Friday, August 28, 2009

Even Princesses Fall Down...a prayer for all princesses everywhere!

I just love this picture of Riley Lynn. It was taken to capture her joy in getting a new tiara and princess shoes. From what Vanessa has shared, Riley has discovered a new love for high heeled shoes. As cute as she was modeling all her royal accessories, it was her face that captured my attention and led to this prayerful blog.

Father, as I sit writing this blog I realize that it isn't a blog at all, but rather prayerful thoughts to you for Riley, her mommy, me ...for all your princesses everywhere. It's my prayer that everyday of our lives we grow in our knowledge and belief that we truly are your princesses, not in a spoiled diva worldly sort of way, but humbly, as your daughters and joint heirs to a heavenly inheritance.

Father, I pray that each of us, as we mature in our own time and in our own way, acknowledges and confesses that by our own efforts, there is no perfect princess among us. I pray that we'll all always lavishly shower each other with grace knowing that even princesses fall down... Father, you know that some of our falls are accidents. Others are because of the choices we make. Regardless of the reason, they leave us with bruises, cuts, scars .... even broken hearts. No matter how badly we're hurt, Father, I pray we'll always have and accept the love and comfort we need ...especially your holy compassion and grace that makes us perfect in your sight.

As I look at this picture of Riley, this precious little bruised princess of yours, I can't help but pray that all the princesses in your kingdom, including Riley's grandmommy, aka Vanessa's mom, aka me, will live grateful lives, always striving to honor you, the King of Kings...that all who know us will glorify you because our lives are a reflection of you and your perfect love.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Learning the Language

After almost 2 months in South Africa, Sam and I are still trying to master the language...not Afrikaans or Xhosa, but rather English! Actually, when I think about it, it's not a whole lot different from the challenge that faced us when we moved from California to Texas. It's not really a problem of learning new vocabulary, but rather of learning a new way to use familiar words.

Way back then, we learned to substitute "y'all" for "you guys" and "soda" for "coke". Today, we're learning to say "pleasure" rather than "you're welcome" and that "To Let" means "For Rent". Most words and phrases can be understood in context if given enough time to process not only the spoken language .....

{Please excuse the interruption as MWEB disconnected my internet at this point yesterday because I'd used my allotted time, and sadly the rest of this blog is floating somewhere out in cyberspace! Bummer :( Oh well, it's not like I don't remember the gist of what I was writing so let me just pick up where I left off before I was so rudely interrupted :) }

.... Most words and phrases can be understood in context if given enough time to process not only the spoken language, but also the body language. Unfortunately, that's the problem. There's usually not adequate time or else I'm just plain slow, but I find myself having to ask someone to repeat several times before the light bulb comes on and the meaning clicks.

For example, try translating this recent phrase a new friend used in conversation with me-

"One hundred percent! I'll give you a tinkle just now. "

I don't know what you think this means, but for me, my initial thoughts just didn't make sense. Actually, it means, "Absolutely! I'll give you a call soon." Just for fun, now that you know a bit of South African, you might want to try that phrase out and see what kind of response you get :)

As much as I'd like to continue chatting, I confess that I'm on a new internet diet...trying to limit my consumption so that I can make it through the next month with out having to purchase yet another booster and so... "I must whiz off now now (2 nows)!" (translation: I must leave right now) Love y'all and thanks for checking in. Cheers!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

What a Day!

Years from now, I'm sure that I'll remember Aug. 6 as a turning point in our African adventure. I'd been looking forward to yesterday for almost a month ...actually counting the days as it was the first opportunity I was going to have to meet with the International Women's Club. It's been my experience since moving to Bangkok, that groups like these are a good first step in making friends and becoming a part of the community. I was not disappointed. Before the meeting even began, I was introduced to 2 lovely American women who immediately befriended me and welcomed me into their world. Believe me, in my head, I was doing a dance of joy thanking God for the blessing of friendship. After the meeting, we enjoyed having lunch together...sharing in the fast forward sort of way expats do. Then, to make an already perfect day even better, Sam and I were invited to attend the first ever gathering of the American Society of South Africa that was being held at a local restaurant that evening. Of course we seized the opportunity! I can still hardly believe it, but as a result of lunch with my new friends, we already have plans for Thanksgiving dinner and an invitation to enjoy an evening early in December at the American Consulate. What a day...what a truly remarkable day!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

A Few of My Favorite Shots

...Just a few of my favorite pictures from the past month. If you'd like to see more and are not on Facebook, just click on the following link.

Table Mountain...the flat one :) and Lion's Head to the right. We live just below Lion's Head.

South African wildlife....not exactly the Big 5 (Lion, Rhino, Elephant, Leopard, and Cape Buffalo) , but a special treat for a couple of expat Texans like us for sure!

Breathtaking scenery...I took this while standing on the tip of the Cape Peninsula where the Atlantic and the Indian Oceans meet.

Sunset from our apartment...watching this has taken the place of the 6 o'clock news.

Moonrise over Table Mountain. I never look at the moon without feeling closer to family and friends knowing that we all share the same view no matter where in the world we find ourselves.

Last post cont.

My favorite "beep-beep"...looks like the queen of England is riding in the backseat!

From roti to rusks....from "tuk-tuks to beep-beeps"... Being that I'm still a newbie to this part of the world, I frequently find myself making comparisons of everyday life here to life in other parts of the world that I've recently experienced.

"Tuks-tuks to beep-beeps" is a comparison of public transportation. In fact, rather than trying to put this into words, I should post a short video to illustrate this colorful part of my life. That would be a great idea, except that there are some real security concerns here in Cape Town. Thankfully, as long as I remember to use common sense (like not standing out on the street with a camera making a video), I feel perfectly safe.... with one exception, and that exception is what I call the "beep-beeps."

In Thailand, the streets were filled with a common form of transportation called tuk-tuks. The name described the sound the engine made. Well, in Cape Town, the most common form of public transportation is a full sized van that incessantly honks it's horn, not as a warning, but rather as a way of soliciting customers. Both vehicles in both countries are true road hazards in that they don't follow customary rules of the road. In fact, the other day I saw a bumper sticker on the back of one of the vans that said, "I stop whenever and wherever I want." Though I'm feeling more and more comfortable driving from the wrong side of the car on the wrong side of the road, I have a feeling that dodging "beeps-beeps" will forever be a challenge and an ever present danger. How I miss Ton and Ravi, our drivers in Thailand and Malaysia!

Another thing that's different and that I also miss is unlimited internet access. This past month I spent my entire allotment before the month's end. Fortunately, I was able to purchase a booster to tide me over. I neeeeeeed....not just be connected! Anyway, this change along with others, can be challenging but not impossible. I'm just going to have to do things a bit differently like not posting pictures on Shutterfly, or at least not as many What's that saying? ... "When in Africa, do as the the Africans do!"