Saturday, March 10, 2012

Preparing for the “Two Oceans” Race

Steve has been preparing for this race for a while now.  I thought I would just give you a picture or two of my now pretty lean husband. 

Race prep comp 1.

Just a little story to explain the bike.  In January 2012 we had to prepare our budget for the year 2013.  It is hard to think on ahead about how much money you will need for fuel.  You plan your trips and budget accordingly.  Last years budget was the first one Steve prepared I think for us.  A few more trips were made than we budgeted for and so the fuel budget was coming up short for the year. 

Steve was driving 10k to the Schaefer’s house to run with Grant five mornings a week.  So to save on fuel he started biking the 10k over to his house.  Run with Grant and then bike the 10k home.  He also started riding his bike just about everywhere he had to go in town here.  For a while the only time our vehicle left the carport was to take our family to church on Sunday and a family outing to the Schaefer’s for tea on Friday afternoons.

All this biking and running has slimmed Steve down quite a bit. 

Race prep comp 2.

Just a little side note.  Today Steve is trying to fix his bike.  On Tuesday was Luke Schaefer’s birthday.  He wanted his Auntie Rita to make him homemade vanilla ice cream.  Steve is usually in Maround doing ministry on Tuesday afternoons.  That morning Steve biked to Schaefer’s, ran, and then biked home.  He let us have the vehicle to go there in the afternoon.  He biked to Maround and then biked out to the Schaefer’s again for cake and ice cream. 

We loaded up his bike on top of our vehicle to go home.  We actually do this quite a bit with the kids bikes so that the children can all ride bikes while we are at the Schaefer’s.  Steve and I keep telling ourselves one of these days we are going to forget that we have bikes on our roof and drive right into the carport.  Well this was the day we forgot.  Steve’s bike got a little crunched up.  The seat pole was bent.  The back tire doesn’t work right and something with the gears is messed up.  Plus he needs a new brake handle.  The roof rack needs some work too.  The carport is just fine.

Birthday Party

On February 28th I celebrated another birthday!  My friend Lynne made dinner for us at her house.  It was  a day with no electric.  She made Curried Chicken and Naan bread.  It was sooooo good!!  Sebastian sliced cucumbers and made a wonderful tasting dressing that he drizzled over them.  Heather made the cake.  It was nice to relax, visit, and celebrate with friends.

Birthday dinner comp 1.

Birthday dinner comp 2.

Birthday dinner comp 3.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Just Another Rainy Sunday in Africa!

This morning started out cool and cloudy, but there was patches of  blue sky.  Lane has been asking for cinnamon rolls for breakfast this week, so last night I made them with Heather’s help.  Steve baked them this morning.  A very nice smell to wake up to.

At 8:40 we left the house to drive to church.  On the way we picked up the Singoma family.  Usually our vehicle has 13 people in it to go to church.  This morning Wigan Singoma rode his bike to church.  We arrived at the church, unlock it and then start cleaning it.  We sweep the floors, dust the benches, and then rearrange the benches to how we want them.   The church next door was singing a song I knew.  So the Bemba words were running round in my head.  A new experience that happens every once in a while.

We were surprised with two visitors who rode their bikes 24K from the border of Tanzania to come to our church this morning!  Smile Two weeks ago Steve started doing ministry in Zombe.  It is 24K north on the Tanzanian border.  The one man he met while doing ministry there.  This man brought his brother all the way into Mbala to attend church this morning!!!

The rains held off until about noon.  First a cloud came in real low.  It looked like a fog would come right in the windows.  Then came a drizzle and then a down pour that kept up for over an hour.  No one had umbrellas.  So we hung around for a while just passing the time. 

The guys from the border needed to get back for a funeral this afternoon.  So we ran out in the rain to our vehicle.  Steve drove the Singoma’s home first.  We had to go in the back way.  The main road in front of the house isn’t really passible even with 4 wheel drive.  It has a lovely clay mud that just coats the tires.  Then he took us home.  Vern our dog didn’t even come to the gate it was raining so hard.

I sliced a loaf of bread, made popcorn, and hot tea, so that the guys would have something to eat.  Steve drove them home and hopes to be back in Mbala in time for his afternoon Bible study at 3 PM.

We usually rest on Sunday afternoons.  That is the kids and I do.  The kids if they have tests or quizzes on Monday study for them.  Quite often the electric if off.  Today though it is on at normal strength.  A rare thing.  So I did a go of laundry, thinking that Steve will need his running gear for in the morning, forgetting  that he is going to Kasama.  So he will not be running.  I also have started a bread dough, as I gave them my loaf of bread for tomorrow’s lunch.  

It is now almost four PM.  It is still raining.  Steve will not be home for another hour.  It is still letting down a heavy drizzle.  Supper will be popcorn.  So I am off to put up my feet.

Actually, Steve just called to ask that I send someone out to the gate as he is almost at it.  When it is raining this much no one shows up to the Bible study.  Seth got the gate.  The interesting thing is a strange car followed Steve in.  They just got done putting some gas in his car.  So we shall see what that is all about.

OK, update.  Steve got back to the church and loaded the three bikes on top of our vehicle in the pouring rain.  There were still people who live right there in Maround at the church.  So everybody loaded into the vehicle and Steve took them home.  It was 2:15 when all of this was happening.  He was not going to make it there and back in time for Bible Study.

Going out of Town just at Lake Chila they passed a slow going truck.  Wigan recognized the man.  He was one of the guys they have visited out in Kasesha, who had fed them lunch the one time they were there.  He had come in yesterday and was going home today.  So praise the Lord.  He took the guys home.  Steve and Wigan made it back to the church by 2:45.  They waited until 3:30 to make sure no one was coming before they came home.

The car was Steve’s friend George from Zesco.  He is being transferred to Isoka and ran out of money filling his car up.  So Steve helped him out.  He is going to Isoka for  part of this week.  He is going to bring us back Isoka rice!

OK, now maybe I will prop my feet up.