Hut, Sweet Hut

For the past couple of weeks we have been back in our hut with the goal of making it home. There are a few things that have been left unfinished and the local contractors will come this week to finish putting up screens, setting up a clothesline, and digging a hole where we will burn our trash. We are slowly adapting to so many changes at once.

The kids are healthy and well. Today Myla was playing with a female leopard chameleon alongside one of our new cats, Camden was down the hill playing soccer with friends and eating oranges picked from the tree, and Keely loves fried Mohogu (cassava root ) with ketchup for dipping. Mohogu grows everywhere and the leaf grows large with five points and when you pull it up by the root you have a large piece of Mohogu that looks similar to a carrot. I can only hope it has the same nutritional value as a carrot after being fried.

I was brave today and took a taxi to the market in Hellville (referred to as Bazarre be-Big Market) with another woman on our team. The reason it was a brave thing to do is because virtually no one speaks English, everyone tries to speak French to me, but I don’t speak French and I am learning Sakalava. So…when they hear me say I want to learn to speak Sakalava they start to laugh, because a white person (otherwise known as fu-ZA) wanting to learn to speak an indigenous language is not something they ever experience. All that said, I have begun to learn how to buy things using only the Sakalava language and I was successful at the market today. Praise God! A few interesting things I came home with in the taxi were a bundle of raw cinnamon sticks, raw peanuts that I will roast over a fire tomorrow (with a dash of salt of course), ylang ylang oil which is a fragrance that is used as perfume or for massage. Ylang-Ylang trees are everywhere and it’s harvesting time so locals will pick the flowers and take them to the factory in exchange for a small payment. Oh yes…and the kids especially requested ramen noodles. Our diet at home so far consists of large amounts of fruit, rice and beans. Bryan pulled out his famous crepe recipe on Saturday and they were so delicious. Soon I’ll be trying pancakes and cookies in a skillet. Not having refrigeration has been interesting and we rarely have meat at our hut. Last Sunday we were in Ambatozavavy (about a 15 minute walk from our place) and before walking home I bought 8 fish (just as the fishermen were coming back to the beach in their canoes) for 2000AR, which is equivalent to about $1. We carried them home in a bucket, Bryan lit some coals in the dirt and we cooked them up the traditional Sakalava way with lots of oil, lemon and garlic. I’m looking forward to shrimp season in Ambatozavavy!

We are enclosing some pictures of our home, where we recently hosted our team (every Thursday we get together for “team day,” a time of learning, sharing, praying, and eating!

Our house sits on the side of  a mountain. This is the front with banana and citrus trees all around.

Our house sits on the side of a mountain. This is the front with banana plants and mango trees all around.

Laundry day at the McReynolds

Laundry day at the McReynolds

 

 

 

 

 

Just up from our hut is our outhouse/bathing area. The yellow "jerry can" is full of water and warming in the sun for a nice warm camp shower later in the evening.

Just up from our hut is our outhouse/bathing area. The yellow “jerry can” is full of water and warming in the sun for a nice warm camp shower later in the evening.

This was taken from our front porch with our homestay kids Franklin and Rivaldo

This was taken from our front porch with our homestay kids Franklin and Rivaldo

Rebe in the kitchen/Dining room. We also have three bedrooms and a small school room

Rebe in the kitchen/Dining room. We also have three bedrooms and a small school room

Team day on our porch

Team day on our porch

My language helper, nicolae (left), and another friend relaxing on the front porch (thanks for the guitar, Leachmans!)

My language helper, nicolae (left), and another friend relaxing on the front porch (thanks for the guitar, Leachmans!)

Rebe preparing the fire to roast peanuts

Rebe preparing the fire to roast peanuts

We appreciate your prayers and remember you each day.

May the peace of our LORD be with you as you journey onward in His strength…