Saturday, June 06, 2009

One Month later

A month has passed. What changes we have seen in ourselves.
There has been joy, there have been tears, there has been laughter, there have been prayers. We have met the most amazing people, we have been shown such kindness and love, we have learnt new skills and we have learnt a new way to live!

Michelle has soared to new heights as a domestic goddess! She spends large parts of her day in the kitchen perfecting her baking and cooking skills. Learning how to bake in a small gas stove has its challenges! But the house is constantly filled with the smells of fresh bread, muffins, rusks, cakes, more bread, soups, stews, porridge .... it never stops. There is no deli here - if you want fresh whole wheat bread, muffins etc - you must make them. There have been spectacular flops caused by a too hot oven - but then the dogs must eat too! Currently Michelle is learning to make marmalade - we wait for the results in anticipation.

Folks have been so kind - we keep having people popping in with gifts of vegetables, fruit, freshly milked milk, homemade butter and cheese etc. Keeping up with the abundance of huge spinach, leaks, carrots, potatoes, Jerusalem artichokes, cabbages and whatever else is growing, is a challenge. We have found new activities like sitting in the garden overlooking the surrounding mountains, laborously cleaning large packets of Jerusalem artichokes - but the end result, courtesy of Jamie Oliver, was a huge hit!

The children have moved into a new realm of living. Jethro is always heading out, deadly machette over his shoulder, to chop down black wattle on our grounds or on the land of friends. He and his friend Scott spent last weekend, largely in the rain, cutting and chopping large areas of our alien "forest". He cannot get enough of being out and being physical. Last night Michelle and I were driving down a country road - and there before us was this image from Thomas Hardy, two boys with sticks across their shoulder, muddy boots, herding 4 rather large cows among the orchards - one of the boys was an extremely dirty, but happy, Jethro. He has become totally transformed! Georgia is forever visiting other dirty kids, playing with sheep, border collie puppies, working in vegetable gardens, and generally getting as muddy and dirty as only Georgia can!
In between all the fun, Michelle is also managing to school the children - and they are working very hard.
Then we have also started helping Julian and Karen build their house, so there has been much breaking of rocks, packing foundations, filling sand bags, and real manual labour. Again Jethro has totally committed himself to the challenge and works like a Trojan (how hard do Trojans work?)
We are hoping to start our building soon. Just the small matter of raising finance... But we are trusting in the Lord for His provision. As we do about every day. We have learnt to live on very little - and with all the vegetables we get, we need very little. As Michelle once remarked - "Out here you have none of the distractions and support systems we had in Cape Town, so one is forced very quickly to face yourself, and to find out who you are in Christ." There is no security blanket - life must be confronted face to face.