Monday, September 23, 2013

the hills

It only takes a few minutes to drive out of town and away from all the houses and people. Surrounding this town there are hills and mountains, which make beautiful scenery. Some weekends we all pile up in the car and drive to some of the hills. The hills are fun to climb and once you're on top, the view is breathtaking. I've never seen rocks as big as these in my life. 

Though I love the Chadians and the town, it's nice to get away and be able to run, shout, and not worry what the Chadians are thinking about you. 

It's easy to get stressed out and discouraged during the week (especially if you're sick -- which happens a lot here), but going to the hills or mountains always lifts my spirits and widens my perspective.  


Being sick is part of being in Chad. Remember in Egypt when I was primarily sick the whole four months we were there? It wasn't fun.

Want to know something about me? Like most sixteen year old girls, I hate lying in bed. It's ok if I have a comfortable mattress, a fan (or even better: air conditioner), Sprite to drink, and movies to watch all day. Actually, that seems kind of fun compared to being sick in Chad. I won't go into details.  If I do, I'll start complaining.

I was reminded of a Bible verse while I was lying in bed. We had talked about it earlier in the day but I couldn't remember much of it except that it had to do with giving thanks in every situation. I was pretty sure that meant even my sweaty feverish condition. Though it took awhile, I finally whispered, "Thank you." Sometimes it doesn't seem like there's much to be thankful for, yet I can assure you, you can always find something. It's amazing what the word thanks can do.

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." Philippians 4:6

how to wash dishes (in Chad)

Evangeline and I are the dishwashers. It might sound like an easy job, but before you come to conclusions, let me tell you how we wash dishes in Chad. 

Step #1 - fill the two plastic basins with water. If the inside water barrel is empty, haul in water from the big outside barrel. 

Step #2 - boil half of the water for the soapy basin and add one package of powdered soap. 

Step #3 - organize the dishes: cups first, then utensils, then plates and finally the dirtiest things (like pots) last. 

Step #4 - clean the dishes! 

Step #5 - dump out dirty dishwater by the trees in the front yard. 

Step #6 - dry dishes and put them away. 

It sounds like a lot of work, but together Evangeline and I (with some music) make it fun. Still, I promise I will never complain about loading the dishwasher again. 

Friday, September 13, 2013

five things

my family and friends  -  There's not much I'm going to say about this. Partly because I can't really explain how much my friends and family mean to me and I'm sure I've talked about how I miss them before. 

fresh produce - guys. Don't ever take apples, baby carrots and blueberries for granted. Things like that don't grow here in Chad. The picture of above was taken a few weeks ago and since it was taken during the rainy season, there's lots of green. That's about the greenest it gets here. 

freedom - Wearing what I want, going out by myself or with friends, and being able to play sports. 

being pretty much normal - I guess I'm not normal . . . but it's nice to be in the States and step out of your house without people staring at you and commenting on how white you are. 

fast internet - I can't wait to be able to load iTunes and download music. I can't wait to be able to look up things on Google. I can't wait to be able to go online and get done what I need to in a reasonable time. 

As much as I miss the States, I think that I'll miss Chad just as much. I'd probably stay in Chad forever if I wasn't apart from my family. 


the Brotens - They've become like my second family and we've been through a lot in the past few months together. 

the Chadians - I'll miss the kids that come to our veranda in the morning (more about this later). I'll miss the way they laugh. I'll miss trying to discern what on earth the Chadians are doing or saying. 

rickshaw rides - There are no stoplights, speed limits or road rules here. At least people stay on the right side of the road . . . most of the time. Rickshaw rides are always an adventure and we get to pray for for protection every time we climb onto one. I love it. 

simplicity - At first I thought having to haul water in to take a "shower" or having the electricity out for a month was a pain in the butt. Now I'm learning (surprise surprise) to appreciate these things that make life more simple. By simple I certainly don't mean easy, but this is where I am now and I'm learning to be all where I am. 

the hills - Once you head out of this town, the scenery is gorgeous. I have more pictures that I'll have to show later. 

Monday, September 9, 2013


When asked what his favorite part of living in Chad was, Nehemiah Broten answered, "Getting packages!" And though getting packages isn't my absolute favorite thing about living in Chad, when I got one this week I felt pretty good. God knows just when I needed it, too -- the night before I'd been sick and needed a lift of spirits. The package helped. Thanks, Lauren and Rachel! 

In the package was some shampoo, letters, movies, and gum. The package was damp and moist when I got it, so I thought the shampoo had cracked (like mine did in my suitcase on the way here). But the gum had melted. I'm pretty sure that gum is not supposed to melt. The Brotens box that they got in the mail was also soaked from gummy bears melting. Only in Chad, only in Chad. But I'm glad I have the shampoo -- I'll have clean hair. :) 

Here's a picture of me with the package in my new dress (that I bargained for in the market -- that's another story) and my attractive farmer's tan. 

I know it's been awhile since I last posted and that I haven't been on the online world much lately. The electricity has been out the past three weeks. I can charge my computer through solar power, but it's not really reliable and we take turns charging certain times a day. I have lots of ideas for blog posts, but for now (until the electricity comes back on) don't expect them to be consistent. Same thing with Facebook. I'm giving up on Facebook for the time being until the internet gets better or the electricity comes back on (when the power is on I can just leave it charged and read or do something else while Facebook loads). But I've lost so many messages I've written countless times that it's frustrating. Just email me. I've started to write letters to some of my friends -- so when I have no computer battery or the internet is out I still feel like I'm closer to them. I loved reading your letters, Lauren and Rachel, and I'm replying to them even if I can't give them to you until I get back to the States.