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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Do you Twitter?


It's been a hectic week with guests from Brazil, final exams for Gabriel, and a writing deadline tomorrow. Add to that, the humid weather is like a sauna and makes me want to do everything in slow motion!

For those who have asked for an update about Emmanuel in Zimbabwe (he was in a serious car accident last week), we Just received news that he is doing well and the great news is that now he can "feel when someone touches his legs"!!! He still cannot move them (or very little), but the physical therapist said that he will be working on his legs soon. So, keep up your prayers for a complete recovery. Also, Pastor Nyandoro successfully delivered corn to all the rural districts. AOM is planning on sending more food relief funds to purchase another consignment of corn in the near future. God is good!!

Lastly, do you Twitter? If you'd like to receive short, mini-like blogs from me (very short and fairly frequent) about my life in Africa, you can go here to sign up. This is a fun, real-time way to keep in touch. Check it out.

And while all of you are enjoying your snow and hot chocolate, here's a photo of our summertime beach.

Blessings,

Lisa

Friday, December 26, 2008

Expecting the Unexpected. . .


I hope you all had a wonderful and blessed Christmas! I've been enjoying the photos of snow several have sent me, and am dreaming of snowball fights and sledding.

We'd planned a quiet Christmas at home, with a few friends, but our "quiet" holiday turned into a bit of an adventure. I woke up about 2:00 Christmas morning. Instead of catching a glimpse of Santa and his reindeer, I walked across our bedroom and stepped into a half an inch of water.

Now the rains began Christmas Eve, and we had been a bit aprehensive because it was a bad storm with lots of rain and heavy winds. SInce this was our first heavy rain, we had no idea if the house leaked. Well, in the middle of the night, we quickly found out. Rain, gushing in from the south side of the house, poured down the walls and into some of the rooms. Our room didn't end up being too bad (only about a quarter of it), but Gabriel's entire floor was covered in water. (Thankfully, I make him keep under his bed clean!) The kitchen had some water, but the back veranda was the worst. Scott mopped up about 15 gallons of water the next day.

Almost forty-eight hours later, it's still raining, though for now we are staying dry. Many of the houses around us are made from reeds, and they are having trouble keeping dry. Something that's not easy. After soaking up all the water in our house, and making barriers with towels, I've hung them all up to dry on my wet veranda, but until the sun comes out again, nothing is drying.

The weather seems to be effecting the electricity as well. It's become a bit of a game for all of us. When the power goes off, we have to run around and unplug everything, so a power surge doesn't blow anything when it comes back on. And when it's on, I have to charge my computer so I have enough power to work on my deadline when the electricity goes off again. We've got candles, matches, and flashlights set out as you never know when it's going to go out.

The good news, though is that the temperature has dropped with the rain, something I'm really thankful for! I can actually move around without sweating!

Have a blessed day!

Lisa

Rainy view from my window.















Trying to dry laundry.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Elephant Encounter

Wishing all of you a very merry Christmas and God's greatest blessings upon you in the New Year.

Here's the elephant video I promised. (This is for you, Ronie!)

Blessings,

Lisa

Sunday, December 21, 2008

To the least of these. . .


I think I mentioned last week, that one of our house churches decided to visited the orphanage in town as a way to show love to the community. Yesterday, I baked two cakes with two of the christian women. We also gathered clothes to give to them. Unfortunately, I came down with a nasty cold last night and wasn't able to join the group as they went out today, but from Scott's report, it was a blessing to everyone.

There are about twenty-five children living in this house, from small babies to teenagers. One of the babies is four months old but looks like a newborn. Probably due to AIDS. The children literally grasped on to Scott and the others and wouldn't let go. They have such a need for people to love them. Mariah and Gabriel took colors and paper and drew with the children, and of course they all LOVED the chocolate cake.

I think everyone was blessed by the experience. The christians who visited, these who regularly care for the children, and the children themselves. We're planning to return a couple times a month to play with them and simply show them God's love.

Blessings,

Lisa






Friday, December 19, 2008

The making of a cover


UPDATE: First of all, I'm grateful to report that Emmanuel made it through surgery and that it was a success. Please continue to prayer for a complete recovery, and especially that he will be able to walk again. Thank you for all your prayers and the contributions that are being sent in to pay for the surgery and food for the community.

On another note, I've always been interested in how book covers are created. To be honest, the cover is a big selling point to me. If I don't like the cover, I'm less likely to buy the book. And the opposite is true as well. A fantastic cover can convince me to buy it over another book.

Typically, the author fills out a number of forms with information regarding the main characters as well as the overall theme of the book to help the artist create the cover that you see in the book stores. Right now, I'm working on one for Zondervan for my new suspense series. They ask a large range of questions from the color of the heroine's eyes, to elements that could be featured on the cover, to a list of already published covers the tone I'd like to see.

In the end, it's the publisher who chooses the final cover. I have, though, been asked for my opinion on early sketches of the cover and have been allowed to ask for slight revisions when the cover didn't fit a certain aspect of my book. Thankfully, I've always been very pleased with my publisher's choice on covers.

In the past couple days, I've got to see two of my covers that will be released next year. It's always fun to see what the cover artist comes up with. What do you think? Does a cover really sell a book?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Prayers for a people in need


PHOTO: 25 billion Zimbabwe dollars. . .enough to buy a loaf of bread.

As many of you know, along with our work in Mozambique, we are also actively involved with both leadership training and orphan care in Zimbabwe. The past few years have shown the decline of a country that once was called the breadbasket of Africa. Today, the situation continues to deteriorate. Inflation is over 230 million percent, and the people are facing both starvation and the spreading of cholera.

Two weeks ago, AOM sent money to our churches in Zimbabwe for the purchase of corn to distribute to the families in Bulawayo and in the various rural districts. The leaders were able to purchase 500 x 25 pound bags of corn to distribute.

As some of the pastors were traveling out of Bulawayo to distribute the food, tragedy struck. Pastor Nyandoro's multi-ton truck hit a large pothole as they were approaching a bridge. The truck hit the bridge and the chassis and cab were completely destroyed and all the fuel for the entire trip was lost. But, the most tragic part of this situation is that one of our senior pastors, Emmanual Mwale, seriously injured his back. He is in need of immediate surgery to prevent being paralyzed. He has a decompression burst fracture of L.1 (lumbar) with severe spinal chord compression. His back needs internal stabilization and fusion.

Please pray for the difficult situation facing these people and especially for Emmanual's healing. If you are interested in learning more on how you can help financially, please contact me here. All funds will be used toward Emmanual's surgery, repairs on his truck that was being used to serve those in need, and to purchase more corn that will be distributed to throughout the rural districts.

Blessings,

Lisa

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Expecting the Unexpected


We returned home last night to a bit of a surprise. Both water and electricity had been off during the day, the water for about twelve hours. What we didn't realize was that the bathroom plug had fallen into the drain and the taps left on. So by the time we got home, the bathroom had flooded, (there's a two inch step down into the bathroom) and was already spilling into the hallway.

The good news is that we have both water and electricity today!

Count your blessings,

Lisa

Sunday, December 14, 2008



Even in the short time that we've been here, it's exciting to see what God is doing. While I've spent most of my time working with the kids to finish up the school year and get the house running again after our absence, Scott's been out spending time with our disciples. Our goal is training them through life-on-life which means a lot of time out with the people we are working with.

























And the kids are catching this vision as well. Yesterday, Mariah agreed to teach English to two of the neighborhood boys. Today, they showed up and school began. I was amazed to see that she'd prepared a lesson plan, had pens and notebooks for them, as well as her "classroom" set up. We'll also show an English Bible film from time to time. Jayden's also found a student to work with and is excited to start teaching him.

Gabriel made plans to go fishing with some friends and told us he wanted to disciple them as well. We talked about what that meant and was excited to see them realize that we're here not to fulfill a job requirement, but to live the life Jesus has called us to live.

And we're casting the vision to our new Christians as well. We want the community to see that we are different that we love and care about them and want to show that through everything we do. Scott challenged them last week to come up with some ways for us to reach out to the community and simple show them our love. Several great examples were given and today we plan to set times to get together as a group and reach out.

Pray for the new Christians here and wisdom for us as we try to serve the community here.

Blessings,

Lisa



Mariah teaching English

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Sunday, December 07, 2008


It's been one of these crazy weekends. Since we've returned, either the power or the water has been out. Today the electricity was down about twelve hours. We had company last night, so of course the power was out then as well. Seems to be something that goes hand in hand. I've learned to light a few candles and laugh a lot.

Then Gabriel cut his finger badly while working on his tomato plants. A friend of ours, who works for the hospital, took him there to have it taken care of. He's going to be fine, but it's going to take a lot of effort on my part to make sure he keeps it clean and covered until it heals.

And this afternoon, our neighbor brought over Mariah's new cat. We paid about 30 cents for her and while she's scrawny and timid, Mariah is thrilled to finally have her own pet. Patches, as she's now called, did fine until we took her outside to go to the bathroom. She tore up Scott's fingers trying to get away, so there I was back playing nurse again.

The powers on for the moment, so I'm going to quickly send this out before it cuts off again.

Never a dull moment, is there?

Blessings,

Lisa

Friday, December 05, 2008

There's no place like home. . .

We finally made it home after along twelve hour trip--the final leg of our journey. Border crossings are always a bit adventurous as you never know exactly what you might encounter. Just before reaching the border, we stopped to get fuel, make a handful of peanut butter sandwiches, and change out our cell phone chips. The group of ladies sitting in the first photo under the tree are there to exchange money. They walk around with large purses, ready to make a deal with any interested customer.













Once we made it to the border, we started the navigation of lines, people, passport stamps, and police inspections as we left South Africa then entered Mozambique. This time, to our surprise, they didn't inspect our cars until Scott left the last post in his car (we had two cars this time) and the officer decided to pull me over and search my car. With the passports in Scott's possession and a car full of luggage, we were a bit worried, but thankfully the man wasn't interested in anything more than a quick glance into the back of the car.

Maneuvering through Maputu is even more challenging than the boarder crossing. The road is flanked by scores of people, taxis, and sellers until the obstacle course gets even worse a few hours north with the paved road literally filled with pot holes.















A few more hours north and we stopped to fuel up the cars again, this time hoping we can beat the sun as it begins it's decent. Driving at night something we avoid as the narrow roads, many with no lines or reflectors, are extremely dangerous. Something we encountered first hand. As we drove in the dark, we came across a bus that had overturned on the side of the road, marked only by a row of branches. With no reflectors anywhere on the vehicle, it was a miracle we didn't slam into it.

With pounding hearts--and thankfully no further incidents--we made it the rest of the way home.

But of course being back home has brought with it it's own set of adventures. The water cuts out at night, there are no lights in the bedrooms and kitchen, and an intense heat never seems to let up. Add to that, the stores shelves were half empty in town, we believe because of the excess number of tourists here for the beach. We decided to drive to the nearest town about forty-five minutes away only to find out that there was a city-wide holiday and everything was closed.

So while feelings are naturally a bit mixed, I'm still very glad to be back. We've seen team mates and met with friends, greeted the ladies from the open market who were excited to see us back again, played with our puppies, and even made home made root beer as a treat tonight.

No, there really is no place like home.

Monday, December 01, 2008

On the Road Again

We are waiting a few miles outside Kruger Game Park for our car to be serviced before returning home. Not a bad place to wait around if you ask me! Thought I'd quickly post a video of few of the highlights from today's game drive.

Enjoy!



Lisa

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Summertime

We're still in South Africa, waiting to get our car serviced--one of those inconvenient necessities. In the meantime, the kids have decided to take advantage of grandpa and grandma's pool. It's been a bit of a shock coming from a very chilly autumn to the middle of summer. The mosquitos are buzzing and the humidity's on the rise, but the grass is green and the flowers are stunning.

There is always a few things that strike me when I return to Africa after being away for a while.

The throng of people walking along the side of the road.

Groceries stores with wall-to-wall customers and no air-conditioning.

A breeze sifting through the open windows of the house.

Birds and insects chirping in the early morning hours.

Bright blue, cloudless sky.

Neighbors music playing in the background.

Smell of jasmine lingering in the night air.

Ahhh. . .it's good to be home.

So for those of you living above the equator, here's a bit of summer help with those ice cold days.

Enjoy!

Lisa






Friday, November 28, 2008

A Day of Thanks

I feel as if I slept through Thanksgiving this year. Seventeen hours on a plane followed by a five hour car trip tends to knock some of the energy out of me. And we're not even home yet.

But despite missing Thanksgiving-at least on Thanksgiving Day-I have stopped to think about all the things I truly am thankful for. Here's just a couple for starters.

I certainly would never recommend spending your first year of homeschooling on three continents and four countries, but we did and not only have we finally almost finished the year--we go January through December--the kids have done terrific.

Because of our move into Mozambique, we decided not to take our furlough this year, but God had other plans and we had to return temporarily. What a blessing it was to spend the past two months helping out my family and spending time with them.

I mentioned the living on three continents above, but believe it or not, I'm the kind of person who would love to just settle down in one quiet spot. But then I think about the experiences we've had, and the people God has brought us together with and I know I wouldn't have it any other way. We've met so many great people this year from Brazil, to Mozambique, to the good 'ol USA.

And so, in spite of the horridly humid weather this side of the world, there are so many other things to say thanks for. A supportive husband, three beautiful children, friends and family, a house with toilets that work, new contracts with Summerside and Zondervan, good health. . .

So what are you thankful for this holiday season?

"Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever." Psalm 107:1

Be blessed today!

Lisa

PS I had to share this photo of Gabe with his grandpa. He drew this motorcycle, framed it, and gave it to him for Christmas. Not sure if the photo does it justice, but he's one talented kid. (Even if the complement is from his mama!)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Safari 2008

Here's some video footage of our last trip through Kruger, including our encounter with a pride of lions.

Enjoy!

Lisa

Monday, November 17, 2008

Countdown. . .



It's hard to believe it, but we're into our last week in the States. Scott has arrived, we've celebrated an early Thanksgiving/Christmas, taken family photos, and I've just about finished all the last minute details of mom's move.

Whew! It's been quite a whirlwind.

While all of us have mixed feelings about leaving family and friends, I'm looking forward to returning to our new home and getting back into a regular schedule. Instead of hot chocolate, turkey dinners, and Christmas lights, we'll be heading in a very hot summer, days off at the ocean, and building sandcastles in the sand with the kids. If only I could skip the seventeen hour flight home--followed by a ten + hour drive.

Thanks so much for all your prayers and emails during this time!

Blessings,

Lisa

Monday, November 10, 2008

Don't believe everything you read. . .


While I rarely surf the internet, there are a few nights when it's too early to sleep and I'm too tired to write when I find myself wasting time on the internet instead of coming up with some great prose for my editor.

Like tonight. I thought I'd google my name just for fun.

One of the first things I found out about my name was that I had a book published I never sold. In fact, when this cover was first posted on the internet, I wasn't even published. Well, you guessed it. I just found out that this cover is still online at a couple places with my name on it. When someone told me about it years ago, I quickly contacted the publisher and they fixed it. But you can still read the teaser for my story--which was rejected--here.) Can you guess which one was mine?

Of course, with a common name like mine, that hasn't been the only online mix up. There's another author who writes secular romances and at one time used my name as a pen name. Now even while this author isn't me, you can find lists of books with hers and mine all together under "Lisa Harris." I long ago decided I'll never be able to correct this, so I've given up on worrying about it even though I've wondered if her covers might shock some of my readers.

So like they say don't believe everything you read.

As for me, I'm off to finish my word count for the day. (Yes, I really am. . .)

Blessings,

Lisa

Friday, November 07, 2008

Love Finds You. . .


I've just signed a contract with Summerside Press for Love Finds You in Revenge, Ohio, a historical novel that will be released next Summer. If you love to read, check out Summerside Press's new line of books. Here's what they have to say.

"The LOVE FINDS YOU™ series gives readers a taste of local life across the United States. The novels—uniquely titled after actual American towns with quirky but intriguing names—inspire romance and fun. Each fictional story draws on the compelling history or the unique character of a real place. Stories center on romances kindled in small towns, old loves lost and found again on the high plains, and new loves discovered at exciting vacation getaways."

The covers are fantastic and they have some great authors lined up. You can visit them here for more information!

Blessings,

Lisa

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Home made vs. Store bought


One of the biggest changes for me while in the States is cooking. In Africa, everything is done from scratch. But while I'm here, I have to admit to doing things the easy way, throwing away the cookbook, and using mixes as much as possible. And not only is it easier, it tastes just as good. Right?

Maybe not.

The other night I made Sloppy Joes which is one of my kids favorites. But instead of gobbling it down like normal, Gabriel asked me what it was.

"What is it? Sloppy Joes of course," I told him.

"These don't taste like your Sloppy Joes," he said.

"That's because they aren't what I regularly fix. The sauce came from a package."

"But it taste like spaghetti sauce. . ."

Needless to say, he wasn't impressed. Which actually made me feel good. Because before long, we'll be back eating my home made Sloppy Joes. . .and Gabe will be happy.

Blessings,

Lisa

(ABOVE PHOTO: Jayden just hanging around at the Fall Festival)

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Win a Taste of Africa!


I'm getting ready to hold another drawing for my yearly Taste of Africa contest, and this year, I've decided to choose three winners! I'll be drawing names from my newsletter list, so if you aren't signed up, it's simple. Just go here and follow the directions.

Each winner will receive a personalized box including some of the items you see here, like tea, chocolate, bookmarks, and spices, all from the heart of Africa, as well as a signed copy of my latest book, Final Deposit.

So sign up today!

Lisa

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Finding Peace. . .


For those of you who follow my blog, you know that I've posted little lately due to the fact that there are simply not enough hours in the day while I'm back in the States with my mom. And while there are a number of things I'd like to post, one thing stood out to me tonight that I will post.

We live in turbulent times. People worry about the price of gas, the next president, and the balance in their checking account. We wonder who's influencing our children, and what the world will be like for our grand children. We worry about tomorrow, when we can hardly get through all that has to be done today.

Funny how even two thousand years ago, Jesus addressed this very issue. He told us not to worry about tomorrow and to seek him first.

Paul said the same thing. Do not be anxious about anything.

Anything?

Yes, anything.

So my encouragement today? It comes straight from Philippians 4

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, in prayer and petitions, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Jesus Christ."

Be blessed today,

Lisa

Friday, October 24, 2008

The great adventure. . .


The Internet is an amazing thing. I wanted to plan something special for the kids while we were back in the States, so while we were still in Mozambique, we ordered tickets to a Michael W. Smith/Steven Curtis Chapman concert and was able to simply print out the tickets.

How fast and easy is that!

Fast and easy, that was until I tried to actually get to the concert.

We met friends and family for dinner three miles from the concert so I'd be close. The doors opened at six, so I figured I could leave a little after six and have plenty of time to find a parking place and our seats before it started at seven.

Easy right?

Not.

As we head toward the concert, I realized quickly there was a serious problem. Traffic was moving slower than a snail. There were times when the light was green and we simply didn't move. I kept glancing at the clock on the dashboard. Six thirty. . .six forty five. . .at seven o'clock we still had another mile to go and no alternative route.

At seven thirty--thirty minutes late--we finally pulled into the parking lot, but wait a minute. . .it was the wrong parking lot.

It was dark now and poorly marked, but I quickly decided that I wasn't getting back out into all that traffic again and there was obviously a large number of people headed for the concert who were also parked in this adjacent lot. So we'd just walk. Simple? Ha. We followed the crowed and ended up having to scale down a wall behind a bar to get to the event.

But it was all well worth it. The concert was fantastic. Steven Curtis Chapman spoke of the loss of his daughter and how he'd had to question the truth behind the songs he sang if he were to ever perform again. It was personal, real, and moving as he sang about God and his faithfulness even in the midst of this deep tragedy.

I cried through half the songs, worshiped with the four thousand plus crowd, and felt a spiritual renewal I need.

They sang "The Great Adventure" which reminded me of the adventure God has called all of us on. For me, the past year hasn't been easy. We've lived in four countries (three continents), worked hard through language school, started home schooling, had to pack, move, write, help my mother transfer into her new place. On a very personal note, I've been tired, fatigued, spiritual empty at times, and fought to keep my creativity alive.

But I've also grown through this time in ways I'd never imagined. I've had to realize what is really important in life. Through it all God's grace and love has been what has sustained me. Even in the times when I haven't been sure I could do it, he's reminded me that it's His strength and not my own that has allowed me to "accomplish" things.

So saddle up your horses we've got a trail to blaze
Through the wild blue yonder of God's amazing grace
Let's follow our leader into the glorious unknown
This is a life like no other - this is The Great Adventure

Live the adventure for Him today!

Lisa


Sunday, October 19, 2008

Moving Day. . .


It's been quite an exciting week as mom was able to leave rehab and move into her new apartment. Thank you all so much for all your prayers and emails during this time. There is still a lot of work ahead, but this is definitely a major step in the right direction and mom is enjoying more independence again as she continues to heal.

Another highlight of the week was a long chat with my new editor at Zondervan. It was exiting for me to learn how things work in this publishing house as well as to talk specifically about my manuscript, changes I will be making so the book will reach a broader audience, and marketing ideas. I'll be sharing glimpses into this process during the coming months.

More soon,

Lisa

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

And the winner is. . .


I know I'm way overdue to post a blog, but between sorting, packing, home schooling, writing deadlines. . .well, enough excuses, a very late congratulations to Erica who won a photo bookmark from Africa. Please contact me here with your mailing address, and I'll get it in the mail for you!

Here are the answers for any inquiring minds. My version is South African so there was one or two that were different, but thanks to those of you who participated did great!



Leopard- Leap
Warthog- Sounder
Giraffe- Tower
Rhino- Crash
Hippo- Raft
Croc- Bask
Butterfly- Flutter
Ant- Army
Elephant- Herd
Lion- Pride
Baboons- Troop
Wild Dogs- Pack

I'll be running another new contest in the next couple weeks for a "Taste of Africa" that will include all kinds of cool things, so stay tuned for details!

Blessings,

Lisa

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Fiction vs. Fact



While leaving South Africa, an article in the newspaper caught my eye about a Japanese man who had flown to SA to learn more about an investment opportunity. He was kidnapped with ransom demands of $5 million. Thankfully, the man was tracked down by the country's crime unit and rescued three days later. The seven suspects involved in the situation were to appear in court the next day.

It's always intrigued me how someone could fall for a scam like this one, or one of the dozens of others making its rounds in the world wide web, which is why I decided to write a book using this scam as the back drop.

For those of you who haven't read Final Deposit, it deals with this 419 or Nigerian scam. And for those of you who think no one falls for scams like this. . .think again. It's become a growing problem worldwide, with people losing thousands of dollars every year.

For me, it's a good reminder. If something seems to good to be true. . .it more than likely is.

And for page-turning suspense where your own pocket book--and life--isn't at stake, you can find out more about Final Deposit here.

Blessings,

Lisa

Saturday, October 04, 2008

A just-for-fun contest!


I've hit the ground running between helping my mom sort out her house, home schooling, and trying to keep up with my writing deadline. Today, I took the kids to my sister's school co-op where they participated in PE, art, history, and home ec. My kids had so much fun.

But before I go try to meet my word count for the day, I thought I'd post a fun contest. The winner will receive a very cool magnetic bookmark from Africa, so leave a comment, and I'll draw a winner from the correct answers.

I found this matching game while at Kruger and thought it was very interesting. Can you match the group of animals with the group name. For example a bunch of cows are called a herd of cattle. And yes, cheating is allowed. :-)

Here it goes. You can match the letter with the number in your comments.

A. Leopard
B. Warthog
C. Giraffe
D. Rhino
E. Hippo
F. Croc
G. Butterfly
H. Ants
I. Elephant
J. Lions
K. Baboons
L. Wild Dogs

1. Pack
2. Troop
3. Tower
4. Bask
5. Leep
6. Pride
7. Sounder
8. Herd
9. Crash
10.Raft
11.Army
12.Flutter

Have fun!

Lisa

Thursday, October 02, 2008

First Impressions

We arrived in the States after a very long, 30+ hour flight that included three planes, three continents, and lots of airline food. When we sat down on the last one, after arriving in the States, Jayden turned to the man beside him and asked him if he was also going to America. I think he's finally figured out that yes, we're here.

I left my camera's battery charger in Mozambique, so I don't have a photo today, but I do have a few first impressions.

1. The friendliness of all the employees as I went through US customs. It was a nice welcome back.
2. Driving on the right hand side of the road (This can be as scary as an encounter with a lion at a game park)
3. The amount of products available at the stores
4. The number of channels on the television
5. Helping my kids learn how things are done here from "What water can we drink" to "How to fill your plate at a buffet"

I'm sure there will be many more things that will strike me in the coming weeks. For the next few days, I'm simply trying to get over jet lag--yes, it's three in the morning--unpack, and enjoy time with family.

Blessings,

Lisa

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Safari

We are getting ready to fly back to the States, but before I leave I wanted to post a slide show from Kruger. Once things settle down a bit--and I have time--I'll put together one using some of the incredible video footage we got, but for now. . .enjoy!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Lions and tigers and bears. . .

On our way through South Africa, we stopped for two days at Kruger Game park to share one of our favorite places with Luis and Fernanda as well as some much needed rest for me.

We had an incredible time in the park. A lion walked past my open car window--close enough for me to touch. My heart pounded for at least thirty minutes afterward! We also saw two cheetahs, a couple dozen rhino, elephant, giraffe, buffalo. . .

I'll be putting a slide show together later, as well as the video of the pride of lions soon, but for now, here's a couple of our close encounters.





More later!

Lisa

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Exciting news!!!


I'm extremely thrilled to announce that Zondervan has just offered me a two book contract for my international suspense series that begins with Blood Ransom, the story about a humanitarian worker who has seventy-two hours to stop an assassination.

While every book I've sold has been exciting, this series is extra special as it combines my love for suspense and romance with Africa as a setting!

Last night Scott took us all out to a restaurant along the beach to celebrate with fish and shrimp. I'll be sharing more about the book and its journey to publication in the future, but will probably have to pinch myself a few more times in the meantime.

Blessings!

Lisa


Friday, September 19, 2008

Sailing away




Part of the work we do here is across the bay from where we live. While we can see the town from my kitchen window, it's almost an hour drive by car. You can, though, take a motor boat across the bay in about 20 minutes or a sail boat which takes a bit longer, depending on the wind.

So yesterday, after an appointment across the bay, I took the kids, along with Fernando and Luis for a ride home across the bay on a sail boat. After being carried to the boat (note that there is no photo of me being carried) we sat back for the ride. The winds were strong, and it was a bit chilly, but as you can see from the photos, the view was beautiful.

The only time I started worrying was when one of our guides began bailing water. Made me wonder, even if just for a minute, how long I'd be able to swim in the choppy waters.




And then of course, because of the strong winds, Scott actually beat us home in the car!

But the best part was the sunset. Absolutely stunning.




Blessings,

Lisa