Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Uff'da tall

Many of you read Kristal's comment on my previous blog, expressing interest in this "uff'da" expression. (People from Saskatchewan have plenty of their own quirks and idioms, but apparently "uff'da" is not a common phrase there.) I thought those of you who are from MN would like to know that she first pronounced it with a short "u." (Hear it in your head? It's funny.)

We had some difficulty explaining the proper usage of the expression. That lead to Kristal saying things throughout the day like:
  • That guy is uff'da tall.
  • Uff'da! That car is red.
  • Uff'da! That guy is tall. (Close, but I think it might have been luck.)
  • Uff'da, I'm full! (Finally, she hit the nail on the head!)

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Uff'da and Obama

Lynn and Jayme are back, and they brought us some souvenirs from their stop in the Minneapolis airport. Isn't that so nice?

Our new kitchen magnet...it's funny, we were just talking last week about how South Africans say "Eish!" The closest thing we could think of to compare it to was "uff'da."

I had coffee this morning in our new Obama mug. Lynn and Jayme said that the airport was FULL of Obama paraphernalia. Africans are in love with Obama, but we don't see much for Obama gear around here. Jed got to watch the inauguration though, at our friend Craig's house in Nelspruit, because he has a satellite dish. Jed may not have voted for Obama, but he admitted it was a great speech.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


Finally, here are some pictures of the house we moved into a month ago. It’s called Westmont. Not sure why, except that “Westmont Cottage” is painted above the front door. The outside is nothing to write home about. The lawn is a bit neglected; we call it the jungle. The good news is that our bedroom is the coolest room on the entire Africa School of Missions campus where we live. The bad news is that it’s also the dampest. Some might call it “moldy,” but I prefer “musty.” We’ve improved the situation a little with fans and a little low tech de-humidifier. (It’s basically a cup with a little salty thing on top that catches water from the air.


Dining area

Living room (the door is to our bedroom,
but I didn't take a picture of it because it was too messy)

Living room from the other side

We’ve been insanely busy welcoming new volunteers and planning for orientation, which starts 2 Feb. Also, I’ve been helping out with the Forward Education students, because none of the Forward teachers are back from Canada. That means I’ve been helping the students (who are all orphaned kids from Masoyi) figure out how to “sit” or interview at colleges and navigate orientation and pay their registration through the Forward program. It’s been unexpected and hectic, but very cool to get to know the students better. They’re some pretty determined and very cool kids. You can learn more about Forward Education on Lynn and Jayme’s website.

It’s been SO great to have Laura and Dara back from 9 months in Mozambique, working with Carlos and the Hands at Work service center there. They have had some incredible experiences. I’m scared to even attempt to summarize their experience, but I can tell you that Mozambique is a beautiful, desperate place. For many Mozambiquans, when they look back on 2008 they will remember draught, fire, death and hunger. When I pray for Mozambique I focus on God, on hope, because I must. I focus on Carlos, who serves sacrificially by feeding children and visiting sick patients in their homes. As Carlos says, “we are together.” Laura and Dara inspire me with their laughter and their tears. Their hearts have broken, and they are changed. And in two weeks they’ll return to the U.S. and Canada and God will use them to change other people’s hearts, too. Isn’t that incredible?!

Thursday, January 15, 2009


I was scrolling through my cell phone contact list today, and I just wanted to share a bit of it with you. It goes...

Kim Egypt
Kim Malawi
Kim Mozambique
Kim Poland
Kim Romania
Kim Rwanda
Kim South Africa
Kim Turkey
Kim Zanzibar

(Sorry, Mike, two names was just too many to fit.) But isn't that incredible? Of course, it still doesn't represent every country...like Rwanda was the same number in Tanzania and Uganda. Still! Incredible.

Also, I just want to let you know we're watching the Office Season 4...finally! We've been waiting 17 months for this. Yay!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

New Roles

Did we tell you that we have a new role at Hands this year? Since Carly left, we're the brand new volunteer coordinators. (Yikes! And by the way, we're going to miss our friend Carly so much!) This isn't so incredibly new to us, because we helped Carly a lot last year. So, Jed's answering email inquiries every day from potential visitors and volunteers, and we're running the 8-10 week orientation that starts 2 Feb. We received our first volunteers today, a retired couple from Canada named Dave and Marilyn. They are so great! They have a heart for hospitality and they'll be providing pastoral care to many of the volunteers here, so we'll be working closely with us. In the next three weeks we will receive another 4 or 5 new volunteers, plus another 5 or so will be returning from Christmas holidays. In between, we'll be receiving and organizing programs for short term people coming for less than three months.

The volunteer program for Hands is growing like crazy...we're receiving more volunteers (individuals and church teams) every year, and we're sending more and more volunteers out to our service centers outside SA. Our friends Laura and Dara (from Canada and the U.S.) are returning from 9 months in Mozambique this week. I can't wait to see them!

Theoretically, I'll be doing less Monitoring & Evaluation...we'll see. I'm a little terrified of this new role personally, because I'm so task oriented, and this will be all about relationships. But it'll be good for me I think. Say a prayer for me!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Kruger Park, Take 5

We spent the day in Kruger Park today. It's wet season, so everything is green, but the grass is so long it's harder to see animals. So we saw fewer animals today, but the animals we did see put on quite a show. The highlight was a beautiful leopard, which crossed the road just in front of our car. It was awesome! It's our 5th trip to the Park, and the first leopard we've seen, so you can imagine our excitement. I somehow caught it with the video camera, but I didn't manage to get a photo. Sorry!

We saw Cape buffalo ("a water buffalo is a strange animal..."), elephants, giraffes, and a lion. We also saw two huge hippos square off. It involved a lot of tail wagging and grunting (imagine half cow and half T-Rex)...it was very intense. That I will try to upload. For now, here are a few photos...

Jed watching the hippos from the hide

These two young ones were playing...the ones who fought were like four times this size

On our way home to Mt. Legogote