July 20, 2009

so now i'm thirty...

it's not too bad so far, except i've already had check the '30-34' box when filling out a survey...that was not fun. there were many fun surprises to be had...lots of e-mails and facebook messages, yummy treats, cards in the mail, flowers, a blog post and a bouquet of fruit!

on thursday some of my best friends and i stayed at a hotel down by the plaza, and saturday we had a 'park party' in lee's summit. thanks so much to everyone who made my birthday special...in person or from afar!
kim . jackie . casey . missy . shelly



me and the happy meal...both thirty


a few more birthday pictures can be seen here

July 13, 2009

mr. & mrs. talton...

after a very quick turn around from africa, i was on my way to the beach in north carolina for a great friend's wedding. we had so much fun! this was my first 'destination' wedding and it did not disappoint. i got to hang with some really fun (and hilarious) people, lay on the beach, help with the wedding details and dance the night away! i would do it again in a heartbeat. here are some pictures of the fun...
beach day

shelly and jenn

jenn and tyler's first dance...they were groovin'

mimi and me


you can see more pictures of the weekend festivities here.

July 11, 2009

the many pictures of africa...

for anyone out there on the edge of their seat with anticipation...the pictures are here. we have three options for your viewing pleasure:

one: for the short, fifty picture tour on facebook, click here

two: to see all one hundred and fifty of my pictures on flickr, click here

three: if you're really into it, you can check out a gazillion pictures from the whole team here

July 5, 2009

africa the sequel...

we finished up our vbs and headed out of town for our two day safari at mvuu camp. our first day there we went for a game drive, during which you are given strict instructions to stay inside the jeep. twenty minutes into the drive our jeep broke down, so we all had to climb down in order to switch vehicles and gallivant around with the animals a bit. the drive began in the afternoon and lasted until evening so we could also see the animals at night with a large spotlight one of the guides had. once night fell and it was good and dark…we got a flat tire. out again we went, into the wilderness. thankfully there were no elephant stampedes passing by at the time.

round two of ministry was working with save orphans ministries in ntcheu. we spent some time loving on kids at an aids clinic. there are about fifty kids that spend friday, saturday and sunday at this clinic getting medicine, nutritious food and learning about the love of Jesus. the kids don’t look any different than the other kids around, but all of them have tested positive for hiv and most won’t make it past the age of fifteen or twenty at the most. but they were just as happy as can be singing, playing and laughing. we gave out lots of hugs and were able to encourage them by just reminding them that there are people out there who love them and care about them…they are not forgotten.

my girl zondiwe

July 1, 2009

three days in africa and there's so much to say...

in the mornings we've been doing a vbs at the african bible college for the children of the missionaries and the kids that live in the city (as opposed to villages). these kids are educated, well fed and have families. not the sort of kids you generally think of people going to serve in africa. but whenever teams come they want to help with orphans and these kids are often overlooked. it's been great to see how much they've been looking forward to and enjoying this week. and many of the parents have expressed how much it means to them for someone to come do something for their children too.

monday afternoon we took an authentic trip to the market. we hopped on malawian public transportation (which is an adventure all by itself) with our shopping list, which included a chicken. that's right...a live chicken. which we carried home. on the mini bus. and ate for dinner.

tuesday we walked about thirty minutes into a nearby village to help feed orphans their afternoon meal. it was like a parade. all the kids would yell "azungu" (white people) and run after us waving. it was so cute. the kids we were feeding and playing with all loved to get their pictures taken...all together i think our nine person team left the village with approximately one gazillion pictures. thank goodness for digital.

wednesday we spent a couple hours at a crisis nursery holding and feeding babies. if malawi allowed international adoptions to people other than madonna, we would have had a few more passengers coming home with us for sure.