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March 12, 2012

A Routine

It has been a crazy past month!  We have gotten settled in Tulear (complete with internet!!) and are starting to get back into a "routine".  Routine is quite a funny word to use for life here though because a "schedule" or "routine" is never set.  Time here is really not important to those who live here and our Americanized brains are still trying to adjust!  Some of you may be wondering why we're just now "adjusting" to this but remember for the first 6 months we had the schedule of being in language study everyday!!  Now that official language study is over, we are learning to just live life here in Tulear. 
The "normal" plan is that Steve goes out to the bush "Mahafaly Land" with Grant 2x a month.  Depending on what's going on in the villages, determines the length of their trip.  Last week they were only gone for 2 nights but in another week they'll be taking a week long trip.  Right now, Steve is going on these trips as a learner.  Grant would say that he is also still a learner but he is actually teaching Steve a lot!  Of course, no matter how long we are here, we will always be students of the language and culture here.  Alot of time is spent in simply reaching the villages as they are a good distance from Tulear and very rough roads.  First, they stop by the villages they'd like to teach at and try to set up times that will work for the people there. Going back to my 1st paragraph - sometimes these "appointments" work out and sometimes they don't - flexibility is key!! Steve has been throughly enjoying his time listening to the stories being presented in Mahafaly and just getting to the know the villages and the people.  He says that it's also been a huge challenge to become more fluent and to become familiar with all of the differences in official Malagasy (what we studied in language school) and the Mahafaly dialect.  Please keep praying for both of us in this aspect!

Meanwhile, Ryleigh and I are mostly trying to stay cool and I spend my days trying to keep up with my very active 14 month old!  We are very thankful to live in a neighborhood with LOTS of trees which makes walks around it as nice as it can be in a HOT town!  Ryleigh loves being in her stroller, so at least once a day we take prayer walks around our neighborhood - my prayer is that as Ryleigh gets older she'll understand the importance of praying for those who the Lord puts in our everyday life.  I am in the process of talking with the director of a deaf school here in Tulear for possible ministry opportunites.  Hopefully, ministry at this school will soon become a part of our weekly routine!

In the middle of trying to establish somewhat of a "routine", we are getting on a plane and flying to South Africa on March 29th!  We are headed there for the 2 Oceans Cluster Meeting.  While there we will be catching up on various doctor appointments and shots for Ryleigh.  We will be able to catch up with some good friends from FPO and are excited about seeing them!  Honestly, we're looking forward to"simple things" like being able to take Ryleigh to play on a playground, doing a little shopping and eating at a McDonalds too!!  We'll be staying in South Africa until we board a plane on April 19th to head to Zambia for a month long intensive training.  Needless to say, we'd really appreciate your prayers as we are about to have anything but a normal routine for the next 2 months! 

We are excited about all the Lord has in store for us and are beyond thankful for His faithfulness and provision in the days that have passed.  There is a lot going on and we wanted to keep you in the loop!  We love hearing from you so send us an email and let us know how we can be lifting you and your family up!

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