Spectacular Southern Scenery

The region around Tsiko, home of the southern hospital, HBB, is filled with jaw-dropping beauty! While taking some time away from Mango, I love seeing evidence of God’s creative hand as I enjoy His creation.

Most mornings around sunrise, I take a hike up the mountain just beside the hospital. The sunrises and views often interrupt my exercise with their beauty!

Sunrise-valley-from Tsiko mountain 2Tree-valley from Tsiko mountain at sunrise 1

The mountains are sprinkled with bright red flowers this time of year.

Red trumpet flowers Tsiko 15-mountain background

Another thing we don’t have in Mango is waterfalls, so I enjoy seeing them when I am in the south. This small waterfall is a short, easy walk from the hospital.

Small waterfall behind HBB 13-lower

And this waterfall, the tallest in Togo, required a treacherous ride down a deteriorating road followed by an hour and a half hike up and then down a mountain. It was a great Saturday trip with a couple of friends!

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Here’s a view of the top of that waterfall as we descended the mountain towards the base:

Wli waterfall hike-Top of falls from path 5

The mountain views from this hike were equally spectacular!

Wli waterfall hike-Mountains from path 1

Rainy Season in Mango

Rainy season is my favorite time of year! For June, July, and August, the temperatures are usually quite comfortable (for Mango anyway), and the landscape turns a brilliant green.

I just love the way dew drops cling to the grass!

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These grasshoppers are so pretty, I always think God was working His creative skills with a fine-tipped paintbrush when He created these guys!

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Big beautiful baobab trees come in all kinds of twisted shapes!

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It took wading through a thigh-high overflowing creek with our bikes to get to this long lake out in the bush.

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This is the closest thing you’ll find to a forest around Mango. Elsewhere they are cutting trees faster than they can grow but these trees are protected.

Moved in!

Woo hoo, I am finally living in my new house after the better part of a year working on it! The porch in the picture below will soon be screened in, just in time for mosquito season.

 

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Living room (with lots of extra space for having company!):

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Kitchen (at least three times the size of the cubby-hole kitchen I had been using!):

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Solar panels on the garage roof (No more power outages, I feel so spoiled!):

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The dépendance-almost ready for the arrival of short-term nurses in a few weeks!

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This is the living room/kitchen in the dépendance. I’m thankful for a Togolese guy who is building the cabinets!

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So now I’m ready to give you a place to stay if you ever want to come out to Mango for a visit!

 

Construction Update: Almost there!

Things are really starting to come together on my home!

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Paint on the walls, tile on the floor, electric ready to go, plumbing nearly completed…just a few steps left before I can live in the house!

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They’ve started putting stone on the exterior, it’s a maintenance-free and beautiful material collected from mountains a couple hours from Mango.

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The big project being wrapped up soon is putting a tin roof over top the slab roof, that will keep the house cool since the tropical sun won’t touch the concrete.

 

Installing tile and concrete floors in the dépendance

Construction Update: Details, Details…

My house is starting to look more and more move-in ready, although many details still remain.

P1050224Crepissage (plastering using cement)

Tiling: First they mix sand and cement, then add water as they place the tile.

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Before cabinets could be installed, the backsplash tile had to be mounted and the walls painted.

Kitchen Cabinets! I am thankful a friend from my home church, Mike, could come out and build and install the cabinets. I pitched in with a lot of sanding and varnishing when I could.

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Septic tank: My property includes about 12 inches of loose dirt, beneath that is an extremely hard rock called laterite. This guy put weeks of back-breaking labor into breaking that rock up!

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Tin roof: This week they are setting up pillars that will support the tin roof which will keep the sun from baking the house.

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OK, this has nothing to do with construction! This was one of the last flowers to lend its beauty to the landscape before everything dried up and turned brown. We won’t see another drop of rain for several months.

Construction Update: Pouring the Slab Roof

Preparing for the big day: The masons arrange concrete blocks on the roof, then the electrician arranges all the electric conduit. 

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Dozens of workers descend on the construction site to get the whole slab done in one day. Some haul the sand, gravel, cement, and water, others fill the buckets with the mixed cement and pass them up to others on the roof. 

Worksite 23-Preparing rice and sauce 2

My job for the day was getting a meal together for workers-I recruited some friends to help!  

Worksite 24-Soule watering roof 1

The finished product! The concrete has to be watered for a few days. 

Worksite 25-pouring dependance floor 2-Soule and helper

Masons pouring the floors

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Now that the shell is up, the workers been making door frames, cementing them into place, and putting plaster on the walls. So much has been done, yet so much work yet to go! 

Construction Update-August 2017

Worksite 15-partial walls 1

This is the dépendance (apartment) going up. It will have two bedrooms with bathrooms and a living/kitchen area (which is the farthest away) where short-termers can live.

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This is the dépendance again, several weeks later. They will soon be pouring the floor and then the roof.

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How do you pour cement high off the ground? One bucket at a time!

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To prepare for tons of cement being poured on the roof, the workers mount a frame upheld by wooden posts.

 

 

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After all the electric conduit and some plumbing are installed, things will be ready for the roof to be poured! 

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This might not be construction related, but I can’t resist sharing some of the beauty of the Mango countryside! I came across this beautiful big tree on a recent bike ride.

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A lovely rainbow over the hospital last month, reminding us of God’s faithfulness.

 

The Beauty of Rainy Season

I love this season when the rains produce lush green in the savanna around Mango!

P1040483P1040494.JPGLadies washing laundry and getting water at a nearby lake

P1040503.JPGThese perfect little flowers grow on a plant that produces the rennet-like liquid used to make local cheese.

Butterfly-Bird of Paradise 2.JPGThe bushes I planted at my property a year ago have grown and are producing bright flowers that attract dozens of butterflies.