Knee pain

Two things have disappointed me greatly since our move into the Pink Lady: my left knee and my right knee.

With the move, I looked forward to walking everywhere. So much is within walking distance. Walking distance used to be easily three miles for me, each way. Three miles from the Pink Lady would take me to the Notre Dame campus and nearby shops and restaurants, a long trail along the St. Joe River, homes of all of my friends who live on the north side, and a number of parks, to say nothing of all the downtown shops and restaurants. Continue reading

How can we help Congo? Part two

19787369_10155196962249473_1109451970601383277_o

Adolphine Tshiama. Photo by Charles Buller

A few days ago I started writing about what, if anything, we can do for that troubled country I love so much, the Democratic Republic of Congo. I put off writing Part 2 for a few days to sit with my intentions and motivations. I am very particular about asking for money, especially for things related to my own work and my church community. But I have decided to go ahead because I can’t get Adolphine out of my mind. Continue reading

How can we help Congo? Part one

IMG_1513

Ndjoko Punda in 2013. It is now overrun by violent militias.

I hear this question and ask it myself every time I hear or report news, often very personal, from this country that I love so much. The news is horrible. Chaos has descended on sections of the country. People are suffering dreadful loss and persecution. Thousands have fled their homes and are hiding out in the bush, homeless and starving. Unknown numbers have been slaughtered in the most gruesome way, uncanny echoes of all the worst outbreaks of violence that have plagued this part of the world in recent history. Continue reading

Gap weeks

Gap years are the thing. My great-nephew hasn’t figured out whether he wants to do political science or biology in college, though he knows which college he’ll attend and has already been accepted. So he’s taking a year to work and figure that out. It seems that for an 18-year-old he has figured out a lot already and a gap year is a sensible part of the plan. Continue reading

An appropriate house

A front window of the Pink Lady is cluttered with three signs. The sign in three languages, welcoming neighbors no matter where they come from, we put there by choice. The other two we display as required: permission to put in a driveway/sidewalk, subject to city inspection, and a Certificate of Appropriateness from the Historic Preservation Commission for that and other anticipated improvements. Continue reading

Broad is the way to the Kentucky Derby

 

IMG_6656

My husband and I went to the Kentucky Derby last Saturday. This was surprising to some people who know us. It was also surprising to us. It is not something people who grew up rural Mennonite generally put on their bucket lists.

As if to confirm how out-of-place we should feel at such an event, the last quarter-mile of the long walk from our parked car to Churchill Downs was lined with preachers shouting repentance. Continue reading

Introvert in a new neighborhood

You know how I thought we were too isolated out there in the woods and that it was time to move to a city neighborhood? Well here we are in the new neighborhood, close to friends and strangers alike, close to downtown events and restaurants, surrounded by the hum of activity and you know what? Not that much has changed.

I should say, I haven’t changed. Continue reading

Training literacy teachers in DR Congo

I feel like I’ve been on vacation for the past week–a spa experience complete with steambaths and plenty of rest. My bum knee is recovering from the strains of the past weeks, moving house and traveling long distances. I have few responsibilities except doling out money as needed. There is plenty of time for hanging out with friends new and old.

I’m doing all this ease-taking in one of the roughest cities in the world, Kinshasa, DR Congo. Continue reading