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.



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


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


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


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


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


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!


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!


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



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.


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.


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!


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


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. 

Worksite 23-cement mixer and workers from roof 2

Worksite 23-workers and cement mixer 3

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


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.


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


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


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




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


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.

Rainbow at HOH entrance 1

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.

All in a day’s bike ride

Sundays are wonderful days for a long, relaxing bike ride out into the bush. Here is some of the scenery from my recent rides.

DSC_7489DSC_7487The Oti River near Mango

DSC_7510A makeshift shelter in the bush

DSC_7552No bike ride would be complete without a herd of cows crossing your path!

DSC_7591Hippos down by the lake

Togo’s beautiful side

To replenish myself, I enjoy going out and enjoying God’s beautiful creation, and I especially enjoy capturing that beauty with photography. I hope you also enjoy seeing the beauty of Togo through these images!


The mountains just behind the southern hospital


A waterfall just around the corner from the mountains in the last image


Togo’s coastline has a couple of nice beaches, and watching these sand crabs scurrying around the beach is so much fun!


We came across this small but unbelievably swift antelope at an animal reserve in Benin, the country neighboring Togo to the east.


These boldly colored birds live in the savannah around Mango.


You’ll find women carrying loads like these all around Togo. Notice the woman on the left caring for her baby simultaneously!