Sunday, December 28, 2008

The picnic from H-E-double L!

There's not much to do with kids out of school in Kigali.  So, when we heard about Mt. Kigal, we jumped at the chance to check it out.  Someone told us you could drive up there, and that  there was a restaurant that's good for getting a Coke, but not food, and a pic-nick area.  The view of the city is supposed to be the best.  So, day before yesterday, we decided to pack a lunch and head up.  Packing the lunch took the better part of the morning.  The house staff is off, so I had to do dishes, then make grilled cheese sandwiches and do more dishes.  OK we're ready to go, so we strike out.  About 20 minutes in the car, and the kids ask are were there yet?  We were just at the base!  We head up some paved roads, then it's dusty dirt roads the rest of the way - very bumpy.  So bumpy in fact that the puppy gets carsick and vomits in the car.  We jostle some more, pass a radio tower as we are told and come to a fenced off area with a closed gate.  It doesn't look inviting, so we head back to the tower thinking we've taken a wrong turn.  We pull in to an area near the tower where we encounter a local guy, who signals for us to drive back around (where we just came from).  We jostle back around, passing again the uninviting gate a second time.  We hit one bump, so hard that my head slams against the side of the truck, and now I'm seeing stars.  After pulling up to the uninviting gate a 3rd time we finally notice the small "Closed for renovation" sign!  By this point, 50 minutes after we left the house, we're all experiencing low blood sugar (an a nice headache for myself).  So we have to eat somewhere.  We go back to the radio tower area, where we find an abandoned swimming pool, hot tub, minimal view, and a torn down house or hotel.  There are cows and goats grazing near by, with their droppings everywhere, but we sit on some steps to nowhere and get out the food.  Immediately flies are everywhere!  And by the time we are finished eating there are three men just staring at the truck. ??? We quickly eat, then bathe in Purel, and begin our descent.  Next problem, a one-way street headed up, and we can't find another way down!  We stop to ask an elderly man for directions.  He speaks fluent french and very fast, but he starts saying how we can't go down the one way because we will get stopped by the police have to pay ### Rwandese Francs.  He invites himself into the back seat with the kids and makes conversation as he directs us down the mountain.  I felt like I was on the Amazing Race.  He babbles on in perfect French, how I have a handsome husband and we look to young to have three kids, and our kids look like friends instead of siblings because they are so close in age.  I tell him Ella's adopted from China.  He explains that he is not Rwandese, but from Congo, and has not heard English for 40 years, only French.  He explains how it's difficult to get a job in Rwanda if you don't speak English.  This is his segway into asking for a little tip as he exits the vehicle.  Merci Beaucoup!  All's well that ends well.

Un Mystere! The case of the flying belt!

Background: LWI house has a security guard service that it uses for the evening, however right now the usual day guard is on vacation, so the service has been sending a day guard as well. We really like our regular night guard, Fidel.  The last couple of weeks though he keeps asking about his uniform belt?  Usually after his shift at 6am!  His French is not totally proper, and my French is very limited (especially before I've had my coffee), so I've just been shrugging my shoulders and telling him, "I've not seen your belt."  Well, he's just not letting this belt thing go.  So, I used the google translator and wrote down.  I've not seen your belt.  How can I help you?  He wrote back in French and I used the google translator to figure out what he said.  He is accusing the temporary day guard of stealing his uniform belt.  Ok, now we are getting somewhere.  We did not feel comfortable confronting the day guard, so we called the security company, and put Fidel on the phone.  He was able to explain everything to the company, and when he hung up, I asked him to tell me what they said.  Again he wrote, I translated and the google translation was,  "I said tomorrow it will be for office says this problem flying belt itself."  I laughed hysterically! Mostly because, I'm thinking how much could a uniform belt cost?  I'd rather give him the money for a new one than start confronting the day guard. The last thing we need are the guards coming to blows over a belt in our driveway.  As best I can tell, the actual translation should have been,  "The office will call the day guard in and he will have to explain for himself the problem of the stolen/flying belt."  The verb for steal and fly are the same.  So moral of the story, I need to keep pluging away on the Rosetta Stone, so I don't have to rely too heavily on the translator!

So, here is Fidel wearing his personal belt - not the uniform one.  I wish he would have smiled in the picture.  He has a great friendly smile and humble spirit.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas Love, The Magruders

Everyone kept asking me if we were going to do a Christmas tree.  I finally did it, on the 23rd.  No one shops early around here.  The stores don't really start getting merchandise until mid December.  I LOVE it.  It was such a nice change from the x-mas assault that begins before Halloween in the USA.  We strung popcorn and made salt dough ornaments.  Good thing the tree is small, because we spent the whole day just making what you see.  Merry Christmas to all.  Love the Magruder Family

Friday, December 19, 2008

Santa made and early delivery

So, Santa came early to Rwanda.  The Magruder kids got a puppy.  He cam with a letter from Santa saying that it would not be good to have a puppy on the sleigh all night.  His name is Amazi, which means water in the local language.  Santa also didn't want the kids to be too bored while they are out of school for a month!

Monday, December 15, 2008

"We did not believe we could have water for Christmas"

Kicukiro, Rwanda

A Broken Pump.

My man Phillip can't stand to see a broken pump. What you think Phillip? Feel like a broken rod?

Hey, what you doing? That pump is broken.
You think you can fix that?
Hey, this guy is fixing the pump, we might be able to get water again. Can we help you?
Is he fixin' it?

We are so very happy to see you.
We did not believe we could have water for Christmas.

Sure are a lot of people that think this is going to work.

Look, water. Let's talk about the importance of proper hygiene and how to keep this water safe for you to use and drink.

We have water again, praise God. Thank you. Merry Christmas.

As the truck pulled out there were 60 people waiting to get water, they say they will be there until midnight pumping with much celebration and praising.

Friends and family, this is what it is about. Thank you for encouraging and praying for us.

Love you all,

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Great trip around Kenya

Hey all, I am back from a fantastic trip full of rough dirt roads with much "jostling" to survey the water needs of about 25 hospitals and health clinics with Esther Havens ( and Lane Wood (pastor in Austin) who represented Charity:Water. Obviously I am thrilled to be back with my wonderful family and enjoyed surprising the kids at the after school pick up.

Charity:Water is considering partnering with us with the funding to provide the clinics with a deep borehole, electric pump, storage tanks and water kiosks for the communities that surround them. We spent 2 weeks in Kenya and only 2 nights in Nairobi. We ate much road dust and slept with bugs but we also got to see Kilimanjaro (wow is that thing tall), giraffes, baboons and other monkeys I do not know the name of.

Some of the most striking moments for me where being told that the community gathers water from the river and when we go to the spot they use - it looks like
What they mean is that they dig down to where the water is in the dry river bed, sometimes very deep. But, as it is kind of raining now the water level is high with run off from livestock and agricultural areas.

The Kibira Slum in Nairobi reportedly contains about a million people in a five square mile area.
This beutiful young girl

goes to a school that has this "water" available

Really? In an age of trillion dollar bail out plans for private companies, can we offer this young girl anything better?

Both of these situations are how massive outbreaks of dysentery and cholera occur.

Esther and Lane are presenting their findings back to Charity:Water in New York Friday. I am praying that they are moved to join us in these projects.

Yeah...Mac is back!

MacGregor is home after a two week trip to & around Nairobi.  We are glad to have him safely home. -Ashley

Black Friday and the 10 Commandments

My mom sent me a link to this and I really liked it, so I thought I'd share.  Credit to the author is given at the end.

1. I am the Lord your God. Recognize that stuff isn’t going to make you happy, but faith in whatever it is you believe in, love, and understanding are what’s important. The iPhone can wait.

2. You Shall Have No Other Gods Before You. That Wii may be cool, but making it the focal point of your life isn’t doing anyone any good. Get yourself out into nature for a few minutes. Play with your kids. Read a book.

3. You Shall Not Make Wrongful Use of the Name of Your God. As in “So help me God, I’ll kill you if you don’t let go of that Suzie Barfs-A-Lot Doll.” That’s just not neighborly.

4. Remember the Sabbath and Keep It Holy. A stretch on this one, but maybe we could all take a day or two off each week from consuming and do some good instead? Just a thought.

5. Honor Your Mother and Father. Ask yourself “Would my parents be proud of how I’m acting?”

6. You Shall Not Murder. Ya see, it doesn’t say, “unless something is 20 percent below cost,” it just says don’t do it. Simple.

7. You shall not commit adultery. Not touching that one (pun intended).

8. You Shall Not Steal. Let that little girl have the doll she’s holding. Sure you’re bigger and can take it before her mommy sees, but come on.

9. You Shall Not Bear False Witness Against Your Neighbor.
 All right, this one doesn’t work so much, but it’s still a good idea to keep an eye on, no?

10. You Shall Not Covet Anything That Belongs To Your Neighbor.Simply put, let the Joneses be the Joneses and let the Smiths be the Smiths. The things that you have that are important can’t be bought and can’t be sold. They are learned and passed along from one generation to the next. Take a look at who you are, and stop worrying about everyone else.

Bottom line is this: We all need to wake up and recognized that we are being played. Somehow we’ve bought into this notion that owning bigger and better stuff makes us bigger and better people. When in fact it makes us shallower and hollower. Last Friday proved that quite well. So here’s to next Back Friday when the stores are empty, the aisles deserted, and everyone is home with their families having made a decision about what is truly important, and acted upon it.

Dave Chameides is an environmental educator and freelance filmmaker.  The full article can be found on his site at:

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Where do I start?  It's been fun describing thanksgiving to the Rwandese.  One of the workers at the Living Water house, asked me, "How do you call the big chicken?"  He meant "what" do you call it, but I chuckled imagining myself calling a turkey.  We had a great pot-luck thanksgiving meal over at Mike Tracy's house.  He is the country director for Living Water in Rwanda.  Considering it is difficult to find many of the ingredients we are used to, everyone did an amazing job of re-creating a traditional thanksgiving.  Some of those hard to find items include, cranberry sauce (no fresh cranberries - for sure), pecans, pumpkin, orange sweet potatoes, gravy mixes, marshmallows.  We even had home made from scratch crescent rolls!  And a green bean casserole made with fresh green beans and from scratch fried onions.  I got off easy making corn bread muffins even if it was without a mix.

I am most grateful that I'm not worried about Christmas shopping.  There is not even the first sign of Christmas around here.  No billboards.  No decorations.  No music.  No signs in the shopping areas.  The Rwandese have told me that some people do put up decorations, but mercifully it is closer to Christmas, and does not begin before Halloween.  Gift exchanging is not big.  Families just get together.  Hoooray!!!

MacGregor is still in Kenya.  He says seeing the desperate need for water out in some of the remote areas that he is traveling is making him all the more grateful for family and health.  We are missing him.  His thanksgiving meal as he describes it, "We had chicken "gordon" blue for dinner that was chicken with a meat stuffing with a piece of ham over the top.  It was close to thanksgiving type thing."  

Thank you all for continued prayers and thoughts.  God Bless, Ashley

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Mac in Nairobi

Please pray for MacGregor.  He will be in Nairobi for two weeks.  He's meeting a potential donor interested in seeing hospitals that do not have clean water.  He'll be showing them around approximately 22 hospitals in 12 days.  

Much ado about nothing

The demonstrations were peaceful from our point of view. We saw a few helicopters fly over.  We could hear some protesters chanting in the distance and music, but that was about it.  

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Demonstration in Rwanda

We received the email below from the US Embassy today.  There will be demonstrations tomorrow in Rwanda protesting the political "disagreements" between Rwanda and Germany.  The kids do not have school and we will be hanging out at home all day.  We're not worried, but we are praying that the demonstrations are peaceful.

Greetings registered Americans in Rwanda:

The U.S. Embassy will be open for business on Wednesday, November 19,
2008, although large, peaceful demonstrations are still expected in and
outside of Kigali.  Some embassies, particularly those in areas that may
be most affected by demonstrations, are expected to be closed.  Some
schools with international students have also announced that they will
be closed.  Public transport is expected to be limited.  

While the U.S. Mission will be open demonstrations may impede some
employees from coming to work.

Once again, we urge all Americans to avoid large gatherings and to
exercise caution.  You are urged to monitor communications, including
U.S. Embassy warden messages, for further advisories or announcements.  

Please be advised that movements within Kigali and other major towns may
be restricted due to large crowds and blocked streets.     

Monday, November 17, 2008

We had a great weekend

We spent Saturday morning at the Novotel poolside. The kids enjoyed the opportunity to swim and meet some other kids. We enjoyed the great coffee and bakery and we made some good contacts with other Ex Pats that were doing the same thing with the kids. Apparently it is a good spot on the weekends to see other folks that are in the same boat.

We met one family that has been here for 11 years now.....this is very encouraging for us.

We then waited an hour for our "real-estate" broker to show up and headed out to look at more houses. We have a potential contender on the list now.

Sunday was great as well. We attended a very enjoyable St. Etienne Anglican Church and met more great people. We were subsequently invited to a Bible study Sunday night with a group of missionaries led by the pastor of St. Etienne. It was a wonderful group of folks and the kids had a blast with the other kids. This was a very spiritually refreshing day for us to be in communion with likeminded folks.

On the mission side the drill team completed two boreholes successfully in the Southern Province and the pump repair team completed another three projects in Kigali. The 2nd drill rig is nearing completion of an overhaul and a third light duty rig is under way from the US with a bulldozer to help clear a path.

God's peace and mercy on you this week,

Saturday, November 15, 2008

House search of the elusive moderately priced cute house.

There is no rhyme or reason to the price - location - house triad that house hunters in the US are accustomed to.  You know...the better the location, the better the house, the higher the price and vice versa.  I've not found that to be the case in Kigali, Rwanda.  You're apt to find that anything goes, and the price has virtually no correlation to anything but the skin color of the perspective renter.  We went to one house that we thought was ok.  This is until we came across a bathroom with the toilet smack dab in the middle of the room!  I'm not joking.   Had the owner not been there, I would have taken a picture!  A person would have to walk around the toilet (on either side) to get to the shower or lavatory.  This was an otherwise nice house - go figure.  There is also no predictability of floor plans.  Houses are likely to have 7 tiny bedrooms that are spread out all over the house, with doors in the hallways that could lock off whole sections of the house, and no bathrooms accessible to most of them.  However even the most modest of houses will have guard houses, staff quarters, outdoor bathrooms for the staff, and seperately keyed locks on every door closet, pantry, kitchen and drawer in the entire place.  I'm having a blast trekking around on the bumpy roads looking at all of this comical real-estate, but the not so funny part is that, at some point we will have to move out of the lap of luxury and actually choose one of these.  Please pray for a cute, moderately priced, bungalow with a view (in the land of a thousand hills) for the Magruders.  We'll keep you posted.  Thanks for checking in.  Ashley

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

One week today!

We've officially been here a week today.  The kids started school yesterday.  They loved it which is great.  It seems like they have a pretty good foundation, so they are not too far ahead and not behind what the class is doing here.  They have great teachers and classmates.  Duncan and Ella are the only Americans in their class and Lilly is one of two in a class of nine.  The students come from everywhere (South Africa, Central America, Japan, Holland, Rwanda)  Its really a great blend.  

I went shopping at the big open air market yesterday.  The selection of fresh produce was amazing!  It was the size of a football field with everything from passion fruit to dried beans and in between.  We'll be eating a little healthier, I hope.  

Mac rode out to the job site where they are drilling about 2.5 hours south of here.  He said it's the poorest place he has ever seen.  The people were pretty amazed to see him (a tall white guy) as well.  He said adults and children were coming up to touch his skin.

We go house hunting tomorrow.  Let's hope that we can find something as nice at the LWI house we are in.

Thanks for everyone's continued prayers,

Friday, November 7, 2008

Pictures of the house where we are staying

This is where we are staying.  We have the upstairs and the office is downstairs.  We are very comfortable.  No mud hut as many have asked ;-)

Everyone want to know about the kids.....(Ashley)

The kids are doing fine. Everyone is.  They don't seem as struck by the differences as I would have imagined.  They are getting used to everyone staring at us.  We've done a lot of running errands the last couple of days.  They moaned about being in the car and doing boring stuff, but that's typical.  We visited the school today and I'm very pleased.  They have great teachers and good small classes.  Duncan and EJ will have Miss Shannon, a young woman from Minnesota.  Lilly has Mr. Troy Reece.  He also arrived after the school year began.  His wife is in charge of the Peace Corps in Rwanda.  I'm not sure which state they are from.  Lilly seemed to think he would be nice & she would like him.  She has more girls than boys in her class.  We didn't get to visit long, so I'm not sure where her classmates are from.  D and EJ are the only American's in their class.  Their class consists of a caucasian girl, named Jade from S. Africa, a boy from Japan, a boy from South America, and two Rwandan kids.  The entire school has 200 students from 30-something countries.  The classrooms were bright and cheerful.  They will officially start Monday, but tomorrow is a Fall Festival at the school, so we will go check that out and hopefully meet some parents.  

Thursday, November 6, 2008

We have arrived in Kigali

We are in and andjusting to the new time zone sleep patterns.  We wake up from 1am to 3am and then fall back asleap.  We should be fully adjusted over the next week.

We had great flights over and can not tell you how great Brussels Airlines is.  Wow, made our AA flight from Chicago look like an antique plane.  And good leg room to boot.  Ella and Duncan both got sick on the flight over.  After 24 hours of flying with no sleep and light food I guess it pushes a little kid too far.

We are off to look for housing this morning and maybe go by KICS to show the kids thier new school.

I will post a photo of my prayer and coffee view soon, it is fantastic, green and fogy this morning.


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Our Address

Several people have asked what is our address in Rwanda?  We'll be receiving mail at a PO Box that Living Water has.  It costs 94 cents to send a letter, and we would love to receive mail.  Please don't send any packages.  It's very expensive to ship and we are at the whim of what ever "duty" the Rwandans decide to charge us to receive it.

Living Water International - Magruders
P.O. Box 6712
Kigali, Rwanda Africa

Counting Down

We're on the countdown now!  I'm procrastinating packing by updating my blog.  It really hit home this morning when I heard one of the kids telling the others..."We leave for Africa on monday."  I don't even know what the context was, but it made it even more REAL for me.  Ashley 

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Women's Work

This,LWI News Article, is a great window into the daily struggle of women and girls in majority world countries reported on by my great friend Paul.  Paul spent 10 years in El Salvador as a missionary for Living Water International and has a real heart for this struggle.  Add to this the reality of chronic diarrhea and imagine the likely hood of a young girl attending a school.  Without the basic need of clean safe water being met this cycle will continue.

Thanks Paul,


Thursday, October 23, 2008

keeping us flexible

Change of plans and housing.  We're not going to be staying in the furnished apartment with the wonderful sounding name.  Instead, we'll be staying on the second floor of the LWI office.  Another missionary couple lives there, but they will be on vacation back in the USA through the end of the year.  This is good.  1.  LWI can drill a well with the cost of the furnished apartment.  2.  The house is very nice, as you can see.  3.   The office is in the downstairs, so Mac can get acquainted with work right away.  Did I mention the house also has three staff-persons?  Most of the houses are like this with a wall and gate around them.  We'll stay here until we find a place to rent and the shipping container with our stuff arrives.  Pray that it will before the end of the year!

Are you and the kids excited?

This is by far the number one question that I get asked on a daily basis.  Of course we all have a few butterflies.  We're moving to Africa!  But - I'm reading Led by Faith - Immaculee Ilbaziga's new book.  I love it and would recommend it to anyone.  And, YES we are excited.  Thanks for asking.  

Knowledge is power!

Knowledge is power - I learned that from Schoolhouse rock.  And Oprah likes to say, "When you know better - you do better."  So, please allow me to brag on my hubby a bit.  I'm so proud of him.  He went to Lafayette yesterday to speak at his cousin's high school.  He was supposed to show a short video and then speak for a total of about 45 minutes about Living Water and what we will be doing in Rwanda.  The student's had so many questions that the presentation went on for an hour and 15 minutes.  The teachers finally had to stop, because the kids would have kept going. Who knows what can happen when young hearts are touched, but I'm pretty sure that someone in that audience heard something that will change their life.  I remember watching a documentary in school, called Small Happiness.  It was about how girls born in China are not a big happiness like their brothers.  What's crazy is that I cannot remember the teacher, class, or year that I saw that video.  However it stuck with me enough to change my life.  We adopted Ella Jade from China, largely in part because of that movie.  The Lord works in mysterious and ordinary ways.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Water and Sanitation are key to development

This is an interesting article from the Financial Times concerning water and sanitation

Aid donors should focus on water, says UN report By Fiona Harvey in London

Published: October 20 2008 03:00 | Last updated: October 20 2008 03:00 

Donor nations should focus on providing water and sanitation in developing countries before trying to improve education, health and trade, a United Nations study found.

Installing toilets and ensuring safe water supplies would do more to end poverty and improve health than any other measure, said the UN University.

Without such fundamental services as sanitation and access to clean water, projects to improve the economy or people's wellbeing are likely to fail, said Zafar Adeel, director of the UN University's international network on water, environment and health.

"Development aid would be much better spent if you tackle the water and sanitation issue first," he said.

The study says donors have failed to focus on water and sanitation, favouring instead projects such as improvements to infrastructure, health and education.

A report published last month by the charities WaterAid and Tearfund found the developed world was giving a smaller proportion of its overall aid to water and sanitation projects.

Furthermore, less than a quarter of the aid intended to give people access to clean water and sanitation was going to the regions where it was most needed.

Water and sanitation are pressing problems: more than 2.6bn people lack access to decent sanitation and about 1bn lack access to clean drinking water.

As a result an estimated 5,000 children die every day in the developing world from preventable infectious conditions such as diarrhoea.

A lack of access to water and sanitation leads to serious health problems, damages economic productivity, and prevents girls from completing their education, as a lack of private toilets means most leave school at puberty in many regions.

As well as imperilling the success of other aid efforts by failing to sort out sanitation, donor countries are missing out on an opportunity to get much more out of their aid, said Mr Adeel. "The return [from directing aid to water and sanitation] is on the order of eight or 10 times the expenditure."

Aid for water and sanitation services also opens new service business opportunities for local entrepreneurs, according to the UN University report.

The report found that mapping where in the world water and sanitation problems are most urgent would be a valuable first step in redirecting aid to focus on these issues.

Found here:

Less than 2 weeks to go!

God bless,


Monday, October 13, 2008

Great Weekend

With 3 weeks to go we had a wonderful weekend.

First Presbyterian Church of Baton Rouge celebrated our commissioning with a great time of prayer for us.

Ashley's family was in for a weekend reunion from Memphis and it was a blast.

Plus a big going away party in Baton Rouge hostessed by my mom with a surprise visit from my sister all the way from San Antonio.

We are exhausted and happy to have a regular work week.  

It was great to be so loved on all weekend.  Some pics will be added.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I am looking forward to Christmas this year as we escape our religion of consumerism.


Monday, September 29, 2008

Preparing to leave

We are getting ready for the big move.

Our flights are booked for November 3rd!  
New Orleans to Chicago to Brussels to Kigali.
Good schedule.....hope the kids make it without massive melt downs!

Why are we doing this?

We believe we are compelled by Christ to pick up our cross and follow him.  

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.....I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of theses brother of mine, you did for me.
Matthew 25:31-46

The poor and needy search for water, but here is none; their tongues are parched with thirst.  But I the Lord will answer them;I, the God of Israel,m will not forsake them.  I will make rivers flow on barren heights, and springs within the valleys.  I will turn the desert into pools of water, and the parched ground into that people may see and know, may consider and understand, that the hand of the Lord has done this, that the Holy One of Israel has created it.
Isaiah 41:17-20

Why Rwanda and East Africa?
We believe God has lead us here to serve the least of these brothers of His.  Our willingness to go and His provision of destination.

You're doing what??? Q&A

I love facebook.  It's a great way to keep up with acquaintances that I might not email directly.  The thing I like most about it also the thing I like the least.  You get little snippets of information about people.  Unfortunately the pieces are disconnected, and unless you follow up,  you might never get the whole story.  But something is better than nothing right?  

So, yes we're moving to Kigali, Rwanda (in Africa).  And lots of people have very similar questions.  I'll cover the basics here in more detail, so I won't get tired of writing it and "short" you after the hundredth reply.

I'll also try to keep this going once we're in Rwanda to post pictures and keep in touch with friends and family.  

Top ??????'s answered....

When do you leave?  Nov. 3rd, 2008

Why are you going?  We are working full time with Living Water International.  It is a mission organization dedicated to bringing safe drinking water and God's word to those in need around the world. is the website if you'd like to know more.  MacGregor's job will be overseeing operations and development (aka fundraising) for projects in East Africa.

Is is safe?  Isn't Rwanda where they had a genocide?  Yes and yes.  One of the reasons it is so safe is because of the genocide of the early 90's.  The people of Rwanda have done a remarkable job of putting the past behind them.  They have made it a point to use their tragedy as a "never go back" learning experience.  The country is one of the most stable in Africa and has numerous organizations basing operations there.  Their goal is to become a model for other African countries.

Are you going to home school?  Not if I can help it.   Our kids have been accepted to the Kigali International Community School (KICS).  It is an international school which follows an American curriculum and schedule.  The student population is made up of Rwandan, American and international students.  Priority is give to missionary families 1st and NGO 2nd.  This is a picture of the school below.

Where will you live?  We are planning to live in a 4 bedroom furnished apartment when we get there.  Get this, the name of the complex is "The High Standing apartments of the social security fund of Rwanda." but, as you can see it is quite nice.  We will look for a house to lease once we are there.  Living Water is shipping a container with our furniture and appliances.

What are you doing with your house at Lake Rosemound?  We plan to rent it out furnished, as a lake house, to a group of couples from church.

How long will you be there?  the foreseeable future.

When do you come back?  We'll plan to visit for two months in the summers.  We'll be stateside from June 16th to mid-August, 2009.

Are you excited?  Are the kids excited?  Are you nervous?  Yes, Yes, not really.... and I have not told the kids there is not a McDonald's in Kigali yet.  I'm more nervous about that.

I can't thank everyone enough for you well wishes and moral support.  Please keep us in your prayers and keep us up to date on what's going on in your life.  Ashley

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Heading out next week

On July 24th we are heading out to Kenya and Rwanda to view some of the work LWI is doing.
While we are in Rwanda we will be looking at schools for the kids and housing.