2013 Wrapup

Well, we have embarrassingly ground to a halt on the Adventures of Eric and Rachel blog.  Believe me, we are still having adventures...it's just becoming more and more difficult to chronicle them!  Lest we start work at the hospital (Jan 2) before blogging and then become even MORE unlikely to post a blog, let me give you a brief update on our Kibuye adventures.

We moved in on November 1.  Our house at that time was little more than concrete footings.  But the progress has been remarkable!  Here it is in early December.  Eric is standing in what will become our bedroom.  It's been quite a time (mostly for Eric) planning out our house.  I foolishly thought we wouldn't need to have more than minimal input in the process, but Eric has spent a lot of time designing blueprints, planning window sizes, arranging bathroom layouts, etc.  The trusses are up now and next week the roof and floor should be placed.  Still thinking it will be early spring before the interior is complete enough to move in, but exciting none the less.

We celebrated Thanksgiving with our team (on a Saturday).  Some of you may recall the infamous "large turkey in a small French oven" oven fire of 2012.  Well, I am happy to say that my oven is quite a bit bigger, and Burundian turkeys are quite a bit smaller, so that I was able to cook 2 of them side by side in my oven this year and there wasn't even any smoke.  We pulled out all the stops and there were American delicacies a-plenty (including jello and green bean casserole).  There was much to be thankful for this year.

Maggie and Elise in their "Indian princess" costumes:

Toby will be 9mo on Jan 1.  He is crawling, pulling up, and cruising, although still not sleeping through the night.  Sigh.  Guess you can't have everything!  He is a sweetie, though, when he's not complaining about the lack of attention a third born gets.  He has been eating lots of solid foods and so I was particularly glad when the pack and play and high chair showed up on the container (aka the Big Red Box, which arrived with Christmas cheer less than a week to spare).  He's cute to feed on my lap but it was getting to be a bit challenging...

Here he is with Anita, our Burundian "nanny."  The language barrier is challenging to all of us except Toby, who seems to enjoy time spent with her.  She is very nice, and we pray all goes well during the 1 1/2 days per week that both Eric and Rachel are working at the hospital at the same time.

And then, Christmas.  The kids got their traditional Christmas jammies from Eric's mom, Mimi.  All 8 (!) of the grandkids have a matching pair.

 We also had our Christmas tree (shipped on an early container) and some ornaments and stockings, so our house looked Christmas-y even before the container arrived on Dec 18.  But it did come bearing Christmas gifts (purchased up to 2-3 years earlier), more ornaments, and a general good time of rediscovering things long since packed away.  All that to say, we had a fun time celebrating with our immediate family and teammates, although as always, we missed our families dearly.

2014 will bring the beginning of clinical work at Kibuye.  Pray for us in this last big transition.  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


Merry Christmas from the McLaughlins