Tuesday, September 15, 2009

"I'm So Lonely"

McAfee cousins 2009

Second Birthday for this Year

Well, Mike, Caleb and Karis are living it up in the land of endless opportunity! Karis was so excited a few weeks ago as she explained to one of our seminary students that she has 2 birthdays this year. I was about to jump in and correct her and tell her that nobody has two birthdays, but then she said she had one birthday in Africa and would have another in the states. I suppose to her it must seem like a really great year to get to spend one of her "birthdays" with her cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents, not to mention the friends she'll get to see this week.

So far I've spent a lot of time with the family of my friend that is staying with me. It's nice to go sit and see regular old family life the African way; washing clothes in the driveway, cooking on a little cookfire of charcoal out in the yard, sweeping out the house and your whole yard with a little broom made of coconut palms no bigger than a whisk broom. I kind of hope some of the Moore language swirling all around me there is entering my thick skull and helping me. I also think I've eaten enough rice now to be at least 10% African. I'm not sure how much longer I can keep it up though. I think I may have to branch out in my food finding adventures!

Sunday I headed out to one of the churches in the city with a service in Moore. We had been there before, but since I was by myself I thought it would be nice to go again. I managed to get myself lost. Well, not really lost, but I didn't get out of the taxi right in front of the church as I'd meant to. I ended up walking around for 30 minutes trying to find the church. Hey, I've only been there twice and both times were well over a year ago! I was only off by one road, but that took considerable time to fix! Fortunately I'm in Africa and showing up to church a little late is no big deal. I don't think I really even missed much. It is really great to sit in a room with 250 believers and listen to them worship their maker from their heart in their own native tongue. I did however realize how great it is to be able to understand a good chunk of French and join in with the praise. I missed being able to do that. As you can imagine, the very pregnant white lady drew a little bit of attention to herself. They didn't remember me from before as I'd come with my family then, so I got to hold the microphone and introduce myself again. When I identified myself with Mike, they remembered us right away. This time I got to say that I am learning Moore, which brought cheers from the crowd and tons of encouragement for the journey!

In just a few more minutes my boosted mental state got a little deflate. Bear in mind that it was about 88 degrees with 95% or better humidity and an equator sun pounding on a metal roof just above our heads with 250 people crammed in a room with 2 windows on the same side of the building and no fans. Let's just say it was a little uncomfortable. Suddenly I felt something crawling on my neck. Remember, there's no cross wind, so it wasn't my hair blowing. I'm packed into the middle of a room in which I am a very conspicuous person anyway. I've already seen a nasty spider trying to get into my bag, which I kept a very close eye on as I don't love spiders and don't know which spiders here bite! Quickly I swiped at the critter. I felt my fingers brush something that didn't belong there, but couldn't identify what or be certain I'd knocked it away. After a few more swipes and serious panic beginning to set in, someone just behind me said "Sit forward. There was a fly or SOMETHING on you and you knocked it down your shirt!" Panic RISING! I immediately complied and the lady helped me flap my shirt about in a way that was supposed to dislodge said SOMETHING without disturbing greatly my neighbors. After a few seconds the lady behind me seemed satisfied that whatever IT was, IT was gone. Of course all I could think is how easy that is for someone ELSE to say! So I leaned back in my plastic chair and fully enjoyed the rest of the service, sort of. I'm telling you right now, though, if I'd felt something crawl I was fully prepared to scream and run. Fortunately that didn't become necessary.

I realized something else Sunday. Now if you are waiting for some huge spiritual insight, please do not hold your breath. What I value in a taxi driver has begun to shift as the day for our little one to be served his/her eviction papers and be introduced to this big bright world draws closer. Before I was happy with my taxi driver was driving in his own lane, stopping for red lights and remaining within the speed limit. Sunday I realized I was being incredibly grateful for my taxi driver dodging all potholes of which there are a million and let me just say we spent very little time in "our lane", not stopping suddenly and getting me to my destination as quickly as possible. Hopefully my values will shift back to law and order and safety after the next few weeks.

We only have a little bit of time left before the baby comes. Of course, as always, mom is hoping that little bit of time doesn't drag into the eternity it can seem like. We are very excited to meet the newest addition to the McAfee family and looking forward to introducing baby to you as well. If I don't blog for a while, don't panic. I'm probably just being lazy. We'll get you word of baby's arrival as soon as we can. As you might imagine, our hospital here is not equipped with wireless internet, so it may take a little time to get the news to you.

If you see my babies in the next couple of weeks, give them a kiss for me. If you don't, know that they would love to see you, but can't get everywhere this time.

Love to all,

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Happy Birthday Karis

We celebrated Karis' 8th birthday on the 2nd of September. Karis got up early and was ready quicker than normal. She put on her favorite dress and was ready for presents. She had been bugging Heather to teach her to sew, so her first present was a sewing starter kit for children. She was thrilled and already asked her mom to start teaching her.

Karis loves Polly Pockets and her next present did not disappoint. Karis got a big Polly Pocket plane set with a lot of accessories. She also received a Ken doll from Aunt Barbara. Karis also loves playing Barbie. She even talks her brother into playing Barbie with her from time to time.

After Breakfast and presents Karis wanted to go to the swimming pool. As you can see there are no pictures of us at the pool. We went to the hotel where we go swimming, only to find out that they had closed the pool for repair until October. We quickly went to another hotel, but it was closed too. We then went to third hotel that had a pool. The pool was open, but they would not let us swim, they said we had to have a room to swim. So Karis said she would take a rain check on the swimming and we went home. On the way home the police decided to pull us over and we got to talk to them for 45 minutes. Eventually they told us to go and we made it home. Despite the delays, Karis still had a fun day playing with her neighbor friends. She said she is looking forward to another Birthday Party when she comes to the States next week. :)