Monday, April 28, 2008

Back home to South Africa

Last Friday night we ended up saying good-bye to friends until one o'clock in the morning. It was a bittersweet ending as we were sad to leave, yet ready for this next phase of our lives.

While I was excited to be back to an English speaking country and see friends here again, it's been hard to shove aside the Portuguese. A good sign I guess. We now have two weeks in SA to work on our paperwork and finish up some last minute things before making our next big move. Members from our church in northern SA are on their way to Mozambique right now to fix up a house for us. We found out about two other house for rent a couple days ago, so when they arrive they will be looking at them, calling us, and then we will all make a decision as to which house they will actually fix up for us.

As for Brazil, I made a short slide show, mainly for our Brazilian friends and for our family who met many of these wonderful people. Hope you enjoy it too.

More from South Africa soon. . .Lisa

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Goodbye Brazil

It's hard to believe that almost six months has past and it's time to return to Africa. We leave this afternoon, both excited and sad. Excited to return home to friends and family. Sad to leave behind friends who have become like family here. We expected to spend six months learning Portuguese, but God gave us so much more.

A special thanks to all of you who have made our time here one we will never forget. And a special thanks so much to those of you who have prayed for us, emailed, and called us during these past few months.



PS I made a quick slide show to post, but the internet isn't cooperating. Will try and post it from South Africa.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Trip to Rio

Scott surprised me this week with a trip to Rio! It's been over two and a half years since we've had the chance to get away by ourselves, so we really enjoyed our time together. My teacher, who's been encouraging us to see more of Brazil and who insisted that we had to see Rio, offered to keep the kids.

We went to the airport Sunday to see my mom off, then hopped on a night flight to Rio, returning home late Monday night. I put a quick slideshow together of some of the sights of this beautiful city.



Saturday, April 19, 2008

Happy Birthday, Jayden!

This week Jayden turned seven! We celebrated with dinner at Pizza Hut and bowling. The whole city is celebrating with him tonight with fireworks and horns beeping. Okay, I suppose they are celebrating the city's soccer team winning, but let me tell you--the entire city's rejoicing with continuous noise for the past two hours.

On another note, my mom leaves tomorrow. We will miss her so much, but we've had such a wonderful time together. Thanks so much for coming mom!

Coming next. . .A surprise from Rio.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Name that Object

I've been wanting to post some interesting photos to see if you can guess what they are. There's a prize involved as well so make sure you read the entire post. :-) And if you'd like, leave a comment to let me know how many you get right!







A. Forget guacamole. Brazilians eat their avocados sweet. This is a photo of an avocado milkshake my teacher made for me. Take an avocado, add milk and sugar, blend, and you've got it!

B. Men's shaving cream

C. Figs

D. Boxed milk that has a long shelf life

E. Hook to hang up a hammock

Now for the prize. If you haven't signed up for my newsletter, be sure and click here. Everyone signed up for my newsletter will have a chance to win some really cool gifts in my Taste of Brazil drawing. One winner will receive sweets from Brazil, a cell phone sock, fish scale earrings, coconut husk ring, wooden bracelet, manioc farina, parrot magnet, AND a signed copy of Recipe for Murder. Drawing will take place Saturday, April 19th.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Hanging out. . .

According to a bit of research I did, the hammock has been around for over 800 years. The earliest known hammock seems to have been used by fishermen who used their nets both in fishing and for sleeping. Columbus is said to have introduced hammocks to Europeans, and while these ancient beds have become a popular place to relax in the United States, many of the Indians in Brazil still use hammocks as beds.

It's also become one of my favorite places to hang out.


Friday, April 11, 2008

Home makeover, move on over. . .

We're down to two weeks now. It's hard to believe. There so much to do before we leave, like filling my brain with subjunctive tenses which are about to kill me!

I really appreciate so much your prayers and emails. (And speaking of emails, I'm very behind, so if you haven't heard back from me, you will soon!) Anyway, a friend recently ask about our house dilemma, and I realized I hadn't posted photos of the house we'll be living in while in Mozambique.

It was a tough choice, to be honest. We had two houses to choose from, both with their pluses and minuses--mainly minuses it seemed. In the end, we opted for the "green house" as we call it, for a number of reasons.

Here's the exciting thing, though. Twenty-two people from our church in SA are leaving in about two weeks to go to Mozambique and fix up the house before we move in. When I first heard this I was completely blown away that they would even want to do this. What a blessing! They will paint the house (and I get to choose the color!) put in air conditioners and fans, make sure the wiring is done properly, and paint the roof to reflect the heat.

Wow! God is so good, isn't He?

Thank you Dez and your entire team for taking on this project!

So coming soon. . .look for photos of my own home makeover!


Saturday, April 05, 2008

Three weeks and counting. . .

It's been another whirlwind week as we've started planning our return back to Africa. We decided on a house (more about that later), I've almost finished my latest book (whew!), and I've made it to unit 13 out of 15 in my Portuguese language book.

But best of all, my mother's here for a visit!

We picked her up on Wednesday morning, then drove almost two hours across Sao Paulo to the American Embassy to get new passports for Gabriel and Mariah, then another two hours home.

It's so great having her here, and we are looking forward to a couple weeks of catching up on all the time we've been apart.



Photos of Sao Paulo

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Full House

We had made plans to go to Indiatuba Sunday for church as we've really come to love the people there and knew that this would be one of the last times with them. They've been a blessing to us in so many ways as they welcomed us into their church family, befriended us, and helped us with the language.

Saturday night I received a call from one of my friends who told me that they would not be meeting this Sunday because the couple whose home we normally meet in was in the process of moving. I was disappointed until she asked if they could all meet at our house. Sunday's are always a full day as we meet, eat, and fellowship together for most of the day. We didn't want to miss out, so we were thrilled. Despite the fact that there are no kids in this group, our kids have bonded with the Brazilians, so they were happy as well.

I'd got up early to fix lunch as we always eat together as a group, and made beans and rice, chicken, potato salad, green salad, and a French rice salad. We had a wonderful time of worship, Scott shared from the book of James, and then we ate. Everyone seemed to enjoy the food and especially the fellowship. One thing we are looking forward to is the fact that one of these couples will be getting married in September then joining us for three weeks in Mozambique. After their time there, they will be making their decision on joining us full time.

On another note, I do have one prayer request I'd like to mention. We are in the middle of deciding on a house (actually between one of two houses) We have to decide this week and while both would end up being temporary, there are numerous pluses and minuses with both. Please pray that we make a wise decision.

And for a praise, my mom arrives tomorrow for two and a half weeks! We are so excited she's coming and look forward to our time together.