Thursday, March 29, 2012

Life in Africa - is it so different?

The internet was working well today, so I thought I would look up some
information that I wanted to know about growing something... As I was doing
that I thought about the various sites, sounds, and new challenges we have
here that I haven't experienced before. I thought, maybe someone who reads
my blog might be interested in a little taste of life here. So here is a
The information I was looking up was how to transplant and grow bananas. I
didn't have that issue in the Ozarks.
Another one of my concerns is how to keep the monkeys out of my garden.
They are becoming more and more of a problem for many of the people on
campus. We have not had an issue, but we haven't got anything but tiny
plants in the garden so far. We often see them just beyond the yard or in a
trees hanging over the fence. We watched some just across the road the
other day as we looked out the kitchen window. (I can't say we did that in
Missouri, Arkansas or Michigan.)
We usually see at least one lizard (usually a gecko) in the house each day.
I don't mind them because I know they are helping to keep the bugs down.
At nights we often hear rats. They climb up on the house, wires and the
antenna tower just outside our bedroom. We often hear the wires moving,
scratching, running and sometimes it sounds like something rolling. We
don't know what that rolling sound is. It sounds like they have a marble at
times. Yesterday during the day (lunch time to be exact) we heard
squealing. We heard it a few times. It was coming from the roof area above
the living room. Beltina said "panya" which is rat in Swahili. We never
did see it and don't know if it was inside or outside.
We didn't see any evidence of one this morning, so I am hopeful that maybe
it was outside.
We have steel wool sticking out of cracks all over the place and more places
to stuff it yet.
Okay, I have mentioned lizards, monkeys and rats.
Cooking on the wood stove isn't so different from our experiences in the
past. Now that we have it a good inside cleaning we don't have to have the
windows and doors open to clear out the smoke. It is doing much better!
The leak around the chimney above the stove was fixed this week, so we don't
have water running down the chimney onto the top of the stove and onto the
floor anymore. That is a huge blessing. Not having running hot water isn't
a big deal. Running out of water is sometimes a big deal. So that is a
taste of Africa that isn't always the sweetest.
In regards to snakes... we enjoyed nature when we were in the US. We knew
exactly which snakes were poisonous and how to identify them. So if it was
not a poisonous snake we would just watch and learn what we could of it.
That isn't our policy here. Since there are spitting cobras here, as well
as black mombas our policy is that if the snake isn't dead, don't even look
at it. That isn't much fun. The puff adder that was on the road that one
day, we took exception to. He was obviously not one of the two previously
mentioned snakes.
We seem to have more issues with ants here, also. I am not having too much
of an issue inside, but Joshua seems to get into them daily these last few
days. We have army ants, poisonous ants, and a HOST of other varieties of
ants. We have HUGE ants and almost microscopic ants. Of course there are a
lot of termites here also. Some of those are huge too! Often when it rains
the breeding ones come out with their wings and fly around. Oh, some of the
bugs (including those termites) are a food item here. Even though chocolate
covered ants might be heard of in the states, bug eating here seems much
more common.
I have previously mentioned that all of our windows have bars on them to
keep out thieves. There are places in the states that do the same, though.
I just hadn't lived in one of those places.
Our house has a metal roof and nothing between it and the living area (no
ceiling or insulation.) So when the sun comes out, it heats up quickly. It
also cools quickly when it is not sunny. The sounds of the rain on the roof
seems to sound like more rain than there actually is, except when we have
those torrential downpours where you can't even see beyond the yard or hear
even when sitting beside each other.
And there is also the language barrier. Although the missionaries here on
campus all know English, for many of them it is not their first language.
We have two Swiss families, people from Canada, South Africa, Holland (or is
it Norway), Zambia and maybe some other locations. We have one other
American family and a visitor from the States right now also. So even
though we may be able to speak the same language, it can still have some
challenges. Then there is everyone else speaking Swahili. So living in a
place where the main language is one that we are trying to learn is very
We are adjusting to living without refrigeration of any kind (at least until
the container gets here!) There are various kitchen and other tools on the
container that we are looking forward to having. I haven't gotten it
figured out how to make just enough food for one meal without it being a bit
too much or too little.
We had another person drop in today for some minor medical assistance. It
was a bee sting to the eyelid. I am glad we were able to help him out.
God is faithful and I praise Him for all of His blessings. Although life is
very different here, we know this is exactly where He wants us to be right
now. For those who were interested a little in some of the interesting
things that we have going on here, I hope you enjoyed this post.
Stay strong in the Lord Jesus Christ!


  1. What a neat and interesting update! I think Ill take the Ozarks for now! Funny, it was soo different here from CA~in a VERY small way I know what you mean! You have plenty of more challenges though and we continue to keep you all in prayer! Blessings!

  2. How interesting and exciting! I love hearing about your adventures so far from home. I would love to be there experiencing it with you. If possible, maybe you can share some pictures of things soon.