Saturday, April 2, 2022

March 2022

March has been a mercifully slower month for us, with the exception of Josh having Shepherds Academy going on all month. April, May, and the first part of June before we leave for the US are NOT going to be anything close to what could be called slow, so we've enjoyed this time and used it to prepare some things for our visit to the US.                               

I took Abe with me to Blantyre for a shopping day. I try to alternate taking one kid with me about every other time that I go. It's really special time together. He was very excited about helping me pick out JJ's birthday presents, and he loved eating at Gelato Carnival, which has this great playground (plastic playgrounds like this are super rare here, and this is the biggest one I've seen).

JJ turned 10 this month. He is such a sweet, sensitive, funny boy. He was equally excited about his chess set and his skateboard, which I think is the perfect example of how varied his interests are. I can't believe he's in the double-digits now, and we've had the honor of being his parents for almost 8 years now.

The girls and I got invited to go on a hike on Mt. Mulanje for a friend's birthday. It was hands-down the HARDEST thing I've ever done in my life (it didn't at all help that I'm still struggling with fatigue since we had the big C in January). I mean, the picture above doesn't even do justice to how huge Mulanje is, and we walked up the whole thing on our own two legs (or maybe I should say six legs, since it was the three of us).

Here's just one example of how steep the trail was, and it was like this pretty much the entire way. You can read all about that hike in more detail on my post about it on our adventure blog, Adventurologists.

We said goodbye to Haylee, Taylah, and JJ's tutor, Ms. Michelle. She was approved for a visa to move to the US and work in a nursing home with her aunt, and they were gone a few days later! We will miss her, but we're happy for her, and we hope she enjoys the US.

The rains have become fewer this month as rainy season slowly wraps up. One interesting thing, though, is that in two years of meeting at our new church property, where we have just a tin roof, dirt floor, and reed "walls," it had never rained during a worship service until one Sunday this month. I snapped this picture while we were waiting for the rain to slow down so we could walk home (it's about half a mile from our house), and Abe wanted to hold baby Jedidiah, our colleagues/friends' son.

We celebrated St. Patrick's Day in my favorite way: all wearing green and taking a family picture! We've been taking family pictures on SPD every year since Jude was born, and I love, love, love it. You can see all of our years of pictures on this post.

Our church had a baptism service down in the creek after church one Sunday, where our friend Khama and several others were baptized. Taylah enjoyed carrying baby Jedidiah to the baptism.

I took Haylee with me to Blantyre to get groceries, pick out birthday presents for Abe, and get her some new glasses (she broke hers on New Years Eve and I've been gluing them back together ever since, but that was finally not holding anymore). We had a great day together, and I loved hanging out with her. This picture cracks me up, because she thought I was taking a picture of my cappuccino, when I was actually sneaking a picture of her.

Our friends are moving to start a church in South Africa after 16 years in Malawi. Lesley hosted a goodbye tea that had all of us in tears. Lesley was my first friend here who invited our crew to her house, and she's become a very dear friend to me over these last 4 years. Her kids are all close in age to my kids, and we are all going to miss them very much. Now we have even more reason to take a trip to South Africa!

That wraps up our March! I'm dreading the craziness of the next 2.5 months, but also trying to enjoy it and not wish it away. Pray for us as we enter this crazy time, and that God will provide for all of our needs for our time back in the US!

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