Friday, October 23, 2009


I just thought I would tell all of you out there that follow this blog and are not on facebook to hear the news that my scan was clear! Praise the Lord, nothing is wrong with me! I just have some unexplainable T3 and T4 levels when not on medicine. Now we know that for next year. I should never need a body scan again.

I'm jetting off to Lusaka at 5:30 my time. I'm 6 hours ahead of you in the United State. I will be joining my family for 40/40, where no computers are aloud. Don't expect to hear much is anything from us until Nov. 20th or so.

God bless,

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

40/40 and South Africa

My family has safely arrived in Lusaka, Zambia. 40/40 starts tomorrow. This is an orientation to life in Africa and how to witness to the Zambians.

I am in J'burg, South Africa. I was suppose to have a test on Monday. The technician was asking me all kinds of questions and found out that I don't need this test. Since my thyroid is out and I had cancer in it, and I had a big dose of radio active iodine, then I should be having a body scan. So they ordered a low dose of the iodine and I took that capsule on Tuesday afternoon. Tomorrow morning very early we will drive over to the hospital for a body scan. If all is alright, I will see my Dr. on Friday morning and come home (to Lusaka). If not they will order the big dose and admit me to the hospital for three days of isolation. They still admit you to the hospital for isolation in this country. Then I can go home on Monday.

Pray that the scan is clear, that they find nothing wrong with me.

God bless,
in South Africa

Saturday, October 17, 2009

A Week of Waiting

I have spent the week in Lusaka all by myself. Which means Steve is having to cook, do laundry, and teach the kids there lessons, plus learn Bemba. Pray for him.

On Monday I flew in a Cessna 210 from Kasama Airport to Lusaka. The trip costs the same no matter how many people are in the plane. So the Adairs flew down with me. They needed something that runs their fans at night when there electric goes off from 12 - 6 am. It is very hot where they are. There were two pilots this time. So five adults and two children flew in this six seater. It was scarier - wondering if all that weight in such a little plane was going to get off the ground and stay in the air, but it did.

Once we landed in Lusaka, I was whisked straight away to the laboratory for blood work. The rest of this week has had me hanging out at the guest house in flat 4. I have been having wonderful quiet times - no children running around the house. I have been reading. I have spent more time on the computer than I probably have since setting foot in the country. I have also been eating a very boring diet. Low Iodine. I can't find uniodized salt here. So I have been eating oatmeal, no salt. That is OK, I don't put salt in my oatmeal anyways, but I eat it for breakfast and lunch. I'm getting tired of it. I made a big beef stew, no salt of course, and have been eating it for supper for the past two weeks. There is a cookbook, but when you don't have the salt you need why try cooking different things.

So tomorrow, Sunday, I fly to South Africa for a test on Monday afternoon. This test will show if something is growing in my thyroid area that shouldn't be. I will see the Doctor on Tues. If all is well, I fly home on Wed. On Thursday 40/40 starts. That is an African Orientation, blogging will not happen during that time as we are not allowed to take our computers. So it will be quiet here for about 30 days.

God bless,

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Today, Steve spent most of the day working on one of our toilets. It has a hole for overflow in the top tank. It was overflowing. Steve messed with the float valve and fixed it. This morning it was overflowing again. Steve decided it needed new insides and we just happen to have some sitting out in the pump house. So to work he went. What a job it was. There were no directions inside the package! L He even took off the leaky pipe that goes from the bowl to the tank. Toilets here are not in one piece. He stilled didn’t have all the right parts, but managed to get it put together with only two leaks. The tank is cracked and he has board wedged between the wall and pipe to keep the pipe in the bowl until it dries. This is putting pressure on the crack. I think he went back in and put silicone on the crack. He did just flush if for the first time (7:30 PM) and he went back to playing games with the kids, so it must work or he would be back in there working on it.

This afternoon the electric went off. It has become no big thing; you just wait an hour it usually comes on again. I have spent the day making bread. Henry does make bread, but Steve made French toast this morning for breakfast. I was thinking the bread isn’t going to last the weekend. So I made our favorite oatmeal bread, then our new favorite recipe for sandwich bread and then 2 doz. Rolls. My feet hurt. The electric came on and we used the oven to bake it. A friend of ours bakes the bread on her braai (grill) when there isn’t electric. I haven’t had to try that yet.

When the electric came back on the water pressure didn’t come back, indicating the pump has problems. There are three breakers hooked to it and all were off. Steve turned them on and they popped off again. The culprit: the voltage regular. That is two now that have problems. We buy them to save our appliances from getting messed up and they keep getting messed up. The dryer had the voltage regular burning up twice!! Help! These things are no cheap!!
I think I better go and investigate. Steve is back in the bathroom with tools. That doesn’t sound good, although he isn’t muttering or fussing, so that is good.

God bless,

Second Package has arrived.

Oh! We feel like it is Christmas. Chili powder!!! I just used up the last of what I had, that some nice missionary gave me. A soccer ball. The kids are having fun in the yard playing soccer again. Our other ball died in one month of being here. It was an old one! I, Rita, am trying to get the rocks out of the yard so that hopefully it lasts longer. Thanks for the package Lori.


In this picture Steve is carrying about 50 lbs. of flour and the other bag is 50 lbs. of sugar. Yes we buy in bulk here. We can buy it smaller like we did in the states, but we go through it too fast. We always seem to be running down to the store for more. So I broke down and went for the big bags. The thing is that bag of flour in the picture is our second one we have bought and it is almost empty!!!

Our First Package has arrived

Our first package arrived this week. It was for Lane, since it was his birthday on the 1st of October. It was from a 5th grade Sunday school class in a Church in Alabama. Lane says, “Thank you very much.” He is being very nice and sharing the M & M’s with his siblings. The t-shirt is a great fit with room to grow. Thanks for thinking about us, for praying for us, and for sending us the wonderful treats.


I just thought I would update you on the water. Our Logistics Coordinator –Dwayne and his wife Betty were here for one day. He brought a water tank. He and Steve spent the day digging and putting pipes together. We now have a nice new tank on top of the pump house. The real neat thing is we don’t have to turn things on and off anymore. The tank and the reservoir have float valves that shut off when they are full. If the electric goes off we don’t need to go outside and turn a valve to get water from the tank, it will come from the tank all by itself. They also put in a new pipe all the way from the front wall, now when the water comes the pipe is full. If that makes sense! Before the water only came at a trickle. Thanks Dwayne and Betty for driving 12 hours and helping us out!!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Interruptions in the life of a Missionary!

Interruptions seem to be something of the norm here. You wish they were not normal, but then we pray that we handle them in the right way, as people are watching: little and big.

Flying to Joberg, South Africa I would say is a major interruption, especially to Steve. He had to teach the children school and still try to study language. He had to cook and keep after the laundry. Our worker Henry does all of the cleaning and does make the bread. I probably need to teach him more. My next trip south is more planned and so I am trying to do cooking on ahead.

On Monday, Sept 28th, our dog discovered a great place to dig in the mud. He was coated and so off he went to our outside laundry area to get washed off. Steve and I took showers too close together and the drain was over flowing. We knew it was clogged, but were ignoring it. Ignoring it really isn’t a problem here unless you are trying to teach your dog to stay out of the garden and not dig everything up!! Basically, all pipes come out of the ground outside the wall of the house and go into the house wall were ever you want them to. All the way around our house is a nice cement drainage ditch. So when the outside drain is clogged it just over flows into this ditch and drains into the garden under the grape arbor. This is where the wash machine drained until we started catching the water in a drum to water the fruit trees. So during a much needed language break, Steve and his language helper investigated. After digging around with a stick, he found a grate and pulled it up and the water went right down. All fixed and didn’t cost a thing.
In the afternoon the dryer quite while I was in the kitchen where I could hear it. It didn’t sound normal. I went to investigate. The voltage stabilizer was smoking. I quickly pulled plugs. Steve just hooked this new stabilizer on a week ago!!!!! Maddening!!!! Our washer will not spin on low voltage. I turn things off and come back an hour later and start it again and it works. Steve doing laundry doesn’t have that much patience. The thing should work. So he hooked it up to a voltage stabilizer. So Steve took a break from language study and unwired the washer and dryer from the stabilizer and wired them back straight into the electric. Some things around here you just cannot plug in, you have to wire them up. So back to square one and this wasn’t cheap. Steve just happened to find this large voltage stabilizer that someone had ordered and never picked up. Finding one this big is hard and we need them for the washer and dryer that are on our create or we might as well not even use them. This electric around here will mess them up.

Today, the washer did quit. The dryer has electric but the washer doesn’t seem to. Steve got out what few tools he has and started taking it apart. It turned out to be a fuse. Problem solved, but an hour has gone by that should have been spent studying.

God bless,
Rita for the Schwarz’ in Mbala, Africa