Thursday, June 26, 2008

Last one from across the pond...

well guys, this is my last post regarding this journey. im typing from a tiny guesthouse room in london. we had a day layover here (oh darn) and im exhausted from walking around all day. today we went on a boat ride down the thames river then toured westminster abbey. the highlight though--karen had this great idea--to stay and attend the daily service in westminster. it was incredible. to sit in westminster abbey...and worship. to hear the choir and know that i am surrounded by all different was moving. im adding that to my bucket list--and crossing it off :) after the service, my sweet friend nicola took us to a nice italian dinner and bought me a new outfit. why did i need a new outfit you might ask? well that is a good question...


oh well, better now than at the beginning of the trip. and to be honest, im too tired to even care right now. im just thankful to be healthy and alive. if a lost bag is the worst thing that happens...oh well. we are hoping it will arrive on tommorows 6 am bangkok flight...but who knows. my fingers are crossed.

i have so much i want to say but so little energy to convey it. i might just have to recap the last few a few days. know that i am doing well...and looking forward to coming home. i can not wait to see my mom tom and then have dinner with natalie in dallas...then to my sweet home. i fully expect to be all sorts of jet-lagged as i was most literally on the other side of the world yesterday. ive been in 3 countries within the last 24 hrs. im tired. i can not keep straight where i am, the date or time. its kinda funny.

all in all, im thankful to be heading home. leaving bangladesh was easy in the sense that i was ready to get out of the traditional clothes YET hard because the people were endearing and wonderful. truly a joy to be around. i was showered with gifts and compliments upon leaving. humbling. i hope to go back...and serve alongside them again. for now, im coming home and going to be 100 % there...appreciating being known by my sweet friends and the genuine fellowship i am blessed to have.

g'night from across the pond,

megs <><

Monday, June 23, 2008

the good stuff...

doesnt always come in a shiny package. thats for sure. for example--the safari park we went to. def not nice. if you drove by it in the would most definitely thought it was closed. you would NEVER think of letting your kids go inside...i even thought twice about entering :) but hey, where else can you ride an elephant for 25 cents. safe-no. fun-heck yes. it was awesome. there were water buffalo and elephants wandering through the park...FREE. i kept looking for fences and restraining devices...none. such a different world. i watched the children who would never know a "zoo" nicer than this one. a man approached us...began to give us "tour" advice around the park then asked for taka (money) later on. you do not need a tour simply follow a path that takes you through and by each run down exhibit. i huffed under my breath knowing it was a scheme to get money from the rich americans. the Lord humbled me. over and over He is so faithful to do this. the man had been in a motorcycle accident and it is rather hard to work here without fingers. think about it: most jobs such as assembly, farming, ect require hand dexterity. the Lord reminded me that I am quick to judge and slow to mercy. He is right. even amongst such poverty...there is some part of me that "adapts or gets used to" seeing it. it doesnt make sense and seems just plain wrong...but i think i do it as a defense mechanism. its hard to see poverty on a daily basis. to know that i am coming home to so much--and this is all they will ever know. again, the Lord is faithful. i do not pretend to understand it...but i stand on that solid ground.

life is wrapping up around here. since the seminar, i have spent more time in the clinic assisting Tuheen, the PT, with patient care. there is so much i wish i could send here--books, supplies, ect. they ask me 10 x day--do you like it here? will you come back? i tell them the same thing--i love the people and if the Lord leads me back--i will gladly come (hopefully, He calls me in the winter). kidding.

tonight we are having a cook-out if you will...of goat....for the rehab and prosthetic workers who have assisted us with all the amputee patients. i can smell the poor goat cooking as i type. i think ill be a vegetarian for tonight :) nah, i have a motto--ill try it once and if i dont get sick--ill try it again :) the Lord has been so faithful to protect my stomach here...and i have really enjoyed the food.

2 night ago we were invited for dinner at Tuheens house--his wife made us feast. the food included: rice (never a meal without it), chicken, shrimp, vegetables with hidden chili peppers, and dal (lentils). if you read my previous will notice a common thread in the foods cooked here. anyways, i wish you could have all seen my face when i mistaken a green chili for a green bean. oh...never again. i turned bright red and water began pouring out of my eyes. people...this was unlike anything i have ever experienced. my ears were burning...and ringing. unreal. they laughed the white girl with a weak tongue. i quickly removed anything green from my plate.

he has 2 little girls--cota--age 7 and lecka--age 2. just wait until you see pics of these beauties. they have stunning brown eyes. its so amazing how a universal language. nathan (a LEGS member) and i played for 2.5 hours with them...and then i realized we barely spoke english. just played. laughed. built lego houses. jumped. did summersaults. and laughed some more. priceless.

1.5 more days here. so much of me is ready to come home and share what i have seen. other parts of me wonder if i will ever see these sweet people again. i wonder if i have given enough. shared enough. done enough. i pray that i have encouraged them and that they do not remember me...per say....but the man i serve. this trip has been so much more about encouraging and serving fellow believers...than witnessing and sharing the gospel. then again, the gospel is shared with service. so yeah...i have really enjoyed serving alongside the natives as well as missionaries at both locations. the lessons learned will last a lifetime.

im looking forward to bouncing thoughts off each of you--and just sharing life again.



Thursday, June 19, 2008

eating with...

only your right hand. yes, that is how to properly eat in bangladesh. you should avoid handing things to people with your left hand as well. of course, i botch this daily.

last night...i was given quite the peel shrimp with only my right hand. we went to a 4 yr olds birthday party--the son of Prodip, the prosthetist who creates the limbs. the party was classic...small children running around the house with party hats on (which is a treat)...all hyped up on the possibility of eating cake and opening gifts. the kids sat at my feet on a rug...and listened as scripture was read and they were prayed over. they all "shhhhed" each other and attempted to pay attention. then the moment came...when they handed a knife, yes a the 4 yr old. it is tradition that the child cuts his own cake. can you say scary? all i could envision was blood and cut fingers :) it turned out to be fine--he cut a slice from his cake and sweetly fed each child a bite...with his right hand.

we were then fed our 2nd meal that night--we weren't sure if food was in the forecast (and what it would be) so we ate a bit at home. turns out...we were given quite a feast. the table was set...and all 6 white people ate first. i felt bad about this at first...then realized it is because bangladeshi people do not eat until late in the evening. they wait until later in the night to cook as it is scorching outside.

so...we took our places and ate by candle light. the parents of the child as well as close family friends stood near the table wanting to meet our every need. as soon as i finished one thing...or hinted that i like the taste...there was more on my plate. i learned quickly to say no more please. our feast included: rice (which is a staple item here--people eat 2, yes 2 plates of rice at every sitting), cooked pumpkin, shrimp, chicken, daal (lentils with spices) and veggies. the flavors were unreal and eating it all with your hands...rather, hand...was a blast. you could definitely tell that the experienced missionaries were more skilled...than i was. the wife of the home offered me a spoon...which i kindly declined. i may not be skilled...but i was having fun mashing up my food and doing what every kid wants to do--play with your food. i decided...i will cook foods like this when i am a mom...and make my kids only eat with their right hands...just for fun.

today...i have been under the weather. nothing major--coughing, sneezing and a headache. i am taking meds and drinking fluids hoping this will pass. i skipped church this morning (friday is the holy day) and slept in. i am about to go on a scheduled boat ride in the bay of bengal...and i can not wait to see the thatched roof, mud huts from up close. life here is so different.

i am starting to ask myself questions like...if i could eat anything right now what would it be? a filet mignon comes to mind. and jason's deli salad bar. all in good time. as for today, ill pump myself full of drugs and go learn more about this distant land.


megs <><

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


we are answered when we call on Him. i am living in that truth today. i do not typically blog 2 days in a row but i am overwhelmed by Gods goodness. today i finished my final part of the seminar for rehab and gait training. it went well--better than i could have ever planned or prayed for. to see then listen to me, listen to the translator, then light up--is rewarding. they thanked me over and over afterwards. i love feeling used by the Lord.

another answer to prayer: i was able to treat and work with a muslim mullah--i think they are called. the equivalent to our pastor. anywho, i treated his shoulder and low back and was able to work hands on with him. the Lord bridges cultural gaps.

today i also realized the love i have for these people---i adore their willingness to open their homes to me. mud huts with thatch roofs. we sit on their beds as they dont have furniture...and share cha (tea) with snacks such as little bananas or cookies. they love to serve and wait on us. they are gracious and hospitable.

tom is our last day of work as friday is the holy day. this weekend we have planned a boat ride in the bay of bengal, game park--to see some poor, caged up animals, and many tea dates. should be wonderful.

i am also thankful for the rain--it is the beginning of monsoon season here and has been raining all day everyday. the temperature has dropped at least 10 degrees...which makes a HUGE difference.

all in all, God is good.


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

a gift....

is such a great thing to receive. i can not get over the fact that i have been given the gift of salvation. i was raised in the truth and my life is a story of how the Lord has redeemed me. this comes to mind about 5 times a day as i hear the call to the mosque in the nearby village. i live on a compound with low fences. i can hear children play in the nearby rice patties...and i often watch them. they watch me very closely in return. the children stop to greet me formally here...and the girls always chuckle after saying nomiskar or hello in bingali. ive never seen such beautiful little kids. ok, i said that in kenya too...children are simply beautiful everywhere.

so like i was saying...i hear the call to the mosque daily and let me tell stirs my soul. a call or song which is supposedly saying things like "ALAH IS THE ONE TRUE GOD AND MOHAMMAD IS HIS DISCIPLE". there are creepy songs also playing. all i can do is pray d hoping that the TRUTH will be shown to these people. as i walk the halls of the hospital...there are muslim and hindu women. i am learning to tell the difference between them. i was able to work with a hindu couple yesterday--she had knee osteoarthritis and he had neck pain. they both spoke some english so i educated them and shared stories. it was an awesome moment...they took to me quickly and are coming back to see me next week. the Lord has been so faithful to open doors so that i am allowed to work with men. we have male and female PT rooms here...and i am allowed to go in and out of both. this AM...i had 4 male patients. all were wonderful to work with. every time i go takes time to adjust to culture...and every time i leave....i am left with the thought that....there are wonderful people all over the world. they are gracious here and want to be seen by me. a man yesterday asked if he could come back today just to be seen by me. humbling.

i am adjusting well...getting over sweating all day and learning to appreciate even the hot days. today i was able to scrub in and watch a C-section....which is AMAZING!! i took some awesome pics for those who arent queasy at the sight of blood. watching the MD pull out this little bundle of life...made my eyes water. also made me want to go back to school...

8 days until my journey takes me to england for one last stop then dallas, texas. i have to be honest...i am looking forward to seeing my mom at the airport more than anything else. familiarity and comfort are 2 luxuries i havent had in 2 months. the Lord has taught me many things and grown my appreciation for my life. He has also burdened my heart with things i have seen here. we are RICH in america. RICH. we have so much to give and each of us is responsible to ask the Lord HOW WE SHOULD GIVE. He certainly has an answer. i pray that i would never forget the poverty i have seen. i pray that i am stirred to prayer and that my affections for the Lord and His truths are also stirred. i struggle with the fact that He is good...even in bangladesh. that He has provided His children here with all they need. i can not process that...knowing i live in abundance. i have NO idea what to do with what i have seen...and when you ask me how i feel about this trip...ill probably give you a blank stare as so much of my heart is trying to find resolution...which i know can simply NOT be found on this earth.

i do know: i serve a GREAT and MIGHTY God that is calling His children into the ministry. whether you are a PT, a teacher, a nurse, a minister or a basketball player...HE IS CALLING. missions are not overseas...they are in your home and next door. our LOVE alone will set us apart. be encouraged that touching just ONE life is enough.

ok ok...that was a moment of vulnerability. back to life here...i am about to give my rehab and gait training seminar here...with a translator. this should be interesting. the people are hungry for knowledge which again, is humbling. i have a gift in my education...that i am responsible to share. and...i love it.

so friends and family--i am off to seize the day. to share, teach, and love on people. you, too, have a day to make the most of. i love you have no idea how often you come to mind and how BLOWN AWAY i am by GODS GOODNESS.


megs <><

Thursday, June 12, 2008


the only word that comes to mind right now. alright, im being dramatic. thankfulness, mercy, and heat also come to mind :) well guys, last i wrote i was about to fly to london and thailand. those days are gone and were a blast. in london, we went to the natural history museum, victoria and albert, walked in hyde park, layed in kensington park, ate good turkish food, ect. in bangkok--we were complete and utter tourists. it was a blast!! we went to all sorts of temples--wait until you see these pics. we ate thai food--nothing like the states, mind you. but my favorite memory of all--was taking a longtail boat tour through the canals where you could see women washing clothes in the water and kids swimming. afterwards...i drank out of a coconut for the 1st time. my life is so rich.

thailand was busy, crowded and i felt like a giant in the land of petite people. the women were beautiful and dressed to the 9s at all time. i felt sloppy as im in clothes for 3rd world countries. i did get to shop a bit for gifts--and jewelry.

now for bangladesh--you guys...this place gives a new definition for heat. i DO have an AC in my room that i have to pay for at the end of the stay...and let me tell you--> ill sell my leather couches at home to have AC here for 2 weeks :)

i was definitely in culture shock upon arrival. here i am in the bangkok airport wearing a lime green (as in a it looks like a highlighter bled on me) muslim womens outfit. many guys my age--obviously america--as am i--stopped and looked at me quite confused. i felt confused to. there is a fine line with feeling like an impostor and being reverent. this for sacrificing my comfort and identity to serve the Lord. i am learning a lot needless to say. so yeah, there are 2 main outfits women wear here. there are NO jeans and t shirts as that is seen as being in your underwear...literally. women wear what i am sporting which is baggy pants and a shirt/dress that goes down to my calf ALONG with a scarf that drapes across the female parts. can you please fathom pants and a scarf when its 100 degrees?? oh yeah--the other is a sari--6 feet of fabric that is wrapped in all sorts of ways to form a dress. they are beautiful--and TOTALLY out of my league.

i get a room to myself here which is exciting. alone time is a necessity. the missionaries on the station are incredibly friendly--most have been here for 8+ years. i watched a movie at a missionaries house last night---with AC on and popcorn. its amazing how the little things are so great here.

tom we head to Coxs Bizaare...the longest strip of beach and YES, i have to wear my outfit there too. no bathing suits allowed. oh wait...forgot to mention there IS a pool here...with specific hours for girls and boys---and i was able to swim today. best feeling ever after sweating in church then going to a local village for tea--inside---with no AC or fan.

so back to the beach--we are going there...BUTTTTTTTTTTTT before that....going to a park where i get to ride an elephant for get ready.......25 cents. yes people, for a quarter a HUGE mammal will bend his/her knee to let me sit on her back!!! im excited. i also forgot to mention i went to a giraffe feeding park my last day in nairobi...and i have the best pic of me putting a small piece of food in my that the giraffe would kiss me to eat it. my eyes are squinting closed so tight....basically, i was being a wimp. you try having a HUGE, BLUE slimy tongue coming at your face. what an adventure.

ok--i know this blog has been random...but im dripping sweat and trying to included everything. i have not been into the actual hospital here but as i understand it--i will be working with women mainly as women can not work with men culturally. i am looking forward to meeting the PT aides here...and learning how they practice. i will be giving a rehab and gait training seminar here as well--next week.

please pray: that i would be culturally sensitive as there are mostly muslims and hindus as patients.

that the climate would not prevent me from enjoying myself and loving on the people

that i would have 1 corinthians 13 type of love for them

that i would NOT get sick

that i will not burn out

thank you for your prayers and support--you truly sustain me as brothers and sisters in Christ.

oh and this post is dedicated to helen clark and ashley johnson who have both so kindly reminded me...that i havent blogged lately :) love to you both.


Thursday, June 5, 2008

Sky time...

well guys, ill be getting a lot of that in the next week. today--we go to nairobi for our LAST day in kenya. we have a late flight to london which will arrive early tom AM. from there--1.5 days in london which is WELL needed. i am really looking forward to spending some time with my friend nicola (whom i went to see in december)-it will honestly be really nice to be around someone who knows me. so yeah--then we are off to bangkok for 2 days--really looking forward to that--i want some thai food and to walk around and sight see. from there--bangladesh. i think we arrive there sometime at the end of next week---please pray for safe flights, smooth travels, and that we would be energized by the time we get to bangladesh. from what i hear--ill be sweating day and night--a complete change from this wonderful place. its 75 degrees and perfect in kijabe, kenya. im not keen on hot weather--although it will get me ready for what i hope to be--one of my LAST texas summers. we shall see.

alright--i will keep you all posted. cant wait to share stories face to face and hear about your life since ive left.



Monday, June 2, 2008

ants, elephants and madaraka day...

good morning friends and family! today is a glorious day--it is a holiday in kenya and i got to sleep in. so nice. i am now leisurely writing this blog, sorting through the many gifts i bought/got ripped off for at the market yesterday, and im hoping to get a football game together later on today. most people left the mission station this weekend--as it is a 3 day holiday. i am so thankful to just BE HERE.

this weekend was awesome. here is a re-cap.

sat--went on a hike from kijabe (where i live) to hopefully see a waterfall. i mentioned this previously. anywho, it was a pretty large group including my LEGS team, an MD and his wife, 2 college guys staying with them, and 2 armed guides. what was supposed to be a 2 hr hike---took 4.5 hrs b/c the guides misunderstood our desire to the see "the highest/biggest waterfall" to mean...we want to hike to the highest place. well....this led us up a path that was NOT a path...the soil was wet from rain last night....and there were HUGE ants all over the place. all you could hear were people screaming...and slapping their legs. i was slightly annoyed....b/c we finally get to the waterfall...and its small and not impressive. the terrain was impressive but its hard to be impressed...when you have HUGE ants (which i later learned--desire to rip off a piece of flesh) climbing up your pant legs and heading due north. we all hauled tail down the mtn to get to the strip and pick them off one another. a classic trip.

sat night a few of us went into nairobi for dinner with the Gokens (the MDs family) and the 2 college guys. it was an outdoor sitting venue but a food court style arrangement with food from all over the world. i opted for thai...not to be disappointed. for an appetizer--an ostrich sandwich. had to try it while i am here. tastes a bit like beef but more gamey in flavor. interesting none the less. also to be noted--had a MARVELOUS latte.

sunday was a blast--we piled into a van and went to nairobi. first stop, AN ELEPHANT ORPHANAGE!!!!! im telling you...i kindly "guided" people out of my way as i wanted to see the little guys. i ended up getting a great place to stand and for an hour--we watched, touched, and took pics of 7 baby elephants. such a fun experience. only a thigh-level rope divided them from us--plus they all had "handlers"--so at one point, a medium-sized elephant walks towards us and backs into my friend, trevor...and stepped on his foot. the crowd was laughing. so yes, i saw an elephant. im not quite i want to see one in the wild. one day.

from there--we had ethiopian food again. so fun. they bring out 2 HUGE platter of veggies and unidentifiable meat (which i steer clear of)--and you eat with your hands and these rolls of sponge-like bread. it is surprisingly tasty. next--MASAI MARKET--the masia are a tribe known for their warriors, artwork, ect. i picked up some additional gifts and things i dont need :)

regarding last week's seminar--i think it went well. i can not read the crowd--b/c they are so culturally different. typically, in a physical therapy setting--people are asking questions and talking--but here, they sit very still and listen. all in all, i hope the information transferred and if not--i gave them books :)

this is my last week here--which blows my mind. when i think about all the places i have been since arriving and all the people i have met--i am amazed. my life is so rich.