Sunday, August 31, 2008

Leanne’s Mission Trip, Part Four

Leanne and her team members spent some time (while not doing concrete work ~smile~) with the children of the orphanage.  Here are a few pictures…



They made a trip into the town of Assuit, where the orphanage is located, and it was quite an experience.  They had to have "tourist police" escort them.  Here are some pictures of the town.  The water you is the Nile River.



Transportation varied quite a bit!  In the pictures below you can see a cart being pulled by a donkey and cars driving along side!

Assuit is an agricultural area and there was lots of green fields Leanne said it was obvious to see where the farm land ended.. everything beyond was brown.


I have more pictures to share from the orphange, other sites they saw in Assuit as well as the pyrimids and Cairo.  I hope to be able to get those in the next "mission trip" blog posting.. 

Leanne has a bit more to share with you about her time at the orphanage … 

Leanne Miller 

     Once again we were up at five thirty every morning in Egypt. We had ten minutes to get ready and be outside, where we then waited for the boys (they slept on the other side in the boys’ dorms), who were always late. We worked until eight and then stopped for breakfast. It was a nice break with our thirty minutes of quiet Bible reading time included. Then it was back out to work. We worked for about four hours until lunch break came around. The last part of our workday was never steady in how many more hours we were going to work because you can’t leave an almost finished slab of concrete to dry. That is why sometimes we worked nine hour days. We had another Bible study when we were done working, then bath and laundry time, and sometimes we had another Bible study, though this one the boys and girls separated. Dinner followed shortly, we had a little bit of free time, and then one of the team members, whoever had kitchen duty that day, would lead another Bible study at night. We had library reading time after that and then it was off to bed.

   The Orphanage hired a man to do the finishing touches, like smoothing out the top so when it dries it is nice and smooth. His name was Niem. He believed there was a God but that was the extent of his faith. He had a bad opinion of Americans because he’d worked in a lot of touristy places where he’d met a lot of Americans, who didn’t talk, act or dress in any way that would give him any other kind of opinion. The way we dressed (as do most Christian organizations we had a dress code we followed) especially caught his attention, and when he asked one of our Egyptian leaders, who oversaw our work, why we dress like we do he was able to say we dress modestly because of our God. Anyway, his opinion of Americans was completely changed and it was an opportunity for someone to share Christianity with him. It was really neat.

   As well as working we also put together presentations for the children.  On Sundays we had two presentations we did. One in the morning and one in the evening, and we also had one on Wednesday’s in the evening. A presentation consisted of around eight songs (we even learned how to sing a song in Arabic!), a puppet show, and two testimonies. Once in a while we would even do a skit. One of our leaders would then give a massage. Everything, except the songs we sang, was done through a translator. It only got complicated when our translator (we had more then one) didn’t know what a word meant and then one of our leaders or team members would have to find a way to describe the word. I never spoke through a translator, but I have played games where you have to describe a word and it isn’t always easy to do.


More to come…  

Friday, August 29, 2008

Updates from the Homestead



Yesterday was such a nice sunny day..  a day to enjoy our pond and the sunshine . Today is promising to be the same. The nice weather is an appreciated change from the stint of cool wet weather we had; looks like we are back to summer weather for a few days.  I am not really ready to head into fall quite yet. The cooler weather however did get me in the soup making mode. Yesterday I made veggie beef soup and it was yummy. I put a couple individual servings of it in the freezer for Tobin’s lunches while I am gone.


My oldest daughter, Carolyn, is due to have her baby in about one week. My friend Sarah and I will be flying out there as soon as she gives the word that things are looking serious. We don’t want to arrive too early but we don’t want to arrive to late either! Sarah and I delivered Carolyn’s first baby. That was a bit easier since at that time she was in California (I am in Washington) but this time she’s in Maryland so there are less flights out daily and the flight time is a lot longer… but if it is meant to be that I am there, all will work out as it should so I am leaving it the Lord’s hands and not stressing over it all. 


While I am gone Emily and Leanne will be holding down the fort. I have meals lined up for them to cook, groceries in the house, and should have just about everything I need to do, done! It is a blessed feeling to know that my girls are able to handle the house, the kids and the meals and pack dad’s lunch while I am gone. I will try and update you when I leave and who knows, maybe while I am there if I am not too busy. 



I started school this week with the kids. I usually don’t start until well into September and in the past it has even been October before I finally got things going. I think the wet cool weather just made all the kids think “school” and they were ready to get going. I have only started math with them. We will add in the rest of the subjects on the 8th.. even if I am not here Emily and Leanne have said they will get the ball rolling with everyone. 


I really only have 3 students this year! It seems like such a nice relief in many ways. This will be my 21st year of homeschooling and like anything done for that many years I have lost some of the newness and excitement I had for homeschooling way back when.. but I have not lost the reason my hubby and I chose to homeschool and we are both committed to continue onward. I still value and treasure the time I spend with my children and would not have it any other way. I have enjoyed the “new school year” excitement this year.. Just watching Isaac get all excited about new note books, pencil sharpeners and all was sweet. 


This school year Leanne will be getting ready for her GED and working through Saxon’s Calculus book as well as teaching Isaac his math. She taught him last year and did a great job. She will also be deciding if she would like to join Emily in working towards a degree of some type through College Plus. Right now Leanne is looking at an English degree as a possibility. 


On Wednesday the girls and I (and Isaac) went to town. Emily took her Western Civilization 2 CLEP test and passed (YEA!!). Then we went grocery shopping at Costco and then went to Starbucks and got our coffee and ended up at Ikea perusing the store with coffees in hand. Emily bought a book shelf for her bedroom. She has a really small room and was drowning in lack of organization. So now the books have a place to go. We saw some cute little baskets that hang on the wall.. but they were out of stock. We will check back next week (or when I get back.. something I keep saying often now). She thought that would be a perfect way to make a place for things and look pretty. She will be all organized before you know it and then there won’t be ANY reason why we can’t see her bed on some days.. right???  


Today I have house cleaning on my list and laundry. I really need to get some soap made before I go so I will try and get things set up to do that so I can make it tomorrow (if I am still here ).  Sierra, Isaac and I will be heading to the recycling center to take in our recycling. Jacob has been working all week for a neighbor and will continue that today. And we have school to do as well. Dinner tonight will be chicken pot pie and a salad. Emily and Leanne won’t be here so I will have to adjust my recipe so I don’t have too many leftovers.


Emily and Leanne are house sitting and watching Miss Margaret. I have mentioned her before. She is the little 90 something year old lady they watch when her son and daughter in law go out of town. She loves playing Skip Bo but has very little recent memory so she never can remember how many games she has played and would keep on playing all day if the girls were willing! The girls don’t mind but after 12 games they are ready for a break.. 


That is all for today… Hope you all have a great weekend on your homesteads! 

Monday, August 25, 2008

Leanne’s Mission Trip, Part Three

 After arriving in Egypt Leanne’s team rested up and then it was time to unpack and get a glimpse of the orphanage in the daylight. I was surprised to see how big it was and how green!  The orphange is near the Nile River and is an agricultural area so there was a lot green to be seen  . 

Here is a picture of the girls on Leanne’s team.  Leanne is sitting on the top row in the middle…


When the Egyptian girls saw them on the balcony for the first time they quickly swarmed around wanting to have their pictures taken..  


The main portion of their time at the orphanage was spent laying concrete walkways.  It was heavy duty work!  They had no equipment to do the mixing the kids mixed it all by hand and carried it by bowlfuls to dump.  Leanne said she learned so much about concrete work that she could give lessons now!  

Here is a look at the work they did…  They had large piles of sand and rock that they mixed with bags of cement.  They filled and carried the sand and rock by hand and then mixed it. 

 See the bowls in the picture below?  That is what they carried the mixed cement in to fill the walkways...



Laundry was done by hand on the roof top of the building they stayed in.  This is the way everyone does their laundry.  If you look back at some of the pics above you will see laundry and mattresses hanging over the tops of the roof drying. 


In the evenings they had chapel time and Leanne was befriended by a couple of girls that were about her age.  Leanne said the girl on the right really attached herself to her and she said she was so sweet..  she wanted to take her home with her..   


The team spent more time with the children and got to see the town of Assuit and I will share about this in my next blog post.  Leanne will also be sharing more with you as well!