Saturday, October 22, 2016

Week in Review: Oct 16-22

Stephen and I head out of town to do our exercising- biking or running for him; biking or walking for me.  We pass this little village down the road.  It's like taking a step back in time.

I think this picture sums up our school week pretty well.
We were all hot and tired- one more week until fall break!

This week I shared about a typical day here in Mali as part of a series of expat women in various countries.  The pictures are from a day right before we moved into our new house.
Check it out here.

We had the chance to welcome a team of pastors who are visiting Mali.
This is part of our team with them at a potluck.

Soccer is becoming a Saturday morning tradition for us.
This morning, we brought Ebony, and she wanted to play, too.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Medical Education: Helping Babies Breathe

Recently, we started doing a course called "Helping Babies Breathe"
at the Women and Children's Hospital.
This class was the first, and were the guinea pigs to see how things would work out here.
I was a bit concerned about lack of interest in the class,
but everyone proved to be motivated participants.
 Since it was an action motivated class we were able to get lots of action shots..
Every baby gets a good vigorous drying...

...and occasionally a good back rub to get them crying.

We practiced what to do with no face mask.

Learning how to ventilate is the second hardest part of the course.
The next images are of a ventilation face off where we paired off one on one to see who could give three effective breaths the quickest.  The point here was that rushing actually slows you down.  Taking the time to do a good ventilation is better than rushing through it.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

FAQ: School

There are some questions that we are asked frequently, and I thought I would take some time each month to answer a few of these. Many of the questions are about schooling for the kids. We began homeschooling in 2009, and we mostly use Sonlight curriculum.

Caleb is currently in the 5th grade.  He likes to lay down to do his work when possible-
on the futon, his bed, the floor in the living room, under the stairs, outside with Ebony.

Ian is a junior this year, and he has some challenging classes this year,
including Precalculus and Physics.
Stephen is teaching him Physics, and I'm doing his other subjects.

Isabelle is in 8th grade, and she's usually the quickest to get her work done.
She'll sometimes start before breakfast to get an early start.

This year we're enjoying having lots of other kids around.
Caleb had a chance to play games while Ian and Isabelle were in a co-op class.

This year the kids are doing the following co-op classes:
Ian and Isabelle: Writing and Grammar
Isabelle: General Science
Isabelle and Caleb: Art Appreciation
In addition to co-op, we have Taekwondo once a week.

Here are all the kids involved in co-op and/or Taekwondo.
There are twelve here, and when the Holsenbacks return, we will have fourteen.

You can see more pictures of our homeschool days in Mali or the US and Congo.

If you have questions for the FAQ series, you can leave them in a comment here or on Facebook.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Week in Review: October 10-16

We went to the central CMA church on Sunday to see a baby dedication.
This was my view pretty much the whole time.
Sometimes it's hard to be short.

After church, everyone visits in the courtyard.

This may not seem like a big deal to you,
but I was pretty excited to visit this store selling plasticware.
I now have some new bowls and baskets.

We've been continuing Taekwondo class on Mondays after co-op.

On Monday night we were invited to celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving
with some of our Canadian friends.
We had a time of worship and thanksgiving followed by desserts

One of the classes in co-op is Art Appreciation.
Renee is teaching the kids about narrative art,
specifically art that tells an historical event.
One of the cotton fields that I see on my morning bike rides.
We've started putting books on our new shelves.
That makes me happy.

This little guy was keeping me company while the kids were playing soccer.
I couldn't understand him, but that didn't stop him from chatting away.
He did manage to let me know that he wanted his photo taken.

This was another part of the audience watching the kids play soccer.

The road going out of our neighborhood is usually empty.
Today, I had to wait for a herd of cows and some motos.

When that herd of cows passed,
I went about 10 yards before stopping for the next group.

These little garibout boys were out in the market today.

Thursday, October 13, 2016


Yesterday, I decided to stop by the carpenter's shop.  I really didn't expect him to be finished, but I was passing right by on my way to the store.
Much to my surprise, the shelves were done.  He had tried to call both Stephen and me, but the phones weren't working well.
Suzanne asking the carpenter about
some work she needs done.

The finished bookshelves are
ready to be travel to our house.

In their new home and ready for school books!

Because we didn't get home until about 8:30pm,
organizing the bookcases had to wait.
During morning school, Ian discovered this one works as a standing desk.
I've been wanting a standing desk since reading that sitting is the new smoking.
These will be turned into bookshelves, though.
When I'm ready to go through the process again,
I may take some measurements for a standing desk and have one of those built.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016


One of the things that we've done for the new house is order bookcases.
Currently, our books are piled on a futon, inside trunks, on top of trunks, on the floor...
you get the idea.
The bookcases were supposed to be ready on September 24.
They weren't ready yet, but we were assured that they would be ready a few days later.
I think they were actually started sometime last week, and we are still waiting.
It has been interesting to talk to the carpenter and find out a little bit about his business.

The woodworking takes place under an open air hanger.
I walk by here when I am going from the mission to the store.

The carpenter has a variety of apprentices in various stages of training.
He tries to encourage boys and young men by teaching them a trade
while teaching them about life.

The man in the checked shirt is the tailor.
He offered tea to Suzanne and me.

The tea is strong and sweet and served hot in these small glasses.
They will generally rinse the cup out between people with some of the hot water.
I try not to think about the germs!

The tailor's compound with his house and some other buildings
is across the street from the woodshop.
I had to take a picture of the lovely flowers and the Mali flag.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Week in Review: October 2- 8

On Monday, I went with Suzanne to run some errands and visit a friend.
Our first stop was the tailor.
At our friend's house, she insisted on feeding us.
We were all drinking water from the same cup, too.
We both hoped that we didn't get sick.
On the way back, we stopped to buy some watermelons.

Tim and Bev celebrated their birthdays one day apart.
Of course, we had to celebrate with cake!

After the rainy season, the roads are not in the best shape.
This is the one of the main roads in town that continues past the hospital and our neighborhood.
One of our co-op classes is art appreciation.
These are some of the paintings from this week.
This is a new store that has opened in town.
They are very well stocked and have great customer service.
All they need now is diet coke....
Any time we are at the market, we are surrounded by garibouts.
They love having their picture taken.

I photo bombed this group.
The cotton crops are ready for harvest.
This week we have some pictures of twins.  They seemed to be everywhere in pediatrics!

These two children are twins, but one has malnutrition.

These are twins who are living at an orphanage because their mother died.

This twin survived his sibling.
They were born two days before coming to the hospital, and the other twin died.
His chances of life have improved since coming to the hospital.
These twins (brother and sister) have been in the hospital for about two weeks.
The highlight of the mother's day is when she hears that her kids are gaining weight.
They are growing well, and should be able to go home in a couple of weeks.