We were able to put up the frames of the three nutrition center buildings. They put one up a couple weeks ago and then the next week they put up the next two. It went really well and it's exciting to see that coming up.
The first nutrition center building going up!
The beginning of that same week Gary had gone to the capital to buy all the tin for our house and those buildings plus a couple churches and so that was all delivered on a Friday (2 weeks ago, I think?) We were really excited about that. Our house is almost ready for the roof to go on - just a bit more welding to do and so things were really happening. Jonathan Smith, our volunteer from Texas, who we endearingly call Tex has done a lot of roofing and so he was excited to finally be moving on to his area of expertise as well. (He's done a lot of construction, so he was great doing everything, even welding our roof although he hadn't done that a lot before, but he was the expert in our group at least for putting on the roofs.) Then on Sabbath he talked to his mom, and his dad, who has been battling cancer for over a year had taken a turn for the worse. He was already thinking of leaving early (he was supposed to be here until July) but now he decided and we encouraged him to go ahead and go back. The only problem was he couldn't find his passport. So, Gary, Artur, and I spent quite a while that evening looking though the entire bedroom (3 bachelors in one room - use your imagination!!). It was no where to be found. Gary was already planning to fly to town the next day, so Tex went with him and then helped him get a new passport and get on a flight. Sounds simple, but it wasn't! I won't go into all the details, but the flights were full, embassy not too helpful, etc, etc. And Gary had a couple flights to do in between! Anyway, Tex finally got on a flight on Tues and Gary came home. We really miss him, and of course miss his expertise, but being there for his parents and spending some quality time with his dad are much more important right now.
Also on Tuesday, Kel and Josie left to go back to the States for a few months. Josie has some concerts scheduled at a couple camp meetings and they had some family celebrations to attend as well. They are hoping to come back some time in September, but in the mean time our group has really shrunk. We miss them all...
Oh, the same Sabbath that Tex decided to leave, we went to church as normal out in Dabgue. While Dr James is gone he let us use an old Land Cruiser that was donated for the hospital and just came in on the container that we got in Dec. (It looks exactly like the one Gary's family had in Zaire when he was growing up - same colors and everything, it's just a gas model instead of diesel.) Well, unfortunately it has quite a few issues, which I can't explain, but we tried getting the part from the US and it was the wrong one. I don't really understand this either, but it is some part for the carburetor, I think and it doesn't have the original one on it anymore, so we don't know what one it has on it or something. Anyway, it will randomly just die as we are driving along and you have to stop and wait a couple minutes, pour some gas into some filter, and then off you go again, until it does it again. So, I don't think we had any problems all the way to church. Cherise is our official driver (actually steerer) and she can actually do a good job if she doesn't get distracted! So, we got all loaded up (remember this is Africa, so that means at least 3 people up front, 4 in the middle seat, and as many as will fit in the back - maybe as many as 6, but some kids, 4 or 5 on the roof rack, and 3 or so standing on the bumper!) So, we got all loaded up and Gary pushed in the clutch and there was nothing - the clutch was gone! Great! So, we unloaded, pushed it out into the street and then as everyone was pushing it, Gary had to coax it into gear and off we would go, with everyone scrambling to get on since we couldn't stop! Let's just say we got the procedure down pat because it stopped five times on the way home! It was pretty funny, though it was very hot and we were just hoping we could make it home!! Anyway, we did make it home and haven't touched the car since!!
The rainy season is approaching. It's hard to know when it is really here because it will rain a few times and then stop and then rain some more, but there has at least been rain around every afternoon for the last few days, so it has at least cooled it down at night, which is always a relief. Sometimes it's worse to have the rain because the sun comes right back out and then it's just really humid, but if it rains in the evening then it usually is better. So, we are thankful for the rain.
Yesterday, Cherise and I were taking clothes off the clothes line and Cherise pointed out a little lizard. We were quite close to it and it wasn't running away, so I looked a little closer and she was straddling a small hole with about 5 eggs inside. Cherise got to within a couple inches of her, I think we could have touched her, but I didn't want to disturb her. Cherise did take a picture, but it is hard to see the eggs. Then maybe an hour later, Artur came home and Cherise wanted to show him, but it was gone. So, she must have covered them up when she was done. We did see the lizard though. Anyway, we hadn't seen that before, so that was cool.