We are certainly finding our routines as we have already been back in Madagascar for over a month. In some ways, I feel we never left. Canada feels a bit like a dream away. Did we really go there? At times I really feel like I'm living a double life. When we are in Canada we are a different family.... without our own home, in other peoples' lives always, shopping for 2 years in a 3-month period, packing loads of visiting into a short time, the months are broken up into weeks, which are broken up into days, every moment being used to its fullest.... Rob is not at the hangar working, we are talking about what we are doing at many churches, in many settings.... it's strange on so many levels. In Madagascar, the rhythms of normal life flow more easily. The days blur into weeks, which eventually move into months. I find blocks of time a challenge to keep track of because the seasons are not as defined as they are in Canada. When I look at photos of the kids, we are always in shorts and tanks.... the sun is always shining, no matter if it's March or December or September. It's actually amazing how seasons in Canada can be used as memory-anchors. Here, in the tropics I try and use different things.... what's growing in my garden, if we're swimming regularly or not..... there seems to be less cues to use as memory anchors.
In any case, life has found its rhythm once more. The kids are comfortably settled, knowing what to expect from day to day as we cruise ahead in our school work. The days aren't without challenges, to be sure. I wouldn't want anybody to be misled into thinking we are living a care-free life, where everyone behaves themselves, and all lessons go according to plan. Haha. Not by a long shot.
Some of my friends in Canada are studying Matthew and Exodus with Jen Wilkin, so I decided to join along with Exodus. The last study I did was Sermon on the Mount before we left on Furlough, and I have been really missing formal study. It's also more motivating and encouraging to work on a study alongside others. This way we can discuss things together, or work through questions together. I love that.
In My Kitchen
Baking has been a longtime passion of mine. I love trying new recipes and repeating great classics. This week I saw this amazing Battenberg Cake on YouTube and I just had to try it. I found myself making marzipan out of cashew nuts, since I have an abundance tucked away in my freezer.
Not bad for a first effort. I can't believe how this turned out! In 30 degree heat no less. This one will definitely be made again, with a few tweaks and changes. I had hoped the chocolate would be darker, so perhaps instead of cocoa powder, I will try and use something darker... yum. It is a very small cake, but not lacking in richness.
In My Garden
In an effort to decrease our garbage pickup each week, we have built a compost heap, and a paper/garden waste burnables pile.
I love these climbing roses that are taking over on my chainlink fence in the yard. They provide a lot of privacy, and they're so beautiful too.
New amaryllis on our deck.