive (with no bathroom stops) to the town we will be staying in.  Actually, it was a great flight.  Hanging out now with our friends here.  SOO excited to be here.  ITS HOT!!  Very humid.  More to come.