• Stress Testing Everything

    Stress Testing Everything

    There is a product design theory that says f you really want to find out if something will do its normal job well, look for how it works when it’s stressed. Sometimes this is done via extreme users and extreme use situations. Designers will give a new keyboard design to a hardcore computer gamer, or…

  • twenty-four

    twenty-four

    Today marks exactly 24 years since Susan and I got married. Twenty four years! What’s shocking to me is just how much 24 is an ‘old people number.’ I can remember as a kid when some relatives celebrated their 25 anniversaries. Those people were old. We’re not old. Certainly not. I guess the other thing…

  • Well, I made it to 46.

    Well, I made it to 46.

    My birthday was last week, and as I often find myself doing at this annual life-marker, I look at what others had done by my age and the ole’ “who died at my age” question. So I’ll tell you: Pierre Currie, husband to Marie and Nobel prize-winning chemist & physicist, was hit by a horse-drawn…

  • more things we forgot about

    controling the temperature in the house radio leisure activities – all these recreational activities that people have specific equipment for trains pears sparkiling water garages dandilions dish washers people referring to carbonated drinks as “pop” bike paths that were actually designed and built to be used for recreational biking plugging things directly into the wall…

  • Virtually Unprecedented

    Virtually Unprecedented

    In these unprecidented times…. It kind of feels like that is the new way to start an email or newsletter or update of any kind from any institution. Honestly, I’m pretty sure no one used that phrase to start an email last year, and suddenly it feels about as common as “hello” Actually , we’re…

  • There’s a lot of Canada

    There’s a lot of Canada

    One of the things that still strikes us living in Burundi is the population density. Not that it is anywhere like truly densely populated places like Hong Kong or even New York or Toronto, but there are way more people than it feels like there should be. In a huge city, you expect people everywhere.…

  • some perspective

    some perspective

    here’s a post from my daughter and my fake daughter – reflecting on some of the issues of racial injustice that have finally been brought to the forefront over the past several weeks:

  • For Those Who Can’t Breathe

    For Those Who Can’t Breathe

    I wrote this over a week ago, but have hesitated to post it, not wanting to add more noise to the conversation. But I have come to the conclusion that saying something, as mistaken as I may be, is better than saying nothing. When I look back on what I’ve done and where I’ve been…

  • new post from Matea

    new post from Matea

    Matea put up a new post on her and Ella’s blog:

  • Community. Education.

    Community. Education.

    or: “It takes a village to teach a child” NOTE: this was something I wrote back in Kibuye about a month and a half ago – before we even thought we might be heading out. It feels like right now, more than ever, a lot of people are talking about community. Mostly it seems to…

  • heard around our house since we’ve been back

    So we’ve been back in Canada for three weeks now – the first time our family has been here in 3 years. And like last time we were here, there always seem to be things that catch us off guard. NOTE: I hesitated to post this, as I realize it can easily be taken as…

  • A Day for Mothers

    A Day for Mothers

    Saying something supportive and celebratory about mothers seems a bit odd. It’s like celebrating kindness, or an end to war, or ice cream. Of COURSE, we all love, support, celebrate those things. It’s just human nature to do so -only a monster would not be happy about things like a great cup of coffee, or…

  • what I learned going through a traumatic event

    I had never before experienced anything like what happened in our home in February. The closest was a time when we lived in Kazakhstan where we (Susan, her sister visiting from Japan, and I) were abducted by a rogue taxi driver late at night and we were only able to escape when the car we…

  • so…we’re back – and apparently we’ve been preparing for this

    Today our family is 11 days into our mandatory 14-day self-isolation, the requirement for returning to Canada from overseas. It’s been filled with yard work, school at home, house projects, and appropriately socially distanced visiting. Our house here which we’ve owned for 12 years and rented out for the last 10, has been vacant for…

  • Boarding Passes and Book Bags

    In case you’d like a slightly different perspective on our experiences here – our daughter Matea, and our fake daughter Ella (her fake twin) have started a blog. Two amazing young women who have some great things to share Our African Home is now live for your reading pleasure!

  • Maundy Thursday – a reflection on betrayal.

    Maundy Thursday – a reflection on betrayal.

    Today is the day before Good Friday, just over halfway from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday. A strange day referred to in the traditional Christan calendar as “Maundy Thursday.” Or, as most kids who grew up in church think it’s called: “Monday-Thursday” It coincides with the traditional celebration of the Seder Supper – the marking…

  • Burundi transport

    Burundi transport

    There are a lot of peculiarities to how people move around this country. No…scratch that. There are a lot of peculiarities to how people move around this country. There are a lot of things that we find peculiar about how people move around this country. Of course, to those who have lived here their whole…

  • Last One Standing (?)

    Last One Standing (?)

    {NOTE: I really did not feel that what the world needs now is yet another post about COVID-19. However, we are in a bit of a unique situation here, and felt it’s worth sharing} So it appears that as of today, Burundi is one of the only countries in the world to have no confirmed…

  • 22/02/2020

    It feels strange to write about an event like what took place in our house on February 22. In one way, the essence of writing is distilling down something – an idea, an event, a person, a theory- into words that are a clear summary of that thing. How does one clearly reduce an event…

  • Imyaka Itanu | Cinq Ans | Five Years

    {NOTE: this is also another post that was supposed to go up before the events of 3 weeks ago kind of side-stepped or lives from normal. I will post an update on what happened, and how we’re doing now, but I think it’s good – even if just for us – to focus on the…

  • Matea is 16!

    {NOTE: yes – there is a lot going on right now in our lives and in this world, but I’m setting all of that aside for right now to finish this post that I was working on Saturday before our lives kind of spun-out for a while there. I want to get out what we’re…

  • I’m the closest thing to Ronaldo you’ll ever see

    I’m the closest thing to Ronaldo you’ll ever see

    One of the things that never seems to get old for the kids who live on the hills around us here is, well…us. Despite the fact that there has been a pretty significant number foreign missionaries here for quite a few years, making dozens and dozens of trips back and forth from our houses to…

  • uh…so he’s 18 (?!)

    {OK…so this is just over a month late – so I guess really the last of my mea culpa series of posts…where I post things way too late. that’s my fault. mea culpa} Well – as of now (yes…a month ago) we have an “adult child.” To be honest I”m still not sure how I…

  • Back to School – 2019

    {This should be the last of the MEA CULPA SERIES OF POSTS _ where I post things I should have written a long time ago… yeah…that’s on me.} These years are strange. We have two kids who go to school about 20 meters from our front door, and two kids who go to school 2…

  • Alma is {still} 8

    NOTE: this is part of a series of blog posts that I SHOULD have written long ago. Events and things that I do want to share with others, and have a record of for us. So here they are – woefully late…and that’s on me. mea culpa. So our youngest is now 8. That makes…