Thursday, July 2, 2009

Chicken, chicken, yum yum!

This has been a great last week. It is only going to get harder each day before I leave because I have fallen in love with this place. Nigeria will forever be on my heart. It is neat to make relationships with people here and know that they care for you being a world away. This week has been very work demanding so far. We have been working at the new Back2Back property where they have purchased a new home for the CLAPAI kids. The house is called the OASIS house. Its just beautiful but not in condition for kids to move in yet so we have been doing a lot of work to prepare for that. One of the first problems that we have to fix is the septic tanks. Gross. This has probably been the nastiest thing I've done ever. We had to dig up old poles and watch the lovely stuff come out. We then had to dig out an old existing septic tank and oh yes there was poop still there. We then made concrete by hand. I had to do this in Mexico a while back and did not realize the pain on your back that it puts on it. It was hard work. And of course Jos decided to be hott that day. So we worked very hard making concrete, filling up holes, tieing re-bar, and playing with kids. The kids at the house(that live in the area where B2B future property is) are from two different families but in the same area. One set of kids are from the village community and the other are tribal. It was sad to see the village kids throwing rocks at the tribal kids because they didn't want them there however we told them everyone was welcome. (which they didn't understand because they don't speak English but they got the idea) I'm excited to come back to Nigeria one day and see this house with the kids inside of it. It is exciting to know these kids have a better future.
Last night was also very exciting. One of the girl interns had an asthma attack. Funny enough, I was in the room when she told me and I had to piggy back her out to the living room so we could take care of her. One of the guy interns is a med-student so we were able to take care of her. But pretty scary because today we went to the hospital where Mark(med-student;intern for B2b) gave us a tour. This was the best hospital in the area and it was no where close to our standards. It had most of all the areas and I even got to see the ultra sound area(my future career). Families sit there and cook food for their loved ones. It was interesting seeing an African hospital and made me not ever want to get sick and go there. I was asking Mark what the cost of surgery was here in Jos and he said around 200-300 dollars. also, med students here are in school for the regular undergrad 4 and then 7 or 8 more years in medical school. The reason it takes forever to get your MD is that teachers here are always on strike and school is cancelled. But, one of the other interns who wants to enter nursing was asking me if I could picture myself working in this hops ital here and I so could. Now, I have in the back of my head of all the diseases I could get but I know that working there would full fill my passion even more than America.
Today, I also got to say goodbye to all the CLAPAI kids. It was pretty sad. I do usually cry but I started tearing up when one of the young girls starting praying for myself and another girl leaving. She was praying that God blesses us in America. And then one of the other kids I had gotten close with started to cry and made me loose all control. Its hard leaving these kids.
Just a few minutes to writing this I helped slice the throat of a chicken. Pretty interesting experience. I do, however, prefer to buy them frozen from now on.
The next 3 days will probably be the hardest because I have to say goodbye but in my mind its not goodbye..its "see you later"
This has been an incredible experience. I am so blessed to have God put me here to serve, to learn, to praise, to make life-long relationships, and to continue to understand the bigger picture that God has in store for me.

Check out the website of the children's home we have been working with this month:

Ill be home Monday night. Id love to see anyone and share everything. Give me a call!

in bible study we are studying Ephesians and in one chapter its a prayer I wish I could recite for everyone in my life:

Ephesians 3
14For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Can't wait to get a real bowl of cereal in 4 days! :)

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Breathing in...

Our teaching finally came to end on Friday. The kids did their presentations and everything went great. The best part is that I believe the kids really did learn something from what we were teaching. We then rewarded them with projecting the movie Madasgcar with popcorn and organge juice. We then went swimming in a pool at a hotel. The hotel was very similar to a nice Family Holiday Inn. The pool water was freezing but once we got in it was better. I finally got a tan or better than what I had or atleast evened out my farmers tan. We ate-out at the hotel and the food was okay. What I got was okay untill I found a questionable meat product in it. The rest of our group liked their food but were in tears because the food was so spicy. I think the people here sometimes put more spice on our food(as a joke) to see how much we can take till our eyes water.(makes me laugh though) Our day off was yesterday and for our time we went hiking again at Sherry Hills. We went there a few weeks back but couldn't make it to the top of the mountain of boulders. Well yesterday we made it to the top. It was a work out though. When we first went not a lot of the grass had grown but since then the grass, shrubs, and weeds have grown a lot. After going through small caves, climbing over rocks, touching lots of monkey poop, and feeling the sweat on my back coming through my shirt we made it to the top. There was one point when we were climbing through two rocks and I was really scared because for one I didn't wanna get stuck or have a animal come out from a hole and have no way out. When we got to the top it was the most beautiful site ever. If you can imagine way back when in the movie Lion King when the King lion walks out on that rock well thats what we were standing on. It was a huge rock sticking out looking out on the land. We had some great PB and J sandwhiches up there too. Yum! And we were going to try to climb higher but saw that some birds were nesting there and pretty much warned us that if we got any higher that they would be stopping us. The climb was great though. Getting to the top was wonderful. I think the most beautiful thing about Nigeria is climning these rocks and just seeing the wonderful city of Jos. Its just beautiful. I've been to Kenya and seen how beautiful it is but here its just different in how pretty it is. Dont get me wrong because both countries are out of this world beautiful. After that climb we had some yummy home-made lasgna. Probably one of the best meals all week. Today, we went to church at the village. One of the village little girls remebered my name which was great. Its always awkward re-intorudcing yourself to someone or atleast I think so. After church I was hanging out with some of the young girls and I thought I was speaking pretty good Hausea to one of the elders but the girls started laughing at me. The church provided us Americans a mineral(a soda) to basically say thanks for being part of the church.(or more or less a gift for coming ...kind of like when you have a guest in your american church and you give them a bible or something) Made all of us feel guilty drinking in front of all these people who never get to drink a mineral. Seceretly, we gave some of them away to the children. It was a great honor though to be thought of so highly. The preacher wanted us to pray for rain. I think it rains a lot here but I guess since I'm not a farmer I do not know how much rain is needed. But, today it did rain. Shows the grace of God and when the people cry for help the Lord will answer. After we went to church we went out to eat at a local resurant. The food was great but it takes forever to get it. It took atleast an hour. We then went to the "grocery store" so the Gukenbergers could pick up some things for their family. Its been made a joke by some of the guys here to point out all the guys here who get off their motorcycles to go to the bathroom. (motorcycles are the taxi of Jos and all the taxi's are driven by men) so when the man must pee he gets off and goes right in front of everyone. Life is always made simple here! Ha! anyways the guys here think its funny to point out and makes me think and say "only in nigeria".

This is the start of my last week in Nigeria. It's a bummer because I could stay much longer. So pray for great times to come here, lots of fun, and making goodbyes not seem like it will be a goodbye forever.

Galatians 5:16
16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. 17 For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

Let the freedom of Christ set your soul free and let yourself be led by the spirit today.

For all girls out there-a book suggestion-read "Redeeming Love" by Francine Rivers(if you like that cheesy rommance novel)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

So this week has flown by with teaching. Today was a great day teaching. Teaching has gotten a lot better. I'm not exactly sure why but maybe its that we now know what exactly each class is on by grade-level. Now we know how to communicate to them and for them to actually understand instead of glaring at us with the "whhhat" face. The past couple of days have made me laugh because I have been playing soccer with some of the Nigerians at the village and the children's home. The woman director Kempme, her husband, coaches a soccer team and the other day one of the players came by and she introduced me and said "now this is a girl you need to play soccer with ..she is very talented". Made me really feel special considering every time I play I'm dying of breath because I'm not fast enough. However, I do believe they run faster here. When we went to the village we played soccer with some of the guys and by far I was the only girl and then it rained and it was a great highlight to be in the middle of Africa playing soccer. Today, was an exciting day teaching because today the kids got to draw their animal. I was dreading this day because I am a horrible drawer and if these kids can't draw I was hmm well I guess we will just stick with stick animals but I was impressed by their skills of drawing. One of the things that interns are trying to accomplish this week is to let these kids see imagination. These kids are raised to only understand "black and white" situations. We want them to see beyond that! So its hard for us to teach that because how do you teach that? That comes from the child just being silly and thinking up weird things in their minds but they have impressed me by their amount of trying to do their best in these acitivies. After school we played a couple of games like Freeze Tag, Red/Green Light, and Red Rover. Red Rover was a great game and the kids enjoyed it so much that at the end the winning team(which was all the kids) ran around screaming that they had won. Pretty cool to see them all exciting over something so small. We then came back the house and had another wonderful tasting PB & J sandwich. After that we went to a hospital that B2B has been trying to build relationship with. The hospital is small but cares for all things such as HIV/ TB, and other sicknesses. Its somewhat of an orphanage as well. There are about 9 kids there. Ages from High school to 2 months old. These kids are great but for some you can just tell they have something wrong with them. We got to see some of the babies and one of the babies was 7 years old but just never grew and now will stay in a crib for probably the rest of his life. We met a wonderful girl named Abigail who suffered from polio and is now in a wheelchair with not a lot of access at all but just her fingers. She made me laugh. She thought I was 32 years old which I am still trying to figure out if she meant as a joke or not..hopefully it was a joke. She was great though and hopefully I'll get to see her before I leave in a week. It's sometimes sad seeing these kids but I always try to not think of it like that but rather hey me being here is a sign saying to them that they are loved and with me being here, with B2B helping out, there is a future for this child. So looking at a child's future is more exciting then looking at what they have right now.

It's crazy to think that I've already been here for almost 4 weeks. Time flies. Ive done so much here physically, mentally, socially, and everyday I'm learning something new about God. One of the interns is reading this book called "Crazy Love" and the very first quote made me bite my tongue when I read it because it was so true of my life in so many ways. The quote defines what some of us Christians view our faith and why so many non-christians think we are fake or unreal in our walks.

"To Just read the bible, attend church, and avoid "big sins" --is this passionate, whole-hearted, our love for God? " Francois Fenelon

Ouch. Wow how many times do we think we are being the "Right" or just "doing what Christians do" really made me think of what exactly I value in my faith and what exactly is Jesus calling us as Christians to do everyday? I believe if you look deep enough at Jesus you realize that he never walked in the easy, calm, safe zone so why do we as Christians think its best do that? Does it make us feel safe with God by just going to church, read the bible here and there, and dont break some of the rules in the big 10? Safe? I made a thought to myself that I do not want to be safe...I want to be a Christian who gets questioned, who gets criticized, who fights for whats right, and at the end of the day I look at my hands and feet and know Jesus would be proud.
So this quote takes me back to these kids I'm teaching everyday. Are we seeing our faith as Christians as just black and white? Are you looking beyond what is right there in black, white, and red in the bible?

Look at your own life whether or not you are a Christian is your life too black and white?

Looking for deeper meanings and not just reading the words but reading in between those words? This one quote really makes me want to start acting on my faith everyday..not when I'm in Africa being a missionary but everyday when I am driving in my car, at school, or more importantly when I meet a stranger.

Just a few thoughts of what has been going on in my mind. I think that quote really sums up what Christians and non Christians believe our faith to be. I think its time for us as Christians to make it more, let people see what and who Jesus really was, and finally showing in our everyday lives.

One of my favorite verses comes from Isiah and it talks about how we just need to say "okay here I am"

Isiah 6: 8 "And the Lord asked whom shall I send? and they responded "Send me Lord..I'll go"

Just food for thought! Anyways, tomorrow we are teaching again and then hiking around the new B2B property. 300 or something new acres ..wooh gonna loose some weight fo sure tomorro! haha

have a great day!

James 4:14
“For your life is like morning fog--its here for a while and then gone..”



Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Teachers are great gifts...

This week has marked the week of teaching at the children's home. I never thought teaching was so hard(and I took Teacher Cadet in High school) untill now. Its actually not that hard finding material to teach but its the teaching process of getting the kids to understand. We took the children's home to library (the library where the missionaries kids go too) and they had a blast but it was the longest two hours. The kids had to find a book on their animal they were reseraching, what it looked like, where it lived, and read a book on it. Plus, coloring as well. We then took them to the librarian's house(the library is on a big compound where the teachers stay and the school is located there) and the librarian had a pet monkey. That was pretty neat and makes me want to steal a monkey from here to take home. Don't think my parents would be a big fan of that and also monkeys poop way too much for me. Also, today we went to the 2nd part of the village we work with. Played with the kids like soccer, blowing bubbles, and passing out lolli-pops. We also got to meet one of the cheifs of the village. From my understanding the cheifs are somewhat like our system on commisnor, mayor, governor and so therefore we met one of the commisoners. The saying is that if we ever meet the head chief of the WHOLE village we are not allowed to shake his hand, look at him, or anything because it is showing disrepect but it was neat to be welcomed by atleast on the cheifs. He was very grateful for us being there and told us to move to Jos to live. So this week has been exciting and but frustrating. Tomorrow we are going to the children's home and then going to a local Hopstial we work with that serves as a hostpital and a children's home.

Romans 12:1-18

BTW here is a bit of Hausa langauge for you "Batori" means white person. Add that to your vocab of the day.


Friday, June 19, 2009

Good Riddance...

So the past couple of days have been fun filled with several events and activities. On Wednesday we went on a Nigerian Safari. The place was about 2.5 hours away. The name was Yankari.( The place was somewhat of a hotel and safari all in one. There were baboons sitting all around the buses. Most would come about 5 ft away from you. They wanted food and they would fight over it. But it was neat to be so close to those creatures. Some were picking out the bugs of their young ones or carry their young ones on their backs or under their bellies. We went on the safari in a typical African jeep looking vehicle. It was a blast but sadly we only saw about two animals. What we saw were ginniefouls(like a over sized turkey) and some African deer. We got to go look at some caves that people used during the slavery times to hide out. After that we had some great P & B and J sandwiches. We then went to a natural clear water spring to swim in. This was probably one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen.( The water came straight from a large rock and poured out fresh clean clear blue water and it was warm. It was the best 2 hours spent swimming in a long time. There was a high tree branch that we climbed and jumped into the water. The past couple of days we have spent much time planning our next week for the CLAPAI children's home because we interns are teaching for a full week. There are 6 interns and we are teaching English(grammar and writing), basic math, and science. Our overall theme is the rainforest where each kid will get an animal, learn about the the layer of the rainforest where that animal lives, and present it to their fellow classmates. Should be a great week but I know have a new thankfulness for all the teachers I have had over the years who plan day after day. Thursday night we hosted some of the Nigerian B2B staff for dinner. We had spicy chicken wraps and no-bake-'em cookies. We played "Tele-Draw" and it was hilarious. It was neat to hang out with them and for them to feel at home with us Americans. Today, was a great day as well. I and two other girl interns spent time drilling holes into some pipes to build a volleyball net. We then had to make cement by hand to fill the tires so the poles would stand straight. It was great to get dirty and feel accomplished on a project. The other interns spent time fixing up our house with putting in new fans and some hanging hooks for towels. Tonight's dinner was fantastic. We went to a Chinese restaurant that is owned by a Lebanese family but the food was so great and it felt like a little bit of home cooking. Since being here I have learned how to play a lot of new games and learned the power of patience. Yesterday we didn't have power for 14 hours and had to rely on the generator every 3 to 4 hours of power. We also had a storm last night that sounded like a tornado. We have a tin-roof so when it rains it sounds louder than it really is. And since the power was out we had to have our windows open for air so with the storm there was loud wind blowing in and out and then the rain. It gave us girl interns a bit of a scare and something to laugh about in the morning about how scared we were over a storm. My home Church, St. Marks, leaves for Mexico and Kenya in the next couple of days and makes me miss those places 10 times more.Please pray for safe travels, changed hearts, and fun adventure! Hopefully, with my experience I can encourage others to come to Nigeria and see how beautiful, the change we can make for these people, and see how God works with people of different culture. If you are interested in a trip to Nigeria I would love to talk to you about it or how you can give support to the staff and their overall goals here. For now, the weekend looks pretty relaxful with tomorrow being a half work day half off day and Sunday going to church. Then Monday comes and I become a science teacher!(Or more like pretend)

James 1:27
"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."

Have a great weekend and Happy Father's day to all Fathers and to mine you are the best father ever! I am thankful for you as my father and everything you have taught me and helped create who I am today! :)

Hakuna Matata

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Sun rises early...

Feels like the days here start earlier and at nightime it feels much later than it really is. Most of us are exhausted by 8pm because it feels like 11pm here. Today is all of our day-off so we slept in which meant we slept past 8:30. Woosh so late! Ha! Anyways, for days when we have nothing planned we use a projector and watch movies, get online, do laundry, read, or play lots of board and card games. Time flies when you play games. Today, later on, we may go down to the missionary school(where the Gukenbergers kids go to school) and play soccer. Yesterday, was our first day shopping as interns in the market. Its no wal-mart here that for sure. Everything from toliet paper to fruit to meat are all over the place. Fresh meat was being cut on the board or being skinned. Kind of like a flea market but very disorganized and people everywhere. You had to barter and the ironic thing is that when you go to the market you never know what people will have in stock that day so you may want toliet paper but if they don't have it then you won't be able to get it. It was a neat experiece and seeing what people go through here to make meals and getting necessary materials to live on. I'd go again just because it was a lot of fun being with all the nigerian people and adpating to their culture. Tomorrow we are waking up around 6am to go to a safari about 3 hours away. Also at the safari is hot springs where we can swim. Should be fun! Hopefully, we can see some lions and elephants. Hope everyone is doing great and enjoying their summer! send me and email and let me know whats going on in your life! Id love to hear from everyone!


Sunday, June 14, 2009

Let the Voices sing...

We went to the village church today. (The village is a community of people that either live in small brick buildings or little huts and is the low of low poverty) We went there and were welcomed like celebrities. We got front row sitting. Most of the service was not in English but it was neat to think that this is how heaven is going to be like. People aren't all going to be speaking english in heaven and all of us speaking different languages will praise the King and will sing in harmony. It was a cool thought to think about that one day all of Jesus' people will sing in harmony and have peace on Earth. The service was really great and the pastor had a great sermon. Tomorrro we are going shpping again the markets. Should be a blast! I hope all of you have a great day! :)

Philli 4:4
"4Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

8Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you."

Love God; Love People!