Thursday, November 10, 2011

Random Pictures, Countless Stories...

It’s been 50 days since I said good-bye to family and friends and left my comfortable, familiar surroundings. 
50 days in the scheme of things is no time at all; it’s not enough time to learn a new language, understand a different culture, or reverse lifelong habits.  However, 50 days is more than enough time for the “little things” in life to trade places with what used to be the “big things.”  It’s plenty of time to start counting your blessings, and  forever change how you see the world!

Here's a little collection of random pictures from the past 50 days that contain countless stories...
There's a little place down the street that makes "spagettii omelets," one day while enjoying spagetii and beans there I asked the rhetorical question, "I wonder where they wash their dishes?" and almost simultaneously noticed the buckets on the floor where our plates were being washed. 
When we were in Douala with pastor Rich we saw a lady gut a fish and wash it in a bucket of water, then watched a boy run up to the same bucket of water and wash a plate.

This little boy was just sitting in the middle of bustling "Clark's Quarters" a little neighborhood center for vendors, a few of our favorites are a bakery, bread shop, and a little store in an old, blue shipping container.
The kids here are so independant and things that would make me cringe don't even concern the parents in the least.  Last time I was at the blue container store a little toddler stumbled by down the broken sidewalk, no parents in sight... not a big deal, just another little thing I'm not used to.

This is a prime example of the little street vendor shops.  For sale here we have fresh sugar cane;  The empty shelves you see on the far side of the chair are usually stocked with bananas, plantains, oranges, tomatoes, or pears (avocados).  You're never more than a few steps from one of these little stands, if you want bananas and they are "finished" at this one, just walk a few yards to the next one.

 This little girl just tears my heart up.  She's the daughter of the lady who braided my hair.  She laid on the floor the entire day, never stood or used her legs for anything.  her limbs, feet and hands are so tiny and underdeveloped that they are of no use.  Trixy said it's a combination of Cerebral Palsy and a malnutritioned diet.  Plus the poor thing had a cold on top of that.  Her siblings and other kids played circles around her and us all day.  When it was time to eat the oldest "scrubbed" the floor, and sat them all down in a circle around a little pot of food, and fed them one bite at a time with the same spoon.

This is the local car wash! It's so pretty and amazing!  You can barely see it, but way on the right side you can see that it's a small waterfall-like stream coming down off the mountain, they drive they vehicles right down into the water and wash away!
It was hard to get a picture, had to do it when we were driving by slowly, and even then they started yelling at us for taking a picture... but this gives you a little peek.

What do people really get for all their hard work? 10 I have seen the burden God has placed on us all.  11 Yet God has made everything beautiful for it's own time.  he has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people coannot see the whole scope of God's work from begining to end.
Ecclesiastes 3:9-11
Over the last 50 days I have almost worn out words like "WOW," "incredible," "amazing," "unbelievable," "awesome," "indescribable," and "crazy."  I can't have a conversation with my family and friends without saying, "I can't even tell you how much...," "I can't explain...," "I wish I could tell you how..."
Words cannot describe the things I am learning and experiencing here!  Try as I may there's no way for me to convey what I see, hear, smell, taste, and feel as I go through each day.  I often just stop and wish with all my heart that you could trade places with me for just 10 seconds and experience what I am living!

I've become overwhelmed with questions... I feel like my head is constantly swimming.  Striving to understand what is being said around me, remembering and processing cultural lessons I'm trying to learn.  And forever struggling with questions like how can I make a difference, what should I be doing, where do I start??  (I could go on and on, but "I can't even describe to you" haha).

Search me O God and know my heart, try me and know my thoughts Psalm 139:23


Anonymous said...

Hi Tabby, Lyle and I have thoroughly enjoyed your blog! Thank you for bringing Africa to us. Such a beautiful country with its own hardships and sadness. God has brought you to Africa, the reason as to why you may never know but be at peace and just serve Him where you stand each day, be His witness, be His eyes, be His hands and share His love. From what we see you are doing all this. "Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.Philippians 4:6,7 Your in our prayers. Eat some avocados for me and plantains and mangos! What a blessing! Lovingly, Lyle and Becky

Anonymous said...

I too look forward to your blog and think OH MY, but I know you will make a difference in their lives as they will in yours forever. I showed the picture of your little Erkle to my friends they were all amazed at the resemblance,everyone wished they could just squeeze his cheeks he's so adorable. Love Dorothy

Anonymous said...

I'm so happy to see all the photos and I love the braided hair look! Thanks for keeping us up to date on your adventure. Hope you have a great Thanksgiving!
God bless and love,
Lisa lacher