January--Part II

As most (if not all) of you know, the Loftins left Ghana in late December of last year. One of the incentives for this trip was to see how everything was going in their absence. Landon and Kate did an excellent job of preparing the girls and the staff for their departure, so both the Yellow House and everyone in it are doing wonderfully! Out of all of their contributions, a garden might seem trivial, but our yard has been home to one of the most exciting transformations at the Yellow House. It was in pretty sorry shape when we moved in, and now it's nearly unrecognizable! I would have never guessed that Ghanaian soil was so fertile but you should SEE the way our trees have sprouted up.

Landon planted Moringa...sticks, really, last October, with the help of our friend Wilson. I was skeptical that anything would take root and grow, but the pictures speak for themselves. DSC_0224_2 These are some of the cuttings after about 4-6 weeks of growth. They had already thickened and started sprouting leaves at this point. DSC_1080 THIS is a picture I took LAST WEEK!! The perspective is a little off, but these are the same trees in front of the same wall--they've just grown about 20 feet! DSC_1320 Moringa is sometimes called "the green gold of Ghana" because it is incredibly nutritious and beneficial. It has 3 times the potassium in bananas, 4 times the calcium in milk (and double the protein), 4 times the Vitamin A in carrots, and 7 times the Vitamin C in oranges. And we have over a dozen trees in our very own yard!! What a blessing for us, with a house full of girls that are still recovering from the effects of malnutrition.

Okay, we've gone down that rabbit hole far enough.

DSC_0964 My parents' church hosted a camp last summer, and Teddy and I had the opportunity to visit one day and share about Eight Oaks. The kids made blankets for the girls that I was able to bring over on this trip! It is hilarious and strange to me that they love and welcome fleece in African heat, but I was reminded that a few weeks ago they had a "cold snap," where the temperatures dropped to 78 degrees, so undoubtedly these will come in handy;) DSC_0970 "Snuggling" with Mama and Mercy DSC_0983 They also got "lip shine" (aka, chapstick) DSC_0990 Rosemary, our neighbor, came over this same day and the older girls pulled me aside to ask if they could share their gifts with her. I had already collected a pile for Rosemary and our other friends...but it obviously meant so much more that the girls were willing and ready to part with their own presents for the sake of sharing with others. They have carefully cultivated and maintained Sarah Sr.'s cubby, too, and when she returns she'll find it full of books and other gifts laid aside by her sisters. I am so proud of them.

DSC_1022 We LOVE blowing bubbles:) DSC_1014 Lucky DSC_1033 Mom has skillz DSC_1039 Dina and Regina

More coming soon(ish)!