Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas Traditions

So the last few weeks I've been thinking about Christmas traditions.  Most families have them, and they are SO much fun and unique to each situation.  This will me our first Christmas together, and, as usual, it will be a bit different.  (We will be staying with the Walkers (Cindy & Tommy) Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and we are SO looking forward to it.) Chris and I laugh at the fact the we have yet to have a "normal" relationship and a "normal" marriage.  Today we celebrate our 11 month "anniversary," and so much has happened in that 11 months.  We got married, Chris graduated from seminary, I moved out of a church staff position, we found out we were pregnant, AND we moved to Africa.  Yes...all in the 11 months of marriage.  So my thoughts have been:  What if this IS normal for the Walkers?  We will bring a precious little one into the world in 5 months, so I've been thinking about traditions...especially holiday traditions.

I have some very creative family members and friends, so I figured I could ask you guys.  What are some ideas for Christmas/holiday traditions that can be celebrated no matter where we are located?  Next year we could be in our own home, at one of our parent's home, or we could be overseas.  We've quit guessing what God will do with us from month to month.  So if you have any ideas, PLEASE feel free to share them.  I am open to whatever.   I love the holiday season, and I'm excited to hear what you guys say!  MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

This is our home in Ruston. 
My brother and sister-in-love are staying there while we are away, and I thought I would brag on Kim's creative ability!  

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

We'll Be Home for Christmas...

WOW!!  It has been three of the craziest months of our married life (yes, we've only been married for 11 months...but still), and it has also been three of the most blessed months.  We came to Mozambique about 6 weeks pregnant, and we will arrive in the States 20 weeks pregnant.  SO much has happened and changed for us these past few months, and it blows our minds.

Here are some of the things God has taught us OR we have learned about each other:

Dependence:  Nothing teaches you dependence upon God like being in another country, pregnant, and wondering how to get used to both of them at the same time.  There were days here where I definitely wondered if I would make it. Then my amazing husband would remind me of God's faithfulness, His call on our life, and that I only had to make it through THAT day.  I would go to sleep and wake up with such a peace that can only come from our Father.  We also learned dependence upon each other.  When everything around you seems strange (including the rapid changes going on in your body), you learn to depend upon each other.  There were days where we couldn't find things that I needed (think morning sickness days), and my husband was there to encourage me, pray over me, and then make me laugh.

Trust:  In many ways, the first two go hand in hand...the more you depend, the more you trust.  We have come to know and trust our Heavenly Father in a way we wouldn't have if we hadn't experienced these last three months.  I learned to trust Him with our baby's health, realizing that HE made him/her, and our baby was in HIS watchful care.  We also learned to trust each other.  Chris reminded me countless times that everything was OK, and I learned to trust in the truths he spoke over me.

Thankfulness:  It is so easy to get caught up in the stress of life that you forget to be thankful for the incredible blessings that God has given you.  God grew thankfulness in both of us, and HE taught us how to be even more thankful for the gift of marriage.

Love:  Before I got married I heard people talking about loving their spouse more as the days passed.  I didn't understand that until these past 11 months.  We have watched our love for God deepen in incredible ways, and then we have seen our love for each other deepen as we've experienced life together.  On top of that, God expanded our hearts to love a child that we have yet to meet.  We were both overcome with the instant love and care we felt for this little one.  It's amazing to see how God's love can teach you how to love another.

SO...during this Christmas season, think back through the year and see what God has given and taught you.  HE came, lived the life we live, and died in order that we might experience life, REAL life, in HIM.  For those who have prayed over us during these last few weeks, know you have NOT wasted a prayer on us.  Each one of you have been part of this journey, and we love you dearly!!  We are looking forward to being home for Christmas!!!  See you in 5 days!!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving weekend spent with.....lions?

     One of the interesting traditions that we have had over the last two Thanksgiving breaks is to be on the road!  Last year, we were newly engaged and headed off to Texico, New Mexico, to celebrate the wedding of our friends Corrie and Grant.  We spent Thanksgiving Day in Amarillo with the Richardson family...and then drove around Amarillo searching for a canyon just outside the city....but once we found it, the park was closed because it was too dark to see anything!
     Fast forward to this year....we are married and living in Maputo, Mozambique.  We don't really have enough time to fly home for Thanksgiving, so we decided to drive to South Africa and spend our long weekend in Kruger National Park, one of the largest nature reserves in the world with over 7,330 square miles of protected land for the African animals to live on without the threat of poachers and "big game" hunters.
     We stayed at a beautiful lodge called, "Tinga."  We had a blast!  We saw lots of incredible wildlife, birds, and landscape.  Our daily schedule included an early morning "game drive" from 5:30am - 8:30am, then back to the lodge for breakfast.  Usually from 10am or so until 4pm, we swam or napped or watched out new favorite TV series, "LOST," which somehow neither of us has ever watched!  Then around 4:30pm we would head out again for another 3-hour "game drive" searching for wild animals.  Supper was around 8pm, then we would head to bed around 10pm and try to get some sleep before our 4:45am alarm.  It was a refreshing five days.....with lots of "down time" to read or watch movies or nap during the heat of the day.
     Here are a few of the hundreds and hundreds of pictures we took during our time inside Kruger National Park.  Hope you enjoy!
We entered the park at the Paul Kruger Gate, which is in the southwest section of the park.  There are 9 different gates to enter the park. 
We took our game drives in a sweet-looking LandRover made specifically for looking at the animals.  I need one of these trucks for back in the States!

Us, on a bridge over-looking the Sabie River, at sunset on Saturday night.

Our Saturday morning drive found us face-to-face with three lionesses (female lions) looking for food!

Lucky for us, they were looking for something with four legs and not two!

We saw wild dogs....very rare, as only 400 or so are known to live inside Kruger Park.

This elephant came very close to our truck...and hardly even looked at us.  I don't think he has much to be afraid of.

Giraffe are abundant in the park, and always looked graceful as they walked around.

This baby baboon was the cutest thing we saw!  

One of many beautiful sunsets in South Africa....we loved it there.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Are THESE Cinnamon Rolls?

Chris and I have been in quite the baking and cooking mode the last few weeks.  When you don't have the convenience of running out and getting Pizza Inn or Pasados (two of our most missed restaurants) then you learn how to cook.  For you guys who know me well, you know that I haven't been known for my culinary skills.  BUT...I have tried to turn over a new leaf here.  Why not use another country and a new environment as a "test tube" of my ability to cook from scratch?!

This past weekend Chris and I were craving some southern favorites...peach cobbler and cinnamon rolls.  We found some easy recipes online, so we decided to use them.  Chris made our peach cobbler, but I noticed that it tasted a little funny.  Chris was SO proud of it that I ate it without saying a word.  I thought, maybe we need some more peaches in it.  Then Sunday we decided to make cinnamon rolls.  As he was putting the cinnamon on the dough I asked him what he was using.  His response: "Cinnamon!"  I noticed that the rolls had the same weird smell as the night before, but I couldn't figure out what it was.  So we baked the rolls, and they came out looking amazing (except for this weird smell).  I took a bite and was completely disappointed.  I said: 'They taste like taco meat!!" Chris responded: "I think your taste buds are messed up."  I was already feeling a little weepy, so the combo of the cinnamon rolls tasting horrible and my not understanding why EVERYTHING tasted like taco meat (the peach cobbler included) sent me over the edge.  I cried and cried and cried...over cinnamon rolls.  I was SO disappointed!!!

Last night we were making our shopping list for the week, and I decided I was going to buy some new flour. I was convinced the flour was the culprit for making everything taste like taco meat. So I smelled the flour, and it smelt fine. So I decided to smell the cinnamon to see if something was wrong with it. sniff told me that whatever we had been using to spice up our peach cobbler and cinnamon rolls was in fact NOT cinnamon.  I told Chris, "This isn't cinnamon!!!" He assured me it was. I said, "Cinnamon doesn't smell like this! This smells like taco meat!" The writing was in Portuguese, so after a little investigative skills, we determined that what we had used to add some spice to the cobbler and make our cinnamon rolls was in fact CUMIN and NOT cinnamon!!!  So...yesterday, instead of making cinnamon and sugar rolls, we had made cumin and sugar rolls!!  :) :)

I don't think we have laughed SO hard in a long time.  I felt a little redeemed that maybe I could in fact make cinnamon rolls that tasted good, and Chris is going to try the cobbler again.  Moral of the story...if you live in a foreign country, make sure you smell your spices before you use them. You just might make cumin rolls instead of cinnamon rolls! :) :)

Friday, November 12, 2010

Catching Up

Yes...I's been a while since we have posted.  Please forgive us for that.  We've had alot of changes over the last few weeks, but they have all been good.  First, we finally got moved into our new place, which will be home for the remainder of our time here.  It was such a blessing staying with the Lechners when we first got here, and I loved every moment with them. Angie was such a blessing to us (especially Amanda) during our first few weeks of pregnancy.  I don't think I felt good most of the time we were there (the bouts of morning sickness and food aversions were NOT fun), but she was SO kind and understanding during all of it.  If I took a bite of her food and said: "Umm...I don't think I can eat this right now."  She never got frustrated or hurt..she would just remind me that she has four children of her own, and I was not out of my mind. :) :)  I don't know what I would have done if God hadn't allowed for us to have that "oasis" while we were getting used to a new country (at least for Amanda) and a new place in life.  Chris and I will forever be grateful!!

But...we have adjusted well to our new place AND we have a vehicle which allows for a little more "freedom."  We even took a trip this week to South Africa for a border run and some MUCH need American food, which came in the form of McDonalds.  I don't think I have ever craved or loved that place more!! :) :)  I was quite the cheap "date" during our little get-a-way...we ate McD's 3 times.  You may think: "A little obsessive!"  Well...this 14 week pregnant gal has been craving it for over 6 weeks it was a little overdue!! :) :)  We had a wonderfully relaxing time there, and we came back refreshed and ready to finish the week.

In a couple of weeks we will head back to South Africa for a trip into Kreuger Park, which is on of the largest game reserves in the world.  So, though we don't have any recent pics, be looking for some in a few weeks.  We will also post some pics of Amanda's growing belly :)  I'm in the stage where you look at me and think: "IS she pregnant or has she just gained alot of weight in her tummy?"  I'm officially "out" of my regular pants, and into the wonderful maternity pants.  Since I'm a little vertically challenged, I'm sure I will be "popping" in a few short months :)  So, as the baby pooch gets bigger, I will fill in everyone on what it looks like. :)

That's all for now...more to come soon!!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Mysterious reaction....

Hey everyone....this is Chris writing today.  I've got to tell you about the last several days and how I've been battling a skin "rash" on my face.  I first noticed on Sunday, while eating lunch, that the corners of my lips were sore and the plastic cup I was drinking out of, was really irritating the crease of my mouth on both sides....and I mentioned to Amanda that I was going to drink only from glasses, not plastic anymore.  Well, Monday I went to school and all morning my lips were still really sore, and then that afternoon my skin just below my bottom lip began to itch like crazy, and by the time I got home Monday night, my whole chin area had become red and irritated and itched like crazy.  It was hard to notice at first because I have facial hair, but there is no doubt that I was itching all around my mouth and my lips were beginning to develop little "water blisters" around the edges and felt extremely dry and burned.  Well, I took some Benadryl Monday night, and when I woke up Tuesday morning to get ready for school, I looked in the mirror and did a double-take....for the man looking back in the mirror looked like Will Smith from the movie, "Hitch." Ok....maybe not quite that bad....but I'm telling right eye was almost swollen shut, and both eyes looked red and puffy and I had an abnormal amount of "sleep" in the corners of both eyes.

Amanda was not impressed with my new face....and told me that I probably should stay home from school since we didn't know what was going on with my skin.  Well, I took some more Benadryl and stayed home, but by Tuesday evening, I had red bumps behind my left ear, on the back of my neck, and even in the crease of my left elbow, and my eyes were still badly swollen and my cheeks were both red and splotchy and itched like crazy.  Angie and Amanda decided that I should probably go to the hospital and let a doctor check it out, since 24 hours of Benadryl had not seemed to stop the reaction in the least bit.

Well, after getting some blood tests run.....and having some "steroids" given to me in a nice "little" shot in my hand...and given some "cream" to rub all over my face and neck, the doctors sent me home for the night, and asked me to come back in the morning.

Here is what my face looked like this morning.....

This was actually much better than it was Tuesday afternoon/evening.....but I went back to the doctor this morning.  He was pleased with how my face looked, and gave me a prescription of "Prednisonol" to take for 2 weeks or so....and advised me to continue the "cream" as long as my face was itching.

I am so ready to get back to school, as I have been extremely bored the last two days at home.  Amanda has had to substitute for two of my classes, and I know she's ready for me to get back also.  But she has been incredibly supportive, and even sat at the hospital with me last night for a few hours as we waited for doctors and blood work, etc....  I love her!!

Ok....I'll keep you updated on my "condition."  until next time.....

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Border Run, Steak, and Maternity Jeans

This week has been quite the interesting week in the life of the Walker family (all 3 of us).  This has actually been the first week that I have felt pretty good the entire week.  I'm still a little tired and want a nap after coming home from school, but I'm not walking around with my nose half plugged just so I don't smell anything that sets off the nausea feeling.  I can take the tiredness over the nausea ANY day of the week.  Sleep cures the feeling of exhaustion :) :)

We also had to make a border run this week, and what the adventure we had!!  We have a 3 month, multiple entry visa, but the government only lets you stay 30 days.  We had to leave the country, enter another country, and then re-enter.  We left right after school on Thursday, and I was a little nervous about traveling in an un-airconditioned car with a guy I didn't know.  I took a Zofran before we left (preventative medicine :) ), and off we went. Raul, a Mozambican Believer, drove us, and he was completely precious.  When he found out I was pregnant he went into protective mode, which Chris and I appreciated.

The "fun" began when we got to the border.  Our plan was to go to the Swaziland border and then come back into Mozambique.  We had NO problems leaving the country and then entering Swaziland, but we hit a little snag trying to get our 30 day visa back into this country. The customs agent said that we had to be out of the country for 1 day, and we were in violation of that rule. Raul talked with him, waited patiently, talked with him some more, and then waited some more.  The entire time this was going on, I was having a dizzy spell and trying not to pass out.  Chris and I went outside to get some air, and then a few minutes later Raul came holding our passports. God had answered our prayers, and we were free to return home!!  PTL!!

Then to finish out our week, yesterday (October 22) was the year "anniversary" of our engagement. So my amazing husband took me out to a REALLY nice restaurant where we had amazing garlic bread, steak, veggies, french fries (my staple), and then finished it off with a chocolate dessert.  I don't tend to eat much these days, so I enjoyed the added protein of the steak, and enjoyed the time with my husband even more.  Last night was also a monumental point in our pregnancy in that I actually wore maternity clothes for the first time.  I received a package from my parents and sis-in-law filled with comfortable clothing.  My pants have gotten tighter with each passing week, and this week it's like I went over the top...literally :) :)  The clothes came at just the right time!!!  The shirts are still a bit big, but I praise God for pants that don't cut off my circulation :) :) sum up this was been a great one full of adventure and new steps.  I love how God is growing Chris and I closer as we go through all these changes!  These have been some incredibly special times for us.  More to come...

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Window Within

Chris and I just got back from our doctor's visit, and it was quite the eventful and MOST exciting doctor's appointment I have ever experienced.  We knew we were going to have an ultrasound, but we also hoped we would hear the baby's heartbeat.  God was good in that we got to experience both.  We are 9 weeks and 4 days, but the little guy (or gal) is measuring 10 weeks and 5 days.  Chris thinks it's a boy, and he takes after him :) :)  He's already wanting to sign those football scholarships :)

BUT the amazing part was when the doctor pushed on my stomach and the little one jumped (looked like a popcorn jump), and then he waved his hands and feet back and forth really fast.  Whatever the doctor did, I guess he didn't like it, AND he let us know it. :) :)  I think today it finally hit home that God is growing a life in me, and we are actually parents.  I know he/she is still a little thing, but there is nothing like hearing your child's heartbeat and knowing that it's a little part of you and a little part of your husband.  The miracle of life astounds me!!

We have another appointment set up for October 28, and she will do another ultrasound. There is nothing wrong (she said the baby is completely healthy), but she wants to measure his/her neck to check for any abnormalities, which she completely does NOT suspect!  So, in two weeks, we will get to see the little one yet again.  I think we will get "spoiled" to seeing him so often.

So until then...I'm sure we will continue to update you guys on ALL the interesting things that happen during pregnancy WHILE living in Africa.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Africa, Shakespeare, Prunes, and Pregnancy

So what do all of these things have in common...they are things Amanda has never experienced before now!!  I love how God takes you out of your comfort zone and gives you a crash course on dependency and trust.  It's not always easy, and that is what I have experienced over the last two weeks.

I knew that one day I might be pregnant overseas, but I didn't think it would be with my first.  BUT God has been faithful, and HE continues to give me exactly what I need.  For example, HE has given me an amazing husband and a great host family who has been so kind and patient with me.  HE has also given me a mom of four kids to talk to and remind me that I am "completely normal." (at least for a pregnant woman :)  )  Then today HE allowed us to find some prunes...which I normally wouldn't be thankful for, but if you have ever been pregnant, then you know what I mean!!  :) :)  I know that I am far from over in learning what it means to "Cast ALL my cares upon HIM because HE cares for me."  I'm also a far cry away from leaning on HIM for every minor or major issue in my life.  But pregnancy seems to be teaching me some of the things that I lack in my spiritual life.  My husband keeps reminding me that God is good, and we will be OK.  And I love him for that!!

So, if you are in a place of discomfort and wondering what God is doing...keep pressing into HIM.  Though it may seem like you are experiencing all of it on your own, I'm learning that in ALL things HE is present, and HE will see you (me) through.  Do I think I won't cry anymore over the newness and discomfort in my present life?  Ummm...I'm pregnant...that means I cry at everything. :) :)  But my prayer is that I am at least learning a little of the truth that God knows my way, and HE has orchestrated it perfectly!!!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

"Day of Peace" holiday in Mozambique

On October 4th, the country of Mozambique celebrates its "Day of Peace and Reconciliation" to celebrate the resolution of the brutal civil wars which officially ended in 1992.  October 4th fell on a Monday this year, so we had a day off from school at CAM.  Our weekend was filled with plenty of rest as well as taking in some sights and sounds from around Maputo.  We'd like to give you a glimpse of our life in Maputo.
Us, with the Indian Ocean (actually Maputo Bay) behind us.
Polo Doce (cheese, chicken, corn, and green peppers) Pizza at "Surf"
Mozambican lady ordering ice cream
Go-Kart track?!?
Saturday Market
Parliament building in Maputo
the "VIP Maputo" hotel
when the tide is out, people can walk a looooong way out on the "beach"
lots of street vendors push around this type of "wheel barrow" to sell their fruits and vegetables
Once we left the city, the streets lost their "paved" character and became much more sandy and rough
Look closely and you can see a soccer field and a goal (with no nets)
rural "country" living in Machava, just outside the capital city of Maputo
typical Mozambican "country" house...notice the "fence" around the front "yard"
local church building at Boa Nova compound in Machava

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Blessed with a surprise!!

     To say we've had a busy last year is an understatement.  From Chris coming home from Mozambique in the summer of 2009; dating, engagement, and marriage between June 2009 & January 2010; honeymoon to Hawaii; buying and renovating our first home; Chris graduating from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary in May 2010; mission trips to Turkey, Iraq, and New Mexico; Amanda continuing her second year of her doctoral studies at Southwestern Seminary in Ft. Worth while working as Director of Women's Ministry at Cook Baptist Church in Ruston; moving to Maputo, Mozambique to teach at the Christian Academy of Mozambique in September 2010.....whew!!  It's been quite a year!

   Well, the Lord had another surprise for us...we found out a few weeks ago that Amanda is pregnant, and we are expecting our first baby in May 2011.  WOW!  We are so excited about being parents and can't wait to see if our little "peanut" is going to be a boy or girl!?

     We will be giving birth back in Louisiana, and will have to come home the first week of April because of travel restrictions while pregnant.  Because we are living in the capital city of Maputo, there is actually very good medical care, and we have already met with a OB/GYN doctor this week.  The medial clinic is a brand new trauma center which has a women's clinic inside.  We were very impressed with the care we received on our first trip and look forward to having our monthly checkups until we come home for Christmas, and then again in April.

The week before we left for Mozambique....this is what our "Clearblue" pregnancy test showed!  And yes, Amanda took it twice....just to make sure!
Please pray for us (especially Amanda) as pregnancy in Africa is a little more intimidating than back in the comforts of home, and that Amanda's strength will continue to be enough to teach while pregnant in a new unfamiliar (and hot!) environment.  Please pray for our little one, that he/she will grow up healthy and not have any problems or complications.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Our first visit to our apartment in Maputo....

Here's some pics from our first visit to our apartment in Maputo.  We are excited about getting the place fixed up and ready to move in!
We will live on the first floor of this house!  Luke, Abby, Charlie, and Angie came with us to show us around.

the street in front of our house.
Walking down the driveway to our back door....
Amanda unlocking our back door....
I'm excited about the air conditioner in our bedroom!  A luxury in Mozambique!
comfy chairs in our TV room!
Angie, Luke, and Amanda went to check out the store on the corner .
We'll post more later!  Bye for now....

Praying Over Bags

Hey everyone!  This is Chris and I wanted to share a little story about how the Lord provided a blessing on our travels over to Mozambique.

When I was purchasing our tickets to go to Mozambique, I knew that we would have a very short "layover" in Johannesburg, South Africa.  According to our flight itinerary, our flight from Atlanta would land at 4:45pm and our flight to Maputo would depart at 7:10pm.  While normally a 2 hour and 25 minute layover would be plenty of time, I was a little nervous because our bags had not been checked all the way through to Maputo, and I knew that claiming our bags, going through passport control, security, and then checking back in at the L.A.M. (Mozambiquean airlines) desk and then going back through all the security and finding our gate would probably be more than the time would allow.  Well, on top of all that, our flight didn't actually land until 5:05pm, and we didn't get off the plane until 5:30pm.  YIKES!

We walked for about 10 minutes, and came to a "cross-roads" in the airport arrow pointed to the left towards "Passport Control" and "Baggage Claim" while the arrow to the right pointed towards "Transit," which is where we would normally go if our bags had been checked all the way through to Maputo....but remember, our bags were not.

Providentially, underneath this cross-road stood a uniformed airport official with a badge that read, "iHelp."    Well, knowing that we couldn't claim our baggage and still make it to check in on time, I humbly asked for help.  After showing him our baggage claim tickets, and also our e-tickets for our LAM flight to Maputo, he quickly looked at his watch and said, "Follow me."  He led us toward the "Transit" line, got us through passport control and then on to the L.A.M. desk to check in.  What we didn't know was that the L.A.M. desk closes at 6pm, and by this time it was 5:50pm.  Whew!!....we barely made it in time to get our boarding pass.

Our new airport helper friend, Hassan, told us that he needed to hurry off and find our 4 bags, and get them checked in with L.A.M.  He looked me in the eyes and said, "I will not disappoint you, my friend.  I will be back in 20 minutes."  Wow....Amanda and I sat down and waited patiently....I have to admit, nervously knowing that the fate of our bags was in the hands of our new "friend."

Sure enough, Hassan came back in about 20 minutes.....with the tags off our bags, and new baggage claim tickets from L.A.M.  YAY!!!  Well, he then told us that our bags were too heavy for the L.A.M. flight and that according to flight regulations we would owe over $1,000 in fees.  What?!?!  Well, come to find out, each airline places their own weight restrictions on bags, and while Delta allows 2 bags at 70 lbs each....L.A.M. only allows 30kg (66 lbs) per person!  Yikes!  Well, after talking with Hassan for a few minutes, he told us that he would talk to the baggage claim people and try to get them to allow our bags on for free.....well, as Hassan walked away from us, I said a little prayer, knowing that their conversation would have a large impact on our wallet!

A few minutes later, Hassan came back with a big smile on his face....saying, "Your bags are taken care of.  I owe the baggage lady a Coca-cola."  WHAT?!?!  haha.....I laughed and told Hassan thanks!  He glanced down at his watch....6:20pm.  Our flight would soon be boarding, and we still had a long walk to get to our gate.  "Follow me".....he said.  And he took off, weaving his way through the airport traffic, knowing when to take the elevator instead of the escalator, or when to cut through the corners of a restaurant instead of going around.  Hassan pointed us down the hallway towards our gate, and said he had to run off to personally get our bags on the plane.  He said that if they didn't make the plane, they would be on the first flight tomorrow morning.

We arrived at our gate at around 6:45pm....immediately boarded a bus which took us out to the plane.  We sat down...buckled up....and the plane began taxiing down the runway.  WHEW!  We just made it.....

An hour later, we landed in Maputo, made it through passport control and nervously waited at the baggage claim belt.....and thankfully saw all 4 of our bags!  YAY!!  Hassan was true to his word.  Amanda and I said a quick prayer, thanking the Lord for providing a blessing for us on our travels.  I don't know if we would have made it to Maputo on time with our new friend Hassan.....Thank you Lord!

Friday, September 24, 2010

You Know You Teach in Africa When...

Today we had our "orientation" at the school.  We found out that we would begin Monday morning, which is good for us.  But here are some of the things I learned about being a teacher in Africa.  Here's the scenario...I came here thinking that I was going to teach Bible and then ESL.  But...things are always open for change!

Yesterday was a sad day for the teachers and students at CAM in that one of the teachers lost her daughter.  She taught the high school literature and the 4-5th grade history.  So today, I (Amanda) went from a Bible teacher to a literature teacher and maybe a history teacher.  Right now Chris will take over the history classes, and I might end up taking one of the classes later in the semester.  Monday morning I have to be ready to administer the Silas Marner test for the 9-10th grade, and then Tuesday I begin Macbeth with the 11-12th graders.  You may ask, when was the last time I studied these? Well...I was 15 and that was 16 and 13 years ago.

This should be quite the interesting year as I adjust to the ever changing life of teaching overseas.  Needless to say...I DID have a moment where I became overwhelmed, but my precious husband calmed me and reminded me of the great theory: "You only have to stay one day ahead of them!" :) :)  I love that man and the encouragement he gives.  So...please be in prayer for us as we begin this new adventure of teaching.  You never know what will happen...

Thursday, September 23, 2010

We Made It!!

Well...we have finally made it to Maputo, Mozambique, our home for the next nine months.  We left Tuesday at 12:00 and arrived here on Thursday at 8:30 p.m.  So...needless to say, it was a LONG day. We are actually up and moving about, but I don't know how long we will make it.  My prayer is that only a short nap will help keep the eyes open.  Crazy thing about jet lag is that if you don't stay up then you don't sleep at night.  So please pray for us AND our worn out bodies. Pray that we adjust fast, and we will be ready to serve by Monday.  I promise to post pics soon...when we actually get off the couch long enough to take some :)  :)

Monday, September 6, 2010

Big Changes Ahead!

Well...the Modern Nomads have some huge changes ahead, but we are completely excited about it!! Wait for it... :)  Chris and I will be moving to Maputo, Mozambique at the end of this month!!  We are so excited about this new adventure and opportunity God has given us.  Chris graduated from seminary in May, and since that time, we have been seeking Him about what He had for us.  It has been a long few months of prayer, different possible opportunities coming up, and then realizing it wasn't what He wanted for us.  As most of you know, Chris and I have a heart and a passion to take the gospel to the nations.  We always knew that serving internationally was going to be part of our life, but we had no idea just how fast God would move us in this direction.

Chris served in Maputo before we were married, so for him, it feels like he is returning home. I've never been to Africa, so this will be a new adventure for me.  We will be teaching at an international school and working alongside some of our friends in the more rural church plants.  We couldn't have engineered a "job" like the one God has for us. We ask that you guys please pray for us as we make this transition.  We will have internet, so we will keep up using our blog and facebook to keep up with everyone.  We have two more weeks left in America before we leave, so we ask that you pray we get everything done that needs to get done.  We have a few things in our home that needs to be boxed up, AND I (Amanda) have to make the Wal-mart run (which will probably take several trips).  :) :)

God has been so good to give us direction as we seek Him. So...more stories to come from the Modern Nomads :)

Our New Home


Thursday, September 2, 2010

Weekend of Walkers

Well...we are back on the road! It seems like the only place I blog is when we are in the car driving somewhere.  This weekend we are headed to Little Rock to spend time with Chris' siblings and our cute nephew.  We will stay with Craig (Chris' brother) and Nicole and then see Cara Beth (Chris' sister) and Brent tomorrow. We are excited about a weekend away from "regular" life.  It's always nice to change your scenery a little and slow down a little.  We will head back Saturday and go straight to the LA TECH vs. Grambling game.  It should be quite the football game with TECH beating Grambling in the football game, but Grambling dominating in the battle of the bands. :) :)  At least it should prove to be quite entertaining. Hope you all have a wonderful Labor Day weekend!!

Sunsets, whales, and big waves....

Hey guys, this is Chris....and I am finally contributing to our blog!  I thought it might be interesting to post some our beautiful pics we took while on our honeymoon at Maui, Hawaii, in January 2010.  I know this is from a few months ago, but we hope you enjoy....
Quick stop while driving on the Highway to Hana.

looking down the 300ft cliff in our backyard!

This is the view from our back porch

the grocery store we shopped at while staying just outside Paia

We went searching for "JAWS"...the famous surf on the Northshore of Maui.  We think we found it!

One of many beautiful waterfalls we spotted while on the Highway to Hana.
While driving in the "Upcountry," looking down at Wailea-Makena & Kihei.
Dinner at Mama's Fish House....Yummy!
Amanda wrote our names in the sand while waiting for the "Feast at Lele" to start.
Enjoying the picture perfect sunset at the Feast of Lele.
Whale watching with this great organization.
We saw at least 5 whales and got some great video, but this was the only picture that came out decent....a "pec slap."
On our whale watching expedition!
The entrance gate to where we stayed on Maui!
This flower was near our front door....big, bright, and beautiful!