Saturday, March 29, 2008


I leave at 3:45am for Ethiopia! I am so excited and a little nervous. Today, Mekedes and her friends gave me money, gifts and letters to take to mothers, boyfriends and friends. It is a privilege for me to be able to do this for them. Muna (Mekedes' half sister) asked me to please take a picture of her mother for her. They asked me to check on Mekedes' nephew who is being raised by Muna's family because the mother and father have both died. He is eleven years old, like my oldest son.

For me, going to Africa, to Ethiopia, seems a little scary, foreign and unknown. But, to these sweet young is simply home. And I could tell by the wistful look in their eyes that they miss it.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Least of These

35 For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. 36 I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’

37 “Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? 39 When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’

40 “And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’

Matthew 25:35-40 (NLT)

I don't want to write this post, but I must.

The very next day, after the McDonalds incident, I was leaving bible study . I was one of the last to leave and as I was pulling out of the parking lot, I noticed a young man in blue coveralls walking toward me. He and I made eye contact and he motioned to his lips with his hand. I knew immediately he was asking for some food or water.

There are lots of young men working here. They come from Bangladesh, SriLanka, Nepal, India and Pakistan. They come to work physical labor jobs often out in the hot sun. They are paid very low wages. It might be more than they could make in their country, if there were jobs available there, and it is enough to survive and maybe send some back home for their families. They often live in labor camps and, although I have never been inside, the condition of some of these camps is reported to be not good. The fate of these guys rest heavy on my heart. I have wanted to be able to help them in some way, but I have never been approached by any of them asking for anything.

I didn't have any food, water or money. I called out to my friend and asked if she had anything and she gave the young man some water she had in her car. She talked with him for a moment, although he didn't speak English. She tried to communicate that next week after bible study we would bring him some food. She held up 7 fingers to indicate 7 days from now he was to come back and we would have something for him.

I drove away mentally planning my own lunch and hardly thought about him until God nudged my heart. I was brought low before the Lord. What had I been thinking? I could have easily gone right then and there and bought this young fellow a whole case of water and plenty of food. We had just told a hungry man to wait 7 days and we would meet his needs. I missed this opportunity. I blew it. Forgive me, Lord and make my heart tender toward the least of these. Make my heart tender toward you! Amen

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A Good Day for Meeting New People

Yesterday was a rough day! I don't like it when people tell me "no" and unfortunately someone told me "no" yesterday. Things that could be easily accomplished back home can be frustratingly difficult here. But the silver lining was that I met some new people yesterday and witnessed an unusual act of kindness.

After school yesterday, I took my kids to McDonalds for a snack. I had already ordered when I realized I didn't have any Qatari Riyals (money). I had taken some money (US dollars) out of an ATM machine earlier for my trip to Ethiopia. This McDonalds takes US dollars, but couldn't take a $100. I walked to the nearby ATM to get some Qatari money and discovered I had withdrawn the maximum amount for the day. I couldn't get any more money. I had mentioned to the guy behind me that I had already ordered the food at McDonalds and he and his friend witnessed me unable to get money. I walked back over to McDonalds and was trying to get the girl to take my $100 bill which is equal to 363 Riyals and she just didn't have the change. Frustrated, I turned to find the stranger from the ATM machine behind me and offering to pay for our food. His name is Juliene (pronounced Yuliene) and he is from Romania. I hope our family can take him out to dinner one day and if not I am determined to pay his kindness forward.

Thanks, Juliene.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

It's Abbey's 10th Birthday

More about Abbey's fun slumber party later....just had to tell you this funny!

About a week ago the school counselor had a mother-daughter tea to discuss "our changing bodies" Abbey and I did not make it to the tea. Tonight, I asked one of Abbey's friends what they learned at the tea and she said "I don't know....we learned about meditation." Hmmmmm....."meditation", so that is what they're calling it these days...

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Ta Dahhhh!!!

The time is 9:49pm and we have a Horus! And I thought it couldn't be done. I didn't freak out and guess what, I got a real hug and a real "thank you" from my boy!

Putting the Crazy in Middle East Crazies

The exact same kid I was bragging about in the last post just told me at 7:30pm that he has to dress up like Horus the God of Pharaohs TOMORROW!!!! Fortunately he didn't wear much, but it's that mask that is getting me.....I pride myself in being the Mom that doesn't get rattled, but this is going to be a tough one.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Science Fair

Our eldest (and my wonderful husband) just finished his science fair project and it looked fabulous. I wish he hadn't already taken it to school and I would show you how great it was. His problem was "Which type of salt produces the best electrolyte?" There has been a lot of scienfic talk around here about problems, hypothesis and observations. Obviously, our youngest (age 7) has been listening. He told me yesterday that when he does his first science fair project his problem is going to be "How does the light come out of light sabers on Star Wars?" Good question!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Store Wars

My boys have been asking me to put this on my blog. Maybe it will encourage them to eat their veggies. I hope you and your kids like it as much as they do. And, YES I have spent a bit too much time on You Tube this morning.

The Tallest Building in the World

Thought you might like this! Doha looks a lot like Dubai on a smaller scale. We are a bit behind them with lots and lots of constuction going on here.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

3 Weeks and Counting

Just 3 weeks until I go to Ethiopia! I am so excited. I can hardly wait to meet all those sweet children, experience life in Ethiopia and meet the other women going on this trip. I am taking along donations from my bible study group....lots of cute clothes for the kids, medicine, educational games, soccer balls and lots more. I have received monetary donations, too and will be evaluating what else I need to buy for the orphanages. We are supposed to bring all of our clothes and stuff in a carry on bag and use our checked baggage for supplies for the orphanage.

I arrive early in the morning on the 30th before the group from the US arrive that night. I am hoping to get to visit the Fistula Clinic that day. You might have seen Dr. Catherine Hamlin on Oprah. She is an 80-something year old missionary doctor that opened a clinic for young women in Ethiopia that suffer from fistula. A fistula is a hole created when they have babies (often very young and without medical attention) that constantly leaks urine. This makes them an outcast from their families and society. Dr. Hamlin performs a surgery on the women and most of the time they are healed and able to go back home and live a normal life. Each woman gets a new dress and enough money to get back home. For women that they are unable to heal, she created a beautiful place for them to live. She is also opening a midwifery school. Read more about it at

My trip to Ethiopia runs into our Spring Break, so as soon as I get back to Doha, I am flying out to meet Bill and the kids in Thailand. Literally, I fly into Doah at 2am and my flight to Bangkok leaves at 8 am. I will be in 3 countries, 2 continents all within 24 hours.