Thursday, October 29, 2009

where oh where has my little voice gone?

oh where oh where can she be? yes, it's true. i am speechless. not from awe, not from shock, but from illness. complete lack of voice. very surreal. i've had times before where my voice has been reduced to squeaky or hoarse tones, but never total loss before. sam is having way too much fun with this. on Tuesday, i woke up with a slightly scratchy throat, but nothing too terrible. i took some cough syrup and headed out to work - my marathon day of teaching: 5 lessons beginning at 9am and finishing at 10pm. as the day wore on the throat began protesting a bit at being used so much - that's one drawback of my job at times like this, a lot talking comes with the territory. by the end of the day, my three-hour Intermediate class, i could tell i was going to regret the busy day i had had. the voice was beginning to get hoarse and sparse, but still was at least there. i reached home an hour later and sam greeted me. i tried to respond and nothing came out. literally. nothing. a few more tries and i got a slight whisper. barely. in addition to vocal loss i pretty much felt like doing nothing but sleeping. although one interruption in the a fore-mentioned sleep in order to involuntarily purge all the contents of my stomach did actually improve my comfort considerably. so yes, yesterday was not a good day. today am i feeling somewhat better. i am awake. i've opened the windows and put on my coat and scarf to enjoy some fresh air. but no matter how hard i try, i still can't speak in anything more than a raspy whisper. which effectively cancels any thoughts i had about going back to work today. funny how just last week i was thinking about how healthy i had been for a long time. couldn't even remember when last i had been sick. shame on me.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

it's been a while...

it has. it's true of many things in my life these days. it's been awhile since i've posted. but mostly, it's been awhile since i've seen my husband. more than awhile i'd say...54 days...but who's counting? I feel like i haven't had much to write about. i've had lots of thoughts and many times i've wanted to reach for my camera...only to realize it's with Sam. as for me, i have been working quite a bit these days, which is good. good to keep busy. Don't worry too much about me though, i've been well cared for. Eric and Lusha have invited me over several times, even once to a family gathering where we had the most amazing food cooked by Eric's mom. and now that Eric and I have our Sunday lessons at his apartment, Lusha cooks a meal for us every Sunday afternoon. wonderful. Last Saturday I was invited out for coffee with a few of the Russian girls who teach English at ALM. it was a fun time.

so, i have been learning to wait. and wait. and wait. the waiting isn't so bad, it's the uncertainty of when the waiting will end. we have high hopes that tomorrow will be the day that we'll hear the good news that Sam's invitation letter is ready. prayers that, if answered in the affirmative, mean that if all goes well we just might be able to keep his RE-RE-booked flight as scheduled for October 1st, putting him home by the 2nd or 3rd. Sam has, as of now, missed 3 weeks of school. His group has completed their Infectious Diseases cycle and have begun Traumatology. When he comes, we hope he can join a different group which began a little later than his group, meaning he would only miss about one cycle if he comes home in the first few days of October. i know he is starting to worry about school and catching up on what he has missed. and so, we pray. and we wait.

and so, my life for the last month in bullet points:

* swinging back and forth between cooking fun new recipes to pass the time and eating weird combinations of whatever is left in the cabinets because i'm too lazy to go grocery shopping.
* a new student whom i teach 3 times a week and a new class i teach two nights a week.
* ALM has moved to a new office, a much nicer, newer facility with bigger, better classrooms.
* it's getting colder, and quickly! for example it's 45F (7C) right now and cloudy.
* baking banana oat muffins, and rusks
* weekly chapatti-making.
* watching BBC World online!!
* trying to watch football and being unable about 90% of the time for a variety of reasons.
* being unable to shake the image of the pedestrian lying in the street after she was struck and killed by a car near my house.
* cleaning and taking out the trash and doing ALL the housework stuff; and realizing that usually Sam does the lion's share of it.
* finding THIS CHAIR like new, discarded by one of my neighbors. threw the slipcover in the wash and it has now found a loving home in our living room.
* text messages from Sam at the most random times about the most random things.
ie: "You wouldn't believe the number of flies in the house i just walked into!" or "Just saw a man on a motorcycle carrying a pig."
* caring for our plants and so far being successful!
* struggling with consistency. in prayer. in the Word. and as always, with sin.
* thankful I have a Jesus who remembers that I am dust.
* being bummed about missing my best friend's baby shower
* loving DESKTOPNEXUS.COM. i could get lost on there for hours.
* listening to Owl City
* reading "Slaughterhouse Five"
* Ginger and Honey Roasted Pumpkin with Lentils and Feta over Penne. Yum.

you could add "thinking about Sam" in between every bullet point above and you'd have a fair estimation of my month.


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Moscow : a belated post

On the journey to Africa Sam and I first went through Moscow, to which we had never been. Although we were tired and in travel mode, we managed to spend several hours wandering around and got some of the obligatory shots of Red Square, The Kremlin, and the like.

Sam even went to see Lenin. I however, passed, feeling rather indifferent about seeing the embalmed body of the former Soviet leader. And besides, someone needed to hold the backpack. So I people-watched on Red Square with my to-go cup of coffee as my companion while Sam waited in the ever-lengthening line that began to form over half an hour before the mausoleum was open.

Sam's Lenin visit



After the corpse viewing (i mean literally that what it was, right?) Sam and I walked around inside the famous and extremely over-priced "гум" (pronounced "goom") - a huge, fancy shopping mall on Red Square.








I took the above photo and then Sam noticed these guys:

window washers

And when I say "over-priced" I mean: think $120 for a t-shirt. We did actually buy something there, though. I found a travel coffee-press at кофе хауз (a cafe chain we have here in SPB). I had actually looked at four different кофе хауз cafes here in SPB for this particular one-cup sized plastic travel coffee press, but none of them had it in stock. And thankfully they were priced about the same there as they are here - a reasonable 320 Roubles. (less than $10)

travel press
travel press

Finally we decided to find a продукты (a convenience store) to buy some stuff for sandwiches and drinks. We got our lunch stuff and headed to the benches in the park outside the Kremlin and enjoyed the breeze and the sun and all the pretty flower gardens while we contemplated the next day and a half of flying and waiting in airports.




Thursday, August 20, 2009

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

spending my time

I have spent the time since Sam left for Angola in Windhoek with his family. It’s been a really laid-back time; quiet and fairly uneventful especially during the week when everyone is busy with school or work. The weekend was a bit livelier, with Ito home from the Cheetah farm and all the kids around the house. On Saturday I got together with Jennie at Hein and Nadine’s house and we watched the Tri-Nations (rugby) – South Africa vs. New Zealand. SA won it by quite a lot, but it was due mostly to free kicks – they made only 2 actual tries. So it wasn’t a particularly exciting game. I headed home around dusk and watched a movie with all the kids before dinner.
Sunday was church again and a late family lunch. In the evening a few of us went to Pick N’ Pay to get a few ingredients we needed to make a cheesecake (which the kids had never heard of, and was suggested by Ito). I showed Maezinha how to make the cake as we prepared it together. A few hours later I was given the job of cutting and serving and everyone seemed quite pleased with the result.
Monday night there was a lot of studying going on since its exam time. There was a question about some English tenses and it came out that I’m an English teacher. That was it. For the next two hours I tutored Paiza and Flavio on everything from Past Perfect Continuous tense to articles, to Proper Nouns. They laughed and called it “NamEnglish” when they asked me if it was correct grammar to say, “My head is paining”, and I had to say no, but that it should be, “My head hurts” because pain is a noun, but hurt is a verb. I heard Flavio explaining it to someone else the next day, so I guess he learned pretty well. He said he thought the exam went well and he told me that when he needed to use a proper noun to replace “she” on the exam, he had used “Amanda”. Ha.
I’ve heard from Sam intermittently via sms and email. Yesterday he assisted in several procedures including (for all your medical types that know what that means). He says the days are long but really interesting and a lot of fun. I think it was a good decision to go do his practical work there. Already he has done more than his entire time at the hospital at his school last summer, where they had him pushing patients in wheelchairs from one place to another. The money spent on this trip is well worth it, and I trust God will continue to provide for us as He always has, when it comes time to pay tuition again.
Tomorrow I head to Okahandja again for some much anticipated time with Maveja and time spent enjoying the familiarity of a place I once called home.

Sad “See-You-Laters”

I watched as Sam climbed into an over-packed mini-bus headed to Oshakati on the border of Namibia and Angola. As I climbed into bed that night, I knew he was plodding along cramped in between the man next to him and his backpack filled with things to occupy him and snacks I hoped would sustain him on the LONG trek. The next morning at 7:40 am, he arrived at the border and crossed into Angola. He had a few hours at the border, bought a SIM card to keep in contact with me while he’s there, and secured a place on the next bus to carry him all the way Lubango. Although that leg of the trip is only about 400km, due to the road conditions he wouldn’t arrive till late at night. Please pray for his safety and SANITY as he spends time in Angola!

Monday, August 03, 2009


On Tuesday afternoon Sam and I took a taxi to Okahandja. I love the beautiful countryside on the way. It just reminds me of all the times I’d driven that trip. I’ve missed seeing that. We stayed at the CHI International Center, in the “USA” room, where Gert and Gerianna used to live. Having our own little bungalow with its own kitchen and everything was just perfect. It was such a nice little place, Sam and I were wishing we had something just like it in SPB. Sylvia Holtzhauzen is in OKH now and it was great visiting with her over coffee and dinner.

a taste of Okahandja:

in town, Okahandja


driving to Nau Aib

1st drive in 3 years


The second evening we got to meet up with Maveja after she got home from work and we had a wonderful little braai – just like old times – in the sand outside her house. It was SO good to catch up and share a meal together. Her dad and brother even came home in time to eat with us. Maveja’s little boy – JJ – is about 1 yr and half now and he’s a cute little thing. He didn’t know what to think of me at first. He was fine with Sam, so we decided that my skin color was freaking him out. But he eventually warmed up to me. Maveja is working 7 days a week right now, as a cleaner for the National Defence Force at Osana Base which is a little bit outside Okahandja. After our braai, she said she wanted to see about getting a few days off so we could spend some time together, which she did, and so we’ll be getting together next week to really catch up.

Maveja and JJ
Maveja and JJ




Here we go a Braai-ing

Here we go a Braai-ing

I was also able to re-connect with the ladies at the woodcarvers market, spend some time chatting with them and show them some of our wedding photos, which they were asking about. On Thursday a team from CA came into OKH as their last stop before heading home after serving for 2 weeks in Keetmanshoop. They had a big braai Thursday night and Sylvia, Sam and I invited ourselves for some very yummy food. =)

Braai Night #2 - Jennie
braai night 2

braai night 2

During the day Sam spent most of his time doing odd jobs around the center – fixing things and working with his hands – the way he feels most happy. I got to help him put in rods in the closets for hanging clothes.

so happy...
Sam in the zone

I also got my hair cut by the lady who used to do my hair when I live in OKH. She even remembered me after 2 years and asked where I had been. And as usual she did a phenomenal job with her crazy flying scissors. Sam calls it my “Russian Cutie” haircut. At first I didn’t know if that was good or bad, but according to his comment this morning, I now know that’s a compliment. =) But you can judge for yourself.
I asked Sam to take a picture and he started taking a while photo shoot. I was laughing and here’s what resulted:

Things we’ve been enjoying:
Sun, sun , sun!
Boerevors and broetchens
dear friends
glorious sunsets
more stars then you’ve ever seen
the little changes that happen in 2 years (or 3 in Sam’s case)
Oma rusks
my new “Russian Cutie” haircut
creamy vanilla
Namibian Coke
going to bed early and waking up early
the way Africa just brings a smile like no other place can


It warmed up considerably the second two days here (and maybe we adjusted a bit too), to the point where at least during the day I could wear short sleeves. The sun of course is still glorious and the sky as blue as can be. Sunday we went to church at Sam’s dad church – he pastors a Baptist church that meets in a school classroom in Windhoek. It’s a Portuguese-speaking church. Both times I have been there, the message has been translated into English, but my guess is that was for my benefit. All the kids are involved in the service some way – choir, keyboard, set-up - and in my estimation, make up about half the small congregation. The singing was beautiful – some Portuguese, some English, and also some Umbundu. Sam’s dad gave a good sermon, with Ito translating it into English.