Upon Return

For the last two months our family has been on a mini-furlough for visiting family and friends. We left at the very end of April to go spend a couple of weeks with my husband’s folks in Yaoundé Cameroon. We then traveled across the world for a week at our mission’s headquarters for all kinds of meetings (ya know, to make sure we hadn’t gone stark crazy here). We then got to spend four weeks with my family and our friends out in the Northwest (North Idaho, Eastern Washington) before spending our last week in central Illinois with friends and our sending church.

Overall it was a very relaxing and refreshing, especially mentally and physically. It was sweet precious time spent with family, some who had never even met our son in person. It was a great time to reconnect with our friends in the area and catch up. Those memories will have to carry us for a few years until our next visit.

It also provided us the opportunity to bring back things to enrich our life here and allow us to (hopefully) raise animals better. I brought back a large assortment of medical supplies including medicines, wound care stuff, instruments and syringes. I love raising animals naturally but here I’ve just accepted that I wont be able to do that.

IMG_2837IMG_2836We also were able to successfully bring back two incubators and a brooder to begin to hatch out our own chicks for our flock and especially for me to begin my ministry of the animal micro-loan program. This first month we are doing a “test-run” of the incubators with special eggs that we bought back with us. We have high hopes for these but understand fertility goes down with shipped eggs – especially after a trip like we had. But either way we will give it a shot and see what we get from it. So far, I’m happy to report, both incubators are doing well despite me being on a learning curve with them; nothing like going all-in with things right?

IMG_2841Upon return we came home to a crazy yard, garden and chicken pens full of self-seeded plants. We have giant amaranth everywhere, a corn patch in the old turkey pen, pumpkins in the chicken pen, sunflowers (I like these), and the garden is full of volunteer tomatoes and lettuce. I will need to take many of them out before I can replant things.

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Most of the things I planted either didn’t come up or never made it while we were gone except for one kohlrabi. The tomatoes I planted have done well but it’s so crowded with volunteers that I can hardly sort out what is going on. Unfortunately our gooseberries have died back but the surrounding sweet potatoes are doing great. I did bring back a rather large assortment of husk-berries to try (gooseberries are a husk berry in case you didn’t know) so perhaps them dying back is a good thing and will give me more room to plant other varieties to try. They seem to really thrive here and since I’ve struggled thus far with tomatoes, I’d like to try growing some of the larger husk berries to make salsas and the like with. We will give it a try I guess.

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One other exciting thing (for me that is), is the special fruit from South America. The vine has been growing for a very long time and I was beginning to believe it wouldn’t produce but it has set at least one fruit; I’ll have to unbury the rest to know if there are more. The tomatoes really have taken over the place.

It is so nice to be home but we have a lot of work to get done catching up with life. Cleaning up and planting the garden, cleaning up the flower beds, getting a ministry started, sewing more curtains ( I wasn’t done with them yet and finally found material for our kitchen while in Cameroon), finding animal sources in Uganda for rabbits, possibly milking goats and various breeds of chickens and more along with the everyday things like cooking and taking care of our little guy. So much to do and projects to complete!

Oh and jet lag . . . .we need to get over that too, so here’s to picking life back up where we left off!!

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The new incubators set up in our office
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Up and running!
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Duck eggs
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Pheasant eggs
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Panama passion fruit vines crawling all over the turkey pen
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Mature pumkins await harvesting in the chicken pen
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One of the pumpkin vines from just outside the pen
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One of the clusters of bananas that our trees are putting out
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Banana trees in our yard
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Thai roselle hibiscus for tea, flavored drinks and jellies
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Our new produce racks that we had built while we were gone

 

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