The Current Time in Stavanger, Norway!

June 19, 2009

Home Sweet Home!

Yippeee! After a 14 hour plane ride and an additional 7 hours in airports...we're home!! The boys and I will be home for the entire summer break and Will is going to join us for the last two weeks. We've got a lot of fun stuff in store for the summer, but what we're looking forward to the most is just hanging out with friends and family and "enjoying 'All-American' lazy days of summer" (that's my motto for the next 7 weeks!) Over the last 48 hours I have realized how easy it is to forget everyday things! I haven't driven a car in 6 months and I had to ask the man at the car rental place how to put the car into drive. No joke...and it's a regular ol' automatic mini-van! When we pulled into our driveway for the first time Colby goes, "Oh! Now I remember this house!" Whenever we get in the car Nolan asks me, "home?" meaning "are we going home now, to our house in Africa?" Zach couldn't find the handle to flush the toilet! (The toilets in Africa have knob type things on the top of the tanks.) And my favorite....As the boys were parading from room to room in the house discovering things they had forgotten about, Colby said, "Oh, I have to go the bathroom!... Where is the bathroom in this place?" But, it didn't take long for us to readjust to American life- in the just 48 hours we've...been to McDonald's, shopped at Target, eaten Pizza Hut, enjoyed Slurpees, played at Chuck E. Cheese, met up with friends and eaten at our favorite sandwich shop! It feels great to be home. It's very true- there's no place like home! :)

June 14, 2009

Hospital Bags

I just started helping out with the “hospital bags” for the AIDS/TB hospital here in Luanda. The service project was started by a group of ex-pat wives because the conditions at the hospital are not very good. The only things that the hospital provides for its 250 or so patients are medicine (which doesn’t include pain medication) and a bed to sleep on (no sheets, just the mattress). These people are not provided with any food during their stay. It is assumed that relatives will bring them food, although this is often not the case. The patients sometimes have no family, the family could live too far to travel, or they feel that money is better spent on food for the children rather than someone who is dying. So a group of volunteers make up hospital bags every week to be distributed to the patients every Wednesday so that they have something to eat at least once a week. The bags contain; powdered milk (to be made into milk by adding water), a can of sardines, a hard-boiled egg, a yogurt and a piece of fruit. Tonight, Zach (with his love for Math) wanted to help me sort and count all the items to make up the bags. He was racing me- trying to see who was faster- me opening the bag or him measuring out the milk powder. He somehow also won. We had fun doing it together and I tried to explain why we were doing it, but it’s a pretty hard concept to grasp. I have not actually gone into the hospital because I don’t want to risk bringing TB back to my family, but I have heard that some of the patients are so hungry that they can’t get the containers of food open because their hands are shaking so bad. I decided to jump on the “hospital bag bandwagon” about a month ago because my friend, Hallie, is really involved with the project, it is something that I can easily do with kids at home, and I just can’t imagine being that hungry. As I stuff the bags I do often think to myself, “I wonder just how hungry I would have to be to enjoy that can of sardines!"

June 11, 2009

Check this dude out!

Check out this praying mantis we found at Zach and Colby's school!
He was huge! He was so fat he was having trouble walking- he was like waddling!
We moved him onto the grass because he was going so slow that he was going to get squished. And then I gave him a little advice- I told him to start praying that he loses a little weight (or he's not going to see too many more days)!