Monday, 27 April 2009

Day of Firsts


It was a good weekend. We had a Malian family (9 of them) over for pizza and a movie. It was the first time they had had pizza. They cook over an open fire in their court yard to prepare their meals and do not have access to an oven to make anything that requires an oven. There is so many things we do that they have not done. This was the first time Yaya's mother had even eaten at a table! Angela had salad and of course we use silverware, but they always use their hands even with salad and it was fun to watch them try to use a fork. They did really well and we could tell that they really tried to use OUR manors. Just a different culture. We asked Yaya how old his mother was and he said that he did know and that she didn't even know. She had to go to the hospital for a motorcycle accident and Dr. Nesselroade asked her how old she was and she didn't know. She does not have a birth certificate to even find out. I would guess her at probably 75-80 years old. That's incredible because the average mortality rate for women here is 46 years old. She is a hearty old lady. We watched Kung Fu Panda in French with French subtitles. They thought it was really funny even Yaya's mom. It was a day of firsts for her.
Yesterday we got a gift from the Dayton Dragon's in Dayton Ohio. They sent us 24 ball caps. I gave the first hat to Pierre because he is the reason we have the hats in the first place. Pierre was wearing a Dragon's Lair ball cap out at the hospital about 2 months ago and I had to laugh. Here is a AAA ball team from where I live here in Mali Africa. So, I sent a picture of Pierre to the Dragons. They liked the picture and story and sent us some more caps. Here is a picture of a few guys wearing them. Pierre is the third guy from the left. They were so happy with the hats. Thanks Dragons.

Monday, 20 April 2009

Repair



I have found myself repairing a lot of different things. Sometimes it is even building or modifying things that I have never even seen before. Last week I repaired breast pump for the new mothers at the hospital. A lot of times, I bring the different items home to work on them in the evenings with the boys. This picture is taken in our study hooked to our bedroom. As you can tell by the head lamp, it is dark in our study. We try to use as many florescent lights as we can to conserve electric. Electric is very expensive here. It has been running in the upper 90's in our bedroom when we go to bed so we just now broke down and started running the a/c in our bedroom. We do sleep better now. We are so thankful we HAVE electric. If we lived in the villages, we wouldn't have the luxury of electric. We try not to complain to much when the power goes out, which is more frequent in hot season. We have been so spoiled by have power all the time in the states.
The next picture is of Anco, Bob, and the Bethel bible people working on their well pump. On Sunday, Bethel didn't have water because the water table had dropped down due to dry season. Come to find out, the pump had been cavitating (sucking air) for a while now which ruined the pump. The pump is down 120 feet. Anco made an a-frame stand to pull the pump out of the well (it worked great). We had to install a different used pump but not a new one because we didn't have one and they do not have the money to buy one. We got it up and running last night and the campus had water by 9:00 pm. The 1200 litre tank was full in about three hours. I am so thankful we had an extra used pump laying around. It does pay to save things out here. It is hard for a lot of you to believe, but I find myself saving just about everything.
Well, have a great day and let us give thanks for what God has given us.

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Walls!!





The wall are going up! The floor is finished on the first of the three building going up and walls are being erected. The Malians are flying. The picture is how much they have done in two days. The picture of the single room is Ed Bonvillain's Lab and he is so happy. We are also in the process of welding up the trusses. A lot going on right now. We are finishing up the warehouse electric and plumbing and should be done in a couple of weeks. Added note, we saw these camels the other day during our French class out on the lanai of the Hanscome home.
I thought I would show what I mean when I say "donkey cart paths" in past posts. If you click on the video, it will show you a short segment of the ride to Farmarilla. Actually, this is a good section of road. It does get a lot worse.
I am also posting a picture of one of the Malians that chopped down a 38 inch diameter tree for us. Check out his ax. That's right. They used axes like this one to chop down the tree section by section. It took them 3 days on one tree. They are still working on the trunk of the tree.
I hope your day goes well. God Bless.
video

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Happy Easter!



Our Lord has Risen! It is Easter and we just got back from our morning church service. It was 2 1/2 hours long. What a morning. During worship time, one of the African kids played his homemade drum set. I posted the video. Check out how he uses his toes to hold the bass drum kick mallet. I would like to find a drum set someone is throwing away or selling cheep to give to him so he could have a real set. If you know of any, let me know. Here is also a picture of Angela dancing with Andrea and some Malians at the service. They are not allowed to go on tour, so don't ask. Later today, we are going to have an Easter meal at the mission with the other missionaries in the area. It is a fun time of catching up with people and relaxing a little. We might even get out the corn hole set. Fun fun. We really miss being with family during times like this. We love thinking about all the good times we have had with family and friends during holidays. I hope you have a great Easter and lets not forget to thank God for what he has done through his Son.
video

Monday, 6 April 2009

Farmarilla





This last Friday and Saturday Dr. Dan, Anco, Daniel Coulibali, and myself went to this little village named Farmarilla to install a solar electric powered ultrasound for the health clinic. We left Friday afternoon and got there that evening. It is hard to explain where this village is in relationship to anything else. We took roads that turned into donkey cart paths. We went to the end of Africa and then another hour past that it seemed. We drove ourselves to Katiena and from there we followed a kid on a motorcycle the rest of the way. I took my GPS along so I could find it by myself next time I had to go there to work on something. The GPS turned out to be really handy. We found a shortcut back with the GPS. We just followed another donkey cart trail between two villages. That was fun.
We got there and started building the frame for the solar panel until it got dark. Then, they fed us a huge meal. Here in this part of Africa, they eat with their hands and do not use any flatware at all. So we ate macaroni with some kind of meat sauce with our hands. It was really good. For breakfast, we had some kind of hot rice cereal which was also good and for lunch on Saturday we had some kind of grain that comes from a plant that looks like grass. The grain itself looks like Kooskoos. We had that with a meat sauce that I think was goat or sheep. They kept us well fed.
The Malians up at this clinic are amazing people. They have people come from as far as 80 km away on motorcycles, donkey carts, bikes or whatever else they can ride on for all kinds of treatments. The clinic staff have a real passion for serving the people in whatever way they can. It is almost like a small hospital. It is very well run and is extermly clean by Malian standards. I love pouring myself into a place that the workers have such a passion for Christ and his people. The ultrasound will help in diagnosing problems early so the nurses can send the ladies to our hospital to deliver ther babys whether that is a C-section or just a problem delivery. Pray for courage and strength for these national missionaries. They need God's grace and mercy. Thanks for all your prayers for us. God Bless your week. The best place to fight the enemy is on our knees.