Friday, July 30, 2010

Fun times !!!

  • Heather always writes these blogs but I thought it was high time I (Steve) penned an entry. There are many fun advantages of living where we are. I thought I might mention just a few:
  1. 1. Where in the West can you stand 3 stories high on bamboo scaffolding wearing regulation safety boots (flipflops) with no safety equipment at all?
  2. 2. Where else can you drive on the wrong side of the road with traffic coming straight at you and it be quite normal ?
  3. I have not used a seat belt since I got here.
  4. Where else can you drink 12 liters of water in a day and not pee once ?
  5. For us guys, we can pee on any wall we want to any time you like and it is quite normal (I actually have not tried this yet!)
  6. You can play your music as loud as you like in your house or anywhere and no one complains.
  7. When driving, the main point is to use your horn as much as you can so that people know that you are there. You try and overtake on any side you like whenever you like even if someone is coming from the other direction.
  8. My electrician turns up to work sometimes in bare feet and wires the mains board live!
  9. Last week we lifted a 400kg machine 4 stories high---with just bamboo scaffolding.
You are probably sitting in your rocking chair reading this and saying to yourself, "Steve is where the action is!" And you'll be right!

Monday, July 26, 2010


It's surprising how fast you can get spoiled! On my recent trip to the States it took me no time at all to get used to air conditioning, hopping in the car to go places, no dirt to speak of, etc. My family being here and the fact that I know this is where I'm meant to be was a huge draw to come back, but things being the opposite of the above? Not so much.

Many people have talked to us about how we're pretty neat to be willing to live like we do. But it's really not true! It's often a struggle, but one that we have Help coping with since He provides the gace to do what He asks of us. It's also made easier by the fact that our neighbors have so very little. How can I complain when they live with so much less?

I don't think Steve struggles with it much but I'm ashamed to say that I don't always make it beyond that and walk in the direct opposite of not complaining---- into an actual attitude of gratitude.

It always seems like when my heart's a bit hard there's something or someone that challenges me out of it enough that I struggle with it and finally sort it out inside. This week it was one of our co-workers who at this point is only here for a half a year or so but wants to be here long term. How's she challenging me?

Next week she's moving in with one of FS's women. She'll be living in one tiny room with this woman and her son. It's not even big enough for her to stand up in. She will have to go to the communal toilet to bathe and do other things, she will be washing her clothes by hand, enduring the heat without a fan, eating what this family eats and probably being sick part of the time from it.

Why? Because she feels called to love others by living among them. Sounds like Someone else whom I admire!

Do I feel called to live like that right now with our kids? No. But the big question is: Am I willing to at some point? Not sure I can answer that right now.

But what I can definitely do is shift my attitude back to being humbly grateful for all that I DO have!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


There's a homeschooling forum that I've gone to for years and even though I'm not homeschooling anymore I still enjoy checking up on my friends there who also live overseas. They've been a huge support to me over the years since we understand each other's unique challenges of living outside of our homeland.

At the top of the forum today is a note saying that a certain lady will be missed. It's probably been there for a while but I hadn't noticed it. She's not 'International' but I remember had joined in the conversations in the International corner now and then. When I looked further I found that she died a couple of weeks ago of the ovarian cancer that she'd been fighting for the last 4 years.

Then I noticed the most profound thing I've seen in a long time. Under everyone's picture on the forum page is a place to put your location that is attached to every post that you make. Most people have 'Texas' or 'Thailand', etc. on theirs. I had noticed what this lady's has said in the past but it hit me like a lightning bolt today. Still on the forum put there by her well before she died, her location says, "Exactly where I'm meant to be."



I've been very lax about our blog lately! Very. Sorry about that! Life's been a bit crazy. I was in the States for two weeks talking about the business and as a side bonus (a big one!) getting to see various family and friends. Steve did a great job as Mr. Mom/Mum and the kids stepped up and helped out, too.

Some recent events since:

-We're pretty sure a new strain of Swine Flu that's in our city hit everyone in the family except Steve and Aaron last week. I think I had the other one last year when we were in Fiji so got this one less intensely than the kids. They're pretty much over it now--but was not fun!

-The teenage daughter of one of the ladies who works with us committed suicide last week. This obviously had a huge impact on everyone here.

-On the flip-side, one of the women took a 'swim' over the weekend. Was precious to witness! There were others who wanted to join her but couldn't because of interference from family members.

-Speaking of the business, we NEED ORDERS! There are some for later in the works but in the past week there have been a number of days with no work for the women to do. They still receive their paycheck regardless, but we need orders to continue to function and grow so that more women can be free!

-Steve's made huge progress on our future home lately! There's still a big job left that involves a lot of welding which the local workers can't do. This means that Steve will have to do it all himself and will take some time, but we'll get there! Pictures soon.

-Meanwhile, the huge rat that lived in our drain finally took the bait and bit the dust the other day. Adam especially was relieved!