"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." ~ Matthew 5:8

Saturday, September 29, 2012

A Special Day

Today was a wonderful adventure! The Pittmans, our friends the E's and their homeschool helper Peyton, and myself went on a day trip outside the city to hike in the beautiful mountains. The weather was great, the company fun, and the scenery breathtaking! It really was a place to realize how very great our Creator is.  Having grown up vacationing in the Rockies, I absolutely loved the chance to hike, wade in freezing mountian streams, and enjoy the beautiful views.
The guys took public transport and then walked, while the ladies drove the E's car- or rather A did! She is one brave driver; conditions can be pretty exciting here.
Will got to ride in style. He loves being outdoors and (between naps) relished the hike.
My oldest student Anna and me. Anna is a friend as well as a student!

Wendy and Will.
We passed a lot of animals in the first part of our hike.
There was no way I could come close to doing the scenery justice. The mountains here are absolutely gorgeous!
For the first part of our hike, we passed quite a few very nice houses. It was amazing to think of how they got building materials up there.
Katie (6) and Peyton
My friend and violin student, Miss A.
Look back.
Katie and me.
I was very disappointed in myself to discover that I hadn't fully charged my camera; after 90 some pictures, my battery was out of juice. The views only got more dramatic and glorious as we climbed higher and higher! Eventually we stopped for lunch and spent about 2-1/2 hours there preparing and enjoying a feast, talking, napping, and/or wading in the beautiful mountain stream. We had a great refreshing time!
Well, it's taken 3 hours to upload these photos, and it's high time for me to get some sleep. I'm so grateful I got this chance, and amazed at God's creation.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

My Adventure with the Police

Take a deep breath-it wasn't that bad! I had gone into the city with Wendy and the kids. We were having a great time; we went to an English library, and then to a cafe where Wendy treated us to tea and cookies. After that we set off for a friend's house, as they were going to give Baby Will clothes for the winter. We walked and walked and walked and...
finally Wendy called the friend to double check her directions.
So I decided to take some pictures while we were waiting. There were some pretty flowers, and right by where we stopped, an elaborate gate that looked like it led to a garden or park or something.
(The top of the gate)
So I was snapping away, taking pictures of the kids, the flowers, the gate--suddenly I noticed a group of police behind the gate looking at me with consternation and waving frantically for us to get away.
It turns out they were unhappy because I was taking pictures of the gate to the President's house! And unlike the U.S., pictures of the leader's residence are not welcome.
So as you can see, my adventure with the local police was nothing to be worried about. If that's all my contact with them while I'm here, I shall be quite happy! And I promise I won't take any more pictures of the presidents house.
And they all lived happily ever after.
The End.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Walking to Work

My walk to work (a.k.a teaching the Pittman kids) starts a few minutes before 8 each morning. I say goodbye to my "host mom," then open the gate and exit their compound. The walls around each house would probably be the most noticable thing to foreigners. Some of the walls are tall and carefully built of colored stone, while others are merely crooked lines of dried mud bricks.

Every wall has a gate of course, and those vary too; each day I walk past purple, red, blue, green, and white gates. Some of these gates are quite fancy, with intricate scrolling and detail, while others are plain and need a new coat of paint.

As you can imagine, the walls and gates, and sudden twists and turns of the roads make for a confusing route: at first it seemed like a maze! In time, however, the landmarks make it a familiar and easy path.

The landmarks include: a busy road (i.e. is paved and has cars driving down it); a narrow alleyway with saplings peeping over the wall lining one side; and a sort of "square," which is more like a pentagon. Later on, the cow that always stands right in the middle of the road in the same spot; an "Apteka," or pharmacy; and a mosque. Near the end of my journey, 3 piles of rocks (stones, gravel, and sand); an old army truck that never moves and always has chickens grazing underneath; a creek to hop over; stone steps to climb; and the shepherd who pokes at his flock with a stick while yelling to someone on his cellphone.

So far, I've enjoyed my morning and afternoon walk. The morning air is cool and fresh, and best of all, the mountains are a light pink from the rising sun. I love to pray for the people I pass by, or if there is no one, to listen to a favorite sermon or song. The quiet is the perfect time to process all that is going on in this new world of mine.


Monday, September 17, 2012

Christmas in September

Hooray! This is the first time blogger loaded in several days. I don't think it will work to share pictures this time, so words will have to suffice.

A question asked nearly every day at my students' house: "When will our boxes come??" They've been eagerly anticpating the arrival of two boxes from friends and family, and today (after a month of waiting), the boxes finally came.

I have never seen anyone (not even my siblings) so excited to receive a package. After making it around the world, it was a miracle the boxes made it safely from the door to the kitchen! While the Pittman kids are blessed with plenty here, there are some things they can't get, and more than that, the knowledge that someone cared enough about them to send the box makes the contents downright precious.

Tearing the packages open eagerly, my three students oohed and ahhed and exclaimed over things as simple as pens and notebooks, a drawing from a friend, post-it notes. There were little toys for each of the kids, and all-American snacks.

It was fun watching them enjoy the box-like a taste of Christmas in September. It was a treat as well to see how the tangible love of brothers and sisters in the Lord encouraged and blessed my friends.

Well, I'm off to spend time with my host "family." Hopefully more about them later!


Sunday, September 9, 2012

Boy in the Sink

Blogging feels a bit overwhelming and time consuming at this point, when I'm taking in so much every day, so I'll just post two pictures right now.
The yard sink.

The sink a few minutes later...with Michael in it. You never know where you'll find him!