Saturday, April 19, 2014


a selfie out the huge window directly across from my bed (with a feather duvet!),
looking out into one of the lovely gardens of the cottage where we stayed in Harare

I didn't know what to expect of our week-long holiday to Zimbabwe, but it was fabulous. We started out with a day in Bulawayo visiting the Brethren In Christ church offices and spending time with our regional administrators, Jake and Nancy, in their home. We ended up on a bus with cardboard seats and no safety belts winding through the hills (mountains?) of Chirundu Way en route from Harare, Zimbabwe to Lusaka, Zambia-- okay, so maybe that wasn't the best part... but... 

looking out into the garden from the sitting room

the courtyard in the middle of the house

flowers in the courtyard
In between, we stayed with Sara's newlywed friends Doug and Chloe in this magical English cottage. 

We also visited coffee shops, joined them at their church and Bible study functions, sat by the fire eating stew, off-roaded a mountain on Saturday afternoon, and... relaxed in the peacefulness of life sans work, cell phones, and constant knocks at the door.

It was bliss.

It was magical.

It was a true holiday

my bed with the feather duvet

bougainvillea is always gorgeous
Sara's charming second story window
another view to the courtyard in the middle of the house

Thursday, April 17, 2014


Something I'm not sure I could/will ever get used to is the transiency of life as an expatriate.

Earlier this month we bid farewell to Lisa, a volunteer nurse who moved to Zambia about six months before Heather and I arrived. Throughout our coinciding time in Zambia we shared good times-- like our weekend in Lusaka during cold season (more tea, please), and our July 4th picnic lunch. Our countless chats-- often perched on the counters-- here in the kitchen at Nahumba made the kitchen seem like the most natural place for our quick good-bye photo the other night.

Lisa- blessings upon you. Go well, and stay well. 
I'm thankful for the opportunities we had to spend time together over the past year-and-a-half.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

we got him!

*Another post that is not for Mom*

The Shenks (our regional boss) took us back to Bulawayo with them Monday (7th). On the way, we met up with a snake crossing the road. There was a small "babump" as we ran over this slithery reptile, and Jake was so proud of the kill that we turned around and stopped to snap a few photos.

To all the other Cookers: does this remind you of Uncle Paul and wood chucks?  ;)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


Sorry for the recent blog silence… which represents one of the best holidays in the past few years of my existence. I’ve just returned from a trip to Zimbabwe, visiting friends and relaxing. I have pictures to show and tales to tell, but… we’ll have to wait for the internet to cooperate…

So, if the tea kettle gets repaired soon (it’s been in the shop for weeks now…) and the electricity stays on, and if I don’t get run over by a taxi or semi truck when crossing the street…

I’ll be able to tell you more about my Zim-venture.

Until then-


Monday, March 31, 2014

Green Alert


check it out

(if you don't want to "check it out," don't scroll down)

Well, there's a snake on the lose in our front hedge.
Just thought you'd like to know.

see that wee head?

how about now?
While someone ran off to find a snake slayer, this little guy disappeared into the hedge again.
But, not for long.
He (or his cousin-?! yeeps) reappeared on the other side of the hedge a couple minutes later. 

see that long neck?



yep. that's him.

do you still see him?

how does that go-- Speak Softly and Carry a Big Stick-???

I wanted to tell you that the snake is dead and all is right with the world...
but that would be a lie.

He escaped.


That's why I figured I better send out an alert.

PS- If they weren't so poisonous and, well, sneakily slithery and rather gross-- I might find snakes more interesting. I mean, this little guy is a pretty color...
And, actually, based on my quick googling just now and comparing photos of this guy and other snakes, I think he's just a bush snake and not poisonous.
At least-- that sounds like a good thing to believe, right? :)

Sunday, March 30, 2014


a friend's baby sleeping on her nanny's lap in the vehicle as we ran hours of work related errands

You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety
Psalm 4:8

Saturday, March 29, 2014


that's the kind of bread I'm talkin' 'bout! oh yeah.

Things have been busy in my office recently, as we're nearing the end of the first quarter of 2014! 

Do you realize that on Monday the year of 2014 will be a quarter of the way finished? Which means... we are remaining with 3/4 of the year to complete all those 2014 goals we set up back in December and January (that is, if you made some 2014 goals).

One of my 2014 goals was to bake whole grain bread at least once a month.

I enjoy baking bread, and don't like the ever-so-common white bread here in Zambia, but last year I hardly ever took time to bake bread. Thus, this year's nutritious bread goal.

Well, I'm now 1 for 3... sadly, not a very good score :(
But at least I met my goal in March-- and with a couple days to spare :)

*and if you want explanations/excuses regarding January and February's bread goal failures, I have some great reasons ready to share...