Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Morning in Kijabe

It's 6:15 and the sun is just getting ready to wake the Rift Valley. The view from the ENT House is amazing! Mama Deena is up and is making bacon, sausage and eggs for breakfast. We have tons of local fruit, Kenya coffee and english muffins to top it off. We have all taken showers and we feel like human beings again! This short stop was so important for our team.

Craig will come by the house this morning to take us to the farm project. We will get to see a FGW project that has been in place for 4 years now. This afternoon we will go to a local market and have supper at the famed Carnivore restaurant in Nairobi.

From the mobile handheld of Doug Bartel

We are safe and sound in Kijabe

We have arrived in Kijabe to the ENT House. A hot meal was waiting for us, soft beds, 70 degree temp, hot showers and NO DIRT!

This is heaven!

From the mobile handheld of Doug Bartel

On the bus to Kijabe.jpg

OK, so we got on the bus with James. He said he knew Patrick so we jumped in (dumb Americans). We are on our way on the wrong side of the road and James is driving from the passenger seat, weird! Traffic is good but people have no need for blinkers, just a horn. Without a horn in Nairobi, you're road kill!

I exchanged some US dollars at the airport for personal use. $100 US gets you over $8000 shillings, I'm rich! Wohoo!

For all of you following the blog, Deena's husband, Burke, does not feel comfortable commenting to Deena about his undying love for her unless she is mentioned in the blog post. Will you all please overlook Burks mushy comments even if she is not mentioned.
Thanks

Comment away Burke!

From the mobile handheld of Doug Bartel

Waiting for Patrick in Nairobi

Here we are waiting for Patrick. A man named James greeted us with a sign that said Ben Payne. He said he would get the car. We hope Patrick is not in a ditch somewhere and we are getting taken for a ride!

Haha!

From the mobile handheld of Doug Bartel

Just touched down!

We are officially in Kenya, Nairobi. We are taxiing to the gate and we will soon go through customs and hopefully see Patrick as we leave for Kijabe.

We had a meal of chicken and potatoes, no rice. I don't know how to eat a meal without rice, it just doesn't seem like a proper meal! They handed out warm washcloths for our hands and faces and ours turned solid red. We are so gross!

From the mobile handheld of Doug Bartel

We are on the plane!

It has been the longest most stressful departure in the history of airports. If Sudan does not get this fixed they are going to seriously hurt their ability to have people come to visit or anything.

Deena was nearly cavity searched and we were extorted by corrupt government officials at every turn. Praise God we are on the plane. These are our last minutes in Sudan. Nairobi here we come. Please continue to pray for our safety and transition out of Kenya customs for our over night stay in Kidjabe. It is about an hour and a half drive. We are covered in dirt that has turned to mud in the 108 humid air. We smell like the bush and we are looking forward to showers very soon.

A man named Patrick is supposed to pick us up. He will have a sign with our name on it. The plane is powering up so I will hit send and the next time you hear from us we will be in Kenya (knock on wood!).

From the mobile handheld of Doug Bartel

We made it to Juba

Photos are a big deal in Juba. Ben took one on the bus and an official chased us down, took his camera and made him delete it. The officials then say they are going to take the camera to some obscure location for inspection. You are then supposed to pay them off with 10 or 20 pounds. Long story short, Ben got his camera back and we have made it to the airport.

I threw caution to the wind and took this illegal photo of the most protected spot in Juba, the airport. I love to live on the edge! Each of us will remove our flash cards from our cameras and phones before we enter the airport to make sure our pictures make it home with us.

From the mobile handheld of Doug Bartel

Monday, November 29, 2010

Ben had to have the bus stop

Ben requested the bus to stop so he could inspect the local flora and fauna. He is hard at work. If you are offended by such inspections I apologize. After what we have been through together, there are no secrets or privacy!

Ben says everything is well watered!

From the mobile handheld of Doug Bartel

On our way

We all got up early in the morning (5:15 AM) and packed up our stuff on the bus and left for Juba. It was dark as we have been living in a world with no lights. It looked like an ant colony with torches (flashlights). Due to the chaos it was less emotional and for those of us trying to act like we are tough guys, that was just fine.

As the pastor there is some chance I will see these people again but as for the rest of our team it is less secure. It is hard to be in such close relationship with people and walk away for good. Your heart does not want to accept it but your head reminds you of the reality. We just have to put all of this in God's hands and hope that some day we will all meet up again under that great Mango Tree in the sky and share a cup of tea with a plate of beans and rice.

I already miss it.

Juba, here we come! Sioux Falls here we come! Beds, showers and toilets with plumbing fixtures, HERE WE COME!

From the mobile handheld of Doug Bartel

Ben found breakfast

Ben found us a great meal for tomorrow morning as we leave for Juba! Actually, a man found it at the creek at the edge of our camp and brought it to us. We will leave without breakfast and some of us are happy and others of us are sad. I'm in the sad group. I'd love to eat some Sudan crock!

From the mobile handheld of Doug Bartel

Land Owners?

The tribe brought us out to the road to show us a piece of land that was 200 meters long and 500 meters deep. They wanted to donate it to Hillcrest. After much deliberation we got the to agree to keep the land and just allow us to build the demonstration farm project on that spot when we return. It was an incredibly generous offer and one we had to delicately navigate.

Unless any of you are looking for some vacation land in Sudan, we are not going to accept the donation.

From the mobile handheld of Doug Bartel

Gifts from the children

This morning all the children were up early collecting Sudan Grass. It is a grass that they use to make the roofs of their huts. They all brought bundles of the grass to their teacher so he could build a new hut on his compound. It was fun to see all the children running to school with their bundles.

From the mobile handheld of Doug Bartel

Goodbyes

Today has been a day of goodbyes. Tomorrow morning we leave at 6:00 AM for Juba and then fly to Nairobi for a day with Craig Sorley and the Farming God's Way team.

This boy is Joseph and I have really connected with him and will miss him. His story is unique as are many of the stories each person has. I'm going to really miss seeing Joseph each day and I will often wonder how he is and how life for him is going.

Each of us are saying our goodbyes and though there is sadness, we are thrilled to come home to our family and friends. God has been so good to us and we have made many lasting connections and friends. It will be dark in about an hour and that will be the end of seeing Buagyi in the light.

Pray for us as we start to travel and as we get ready to come home to the beautiful USA!

From the mobile handheld of Doug Bartel

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Guess what this is

This was an amazing treat for the team. The locals were very uninterested in it. Any guesses?

From the mobile handheld of Doug Bartel

Our pet mutt

Here at camp there are a lot of these dogs around. They fight with one another and keep us up at night with their screams. This one is named nuggets. I don't know why Deena named it that but that's his/her name. We don't know if it's a boy or girl.

From the mobile handheld of Doug Bartel

It Worked!

We all went to the Farming Gods Way plot we planted last week and to our surprise, all three types of crops had germinated and were sticking out of the soil. We were overjoyed! Mike has watered it twice and that's no small task. This was very encouraging!

From the mobile handheld of Doug Bartel

Ben instructing how to cut at Kalalayi

Ben performed a training session on how to use the chainsaw. He took them step by step on maintenance and usage. Each of the 5 men responsible to use the saw had a chance to cut with it as well as start it. Deena and Darwin have communicated that they are not prepared for chainsaw injuries.

From the mobile handheld of Doug Bartel

Worship team at Kalalayi

We have just completed our round trip journey from Kalalayi for worship. This is a picture of the worship team in action. The bus made it without incident!

Auro Boyah! (Thank you!)

From the mobile handheld of Doug Bartel

Getting ready for church

We have just finished breakfast of disgusting canned sausages, boiled eggs, fried bread and boiled cassava root. Cheri had her hair braided by one of the women named Eunice for church. Today we are leaving for church in Kalalayi. It is an hour and 15 minute drive over a 10 mile route. With the bus experience we had yesterday, we are a little weary about this trip. Kalalayi, here we come...we hope!

From the mobile handheld of Doug Bartel

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Clarification

I forgot to add the m to them. It was a lava rock that slipped and scratched me.

From the mobile handheld of Doug Bartel

Doug's little booboo

So yesterday when we were working to get the bus unstuck, I was helping to walk in the bush to collect lava rocks to jam under the left front wheel. One of the started to slip and cut my neck. It's just a superficial scratch or as Monty Python says "It's only a flesh wound!"

From the mobile handheld of Doug Bartel

A gift from John

It has been no mystery around Buagyi that I am in the market for a bow and arrow. They are hand made and look really cool. John gave me one when we went to his compound. This is a picture of John and I with the bow.

From the mobile handheld of Doug Bartel

Child's grave at John's house

 When we finally got to John's house, we got a chance to walk around his compound and see his house, guest house, kitchen and other structures. On interesting one was a rock structure. John told us this was a child's grave. I don't know what child but notice the object on top. That is a part of a human skull called a skull cap. That was very unnerving!

From the mobile handheld of Doug Bartel

A little trip

This morning Darren, Darwin, Julius and myself decided to go and visit a man named John who lives 7 miles into the bush. The bus driver said it was driveable but 3-4 miles into the bush he got the bus stuck. It took nearly 3 hours to get it unstuck! We had to finish the journey by foot.

From the mobile handheld of Doug Bartel

Friday, November 26, 2010

Cool Bike

There was a crippled woman riding a bike in the town of Lanyi. Notice it's powered by her hands! Very cool.

From the mobile handheld of Doug Bartel

Duck doo in the Bishops house

The bishop had many ducks on his front steps and apparently they spend time inside. I looked down and there was duck doo at my feet.

From the mobile handheld of Doug Bartel

Bishops House in Mundri

1e visited the Bishops house in Mundri and found 3 American missionaries there. They gave us cold Tang and it was heaven. We had a great time talking to someone we could understand without straining. It was great!

From the mobile handheld of Doug Bartel

Bookstore in Mundri

Cheri found a bookstore in the market place in Mundri. There she found a Moru-English dictionary. Cheri has been our linguistic on the trip and has a lot of fun talking with the people in the village.

From the mobile handheld of Doug Bartel

Hospital ward at Lui.jpg

This was shocking. Children and adults were dyeing in the beds. There is no ex ray machine, no lab, no modern necessities. I will not forget this experience.

From the mobile handheld of Doug Bartel

Italian Doctor Fabio in Lui.jpg

In Lui they have the best hospital in all of Sudan. In our world this would be a M.A.S.H. unit and a poor one at that. This Dr. Fabio an Italian physician that has to do anything that comes to him.

The thing they need more than anything is Sudanese people to go to nurse and med school and commit to serving the people of the area. The best way we could help would be to identify a child who is an exceptional student and sponsor them through school with the promise that they would serve at Lui for 5 or so years.

From the mobile handheld of Doug Bartel

Grave of Kenneth Fraser

One of the highlights of Lui is to stop and see the grave of Kenneth Fraser. Dr. Fraser was the first Christian missionary to the area back in 1920. He brought 3 things with him, religion, education and health care. I really enjoyed this stop.

From the mobile handheld of Doug Bartel

The Lozoh Payam Chief Moses

We stopped to see the executive chief of the Lozoh Payam. A Payam is a grouping of villages. His name is Moses and here his is wearing a hat we gave him as a gift.

From the mobile handheld of Doug Bartel

Off to Mundri

We left for Mundri this morning to see the medical facilities in Lui and Mundri. We were told by our cook to get some onions and I am in need of shower shoes. Apparently I'm the only one who didn't buy some or bring some. I remember Mama Deena tell us that they were forbidden but that must have just been for me.

Last night, Darwin had his shower shoes on and he kicked a rock the size of a football. He kicked it like Longwell hits a field goal! Now he has an African toe.

From the mobile handheld of Doug Bartel

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Governor

The governor is the one in the darker suit.

From the mobile handheld of Doug Bartel

Strange Thanksgiving

Here in Buagyi, the governor came to town as a result of us being there. We helped to buy a bull for the slaughter and delivered our gifts to the governor, the commissioner of East Mundri and of West Mundri. The whole thing was televised and we all had a chance to speak. I must have done an amazing job because after I was done Darren said, "My name is Darren Davis and I echo what pastor Doug said." It was hilarious.
When the governor came, the killed the bull in the middle of the Mundri road and then the governor jumped over it. It was gross but cool.

All of us want to wish you a happy Thanksgiving and while you eat turkey, watch the parade and football. Please pray for us. Our turkey is a bull and I'm not sure what the honored part to eat is. Rocky Mountain Oysters anyone? Seriously I only want a ribeye!

From the mobile handheld of Doug Bartel

Governor

We are receiving a surprise visit from the Governor today in Buagyi. This is a big deal to the community. They have been getting ready all day. They are putting on their best clothes and we helped purchase a cow for the celebration. The school children have lined the main road and are singing songs of celebration.

Ben, Darwin, Chris and Craig left at 6:00 am for Juba with a shopping list and to deliver Craig to the airport. Craig has invited us to visit a Farming God's Way site in Kenya that is 4 years old. He is willing to host us if we can come. Ben is seeing if Kenya Airways can fly us out of Juba one day earlier.

From the mobile handheld of Doug Bartel

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Prayer for Ben

Ben was sitting in the back of the bus and he went airborne twice and one of them was really hard on his back. His back is doing amazingly well considering the hit. He needs to take the 12 hour trip to Juba tomorrow to register with the embassy and confirm that we will fly out as scheduled. Everything is in his name. If we do not make this confirmation they may cancel our flight and we would be stuck her two extra days. Please pray for his back.
From the mobile handheld of Doug Bartel

Jesus film in Kalalayi from outside the church.


From the mobile handheld of Doug Bartel

The village really got involved and took ownership.


From the mobile handheld of Doug Bartel

FGW Darren's successful project

Darren did some teaching and worked hard to make this a great success. Here he is taking a warm drink.
From the mobile handheld of Doug Bartel

Vaccine of mother in Kalalayi

The woman giving the vaccine rode with is from Buagyi and she keeps meticulous records of vaccines in the surrounding villages.
From the mobile handheld of Doug Bartel

Musa Stream

This is the place the village gets water. It is miles for some villagers. Once it dries up in the dry season they walk 3-5 miles for every drop of water.
From the mobile handheld of Doug Bartel

Road to Kalalayi


From the mobile handheld of Doug Bartel

Our day in Kalalayi

Wow! What an amazing day! There was no service through out the day and this has been my first opportunity to post to the blog. After a quick high fat breakfast of deep fried bread, deep fried sweet potatoes and pumpkin, we loaded up the bus and headed for Kalalayi.

After a 3 mile ride farther down the road to Mundri we took a left on a narrow and rough road to Koroba. Once we traveled about two miles on that extremely rough road, we turned off the road and headed down a path that leads to Kalalayi. This path had been opened up for the first time by the people of Kalalayi. It took them 7 days of straight work. We had to cross a stream and a rock embankment that you would think to be a challenge for a 4X4 Jeep, let alone a 25 passenger bus!

Another 5 miles and an hour after we left, we arrived in Kalalayi. This is as remote as it gets. We met the chief and others in the village. The bus driver was ill and unwilling to make another trip which meant that our cook, cook staff and food were going to stay in Buagyi.

We went to the site for farming and it was horrible. It was all burned and it was not supposed to be. It was still full of grass clumps and stumps and would take days to get ready. I saw an area of a crop field that had immature crops. After showing it to Craig he said it would be a great option/location. So we dug in.
The training went great and the people were highly involved and excited. When we were done, the plot looked great.

During the training Deena had brought a woman from Buagyi who gave vaccines to the women and children in Kalalayi. That was really cool.

When the training was over, we showed the Jesus film in the small mud church. We had to bug out quickly as we did not want to be on the path/road after dark.

We returned at about 7:30 and had our first food since breakfast. Thick porridge, rice, okra, spinach and lentil goo. It was delicious!
From the mobile handheld of Doug Bartel

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Praise

I have a praise. The pastors of the church in Buagyi did not come tonight and we have no way of sharing the Gospel when the film is over. I went out into the field behind the crowd and started praying. As I sat down, Sebit ( Sudan Lee) came up and asked what my plan was. When I told him the dilemma, he agreed to share the Gospel. Praise God! Please keep praying!
From the mobile handheld of Doug Bartel

Jesus Film in Buagyi


From the mobile handheld of Doug Bartel

Jesus Film

We are starting an unscheduled showing of the Jesus film right now in Buagyi. Tomorrow we will show it in the village of Kalalayi. Please pray for the hearts of those in Buagyi right now.
From the mobile handheld of Doug Bartel

Jesus Film

We are starting an unscheduled showing of the Jesus film right now in Buagyi. Tomorrow we will show it in the village of Kalalayi. Please pray for the hearts of those in Buagyi right now.
From the mobile handheld of Doug Bartel

Chanana about to become dinner

Our camp mascot is now dinner. It was quick and painless. You lay the chicken down, put one foot on the legs and the other foot on the wings. Then the chickens head is in your left hand and the knife is in the right. They make 2 X marks on the ground (tradition) and sever the head keeping it attached by a small amount of skin.

R.I.P Chanana

From the mobile handheld of Doug Bartel

Deena holding Buagyi baby

Both Deena and Cheri like to spend their past time finding Sudanese women with babies and stealing them.
From the mobile handheld of Doug Bartel

Sebit and Cassava Breakfast

This is our friend Sebit who is the head cook for our group. He is the one that reminds us of Lee Tigner. 0debit has made Cassava (whole pieces boiled) local peanut butter, local honey and boiled eggs. The cassava has no taste at all. It is like a fibrous potato. It contains 100% starch with cyanide. That's why we boil it!

From the mobile handheld of Doug Bartel

Darren preparing an illustration for Training Day 2

5arren is slicing a water container in half for an illustration Craig needs in the training. This is no easy task, sounds like a good one for Darren!

From the mobile handheld of Doug Bartel

Cheri with her mango brush

This morning I taught Cheri what I learned about mango toothbrushes. She is always up for a challenge.

From the mobile handheld of Doug Bartel

Ben playing as we wait for training to start.jpg

Ben is entertaining us with the song "Not to Us" as we wait for our guest to arrive for day #2 of training. Where are they?

From the mobile handheld of Doug Bartel

Good morning from Buagyi

It is early and the mahogany tree is full of cranes. Cassava root is boiling for breakfast. There are so many animals making noise I can hardly decipher the sounds. It is truly an African Choir.

From the mobile handheld of Doug Bartel

Monday, November 22, 2010

Scorpion in ladies latrine in Buagyi

We just had a major downpour in Buagyi. Deena decided to brave the elements and head to the latrine. There inside she shared the space with spiders and a huge scorpion (2"). She did her business and ran away. What a trooper!

From the mobile handheld of Doug Bartel

Sesame butter and honey

While at Johnson Tombe's home, his shorter wife brought us honey from his five hives and butter ground from seesee ) sesame seed. You pour it in your hand, mix it up and slurp away. It tasted like a kind of candy both Darwin and Craig enjoyed as kids but we can't think of the name for the life of us.

From the mobile handheld of Doug Bartel

Johnson Tombe's home.jpg

The headmaster of the school invited us to his home about a mile from the school. He showed us his crops, two wives, many children and compound.

From the mobile handheld of Doug Bartel