Wednesday, July 28, 2010


I returned home this weekend from my mission trip to Malawi, Africa. I had an awesome time! I realize that a mission trip is not even close to living in a place for 2 years. I won't even begin to pretend I learned all the in's and out's of Malawi. But I loved it.
We stayed at Children of the Nations in Lilongwe. It was like glorified camping. 6 to a room. A hut, really. With bunk beds and a sink. A community bathroom. With cold water on most days. But it was awesome!
I cannot wait to go back.
I want to work for the FS! I want to MOVE there. Somewhere. Anywhere.

Our team was comprised of myself, a pediatrician, a group of college girls, a group of counselors, 2 professional photographers, a hopeful soon to be pastor, and my 14 yr old son.

The medical team (myself and the pediatrician) saw close to 1000 kids in roughly 6 days. We treated ear infections, colds, coughs, ringworm, scabies, and any other common ailment you could imagine that we have here in the states. We saw many who were HIV positive. We also saw a couple handfuls of adults (most of who were HIV positive) and tried to treat many of the side effects from the ARV meds they take regularly. We passed out a TON of tylenol, ibuprofen, pepcid, and vitamins. We passed out antibiotics to those who needed them. Ointments and creams as a spit in the wind for the tiny scabie and or ringworm infested kiddos.
We operated in small villages, out of suitcases, with medications we brought with us.
Most were happy we were there. "Azungu!" The children would squeal as we approached the villages.
Azungu translates to "white person" in the language of Chichewa.
Cyberbones, you may hear that term occasionally! :)
We prayed with patients, worshiped, sang and danced. A LOT. I learned new songs in Chichewa.
We went to church in the Slums of Mgona. I was inspired. What an amazing worship experience.
I have tons of pictures. I have yet to sort through them. I am so jet lagged, I can't sit down on the sofa for more than a few minutes without falling asleep.
I missed reading all your blogs. I can hardly wait to catch up and see where some of you are going, see if some of you have gotten the 'call', and read about your pack-outs and all the other FS drama. My own FS drama is this: my investigators have submitted my background checks to the case manager. I called Washington to find out where I am in the process. They told me to call back in 2 weeks. The security guy said he was 'pleasantly surprised to see how far my security clearance was in such a short period of time'.  That's good, right? My husband received his worldwide medical clearance. I am still waiting on my 14 yr old's medical clearance because there was an issue with the system not recognizing him, so we had to wait for the help desk to put his information back into the system. As best I can tell, I am in a holding pattern. I feel pretty good about it. It's happening, slowly but surely. Slow and steady wins the race...
I'll post more pictures soon.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


I leave on Friday for Malawi. I am going with my church on a mission trip. I will be working with a pediatrician and we will be setting up a mobile medical clinic in a small village in Malawi, Africa. The goal is to provide basic health care and deworming for all the orphans in the village of Chikudzulire --just outside of Lilongwe. Depending on how much time we have, and how many medications we have leftover, we may also set up clinic in the village of Mgona. I'm taking my oldest son, Tyler (14), to help out as well. We are very excited about this opportunity.

(I borrowed this fancy picture from the web, but had no idea how to ask it's author. So, thank you in advance to whom ever took the time to upload this to the internet.)

On a FS note, I have heard back from several contacts that my background investigation is definitely underway. The Arizona agent has contacted most everyone he had on his list, I think. I'm not positive, but I think he may be wrapping things up in the next day or two--**grin** I think the Indiana one is just getting started, however.  I'm hoping that by the time I return in 2 weeks, it will be over. I'm really getting much better at this waiting thing.  At least, I think so.
My family might beg to differ.  Most every sentence begins with, "What if..." or "When we move..."
or "What can we get rid of..."
We did clean out all our closets this weekend.  We carried out 5 bags of trash and several large loads of 'stuff we no longer need.'  I hope I'm not jumping the gun, I am just soooo excited.