Africa visits Kansas

So…last week I wrote a bit about Joanna and how we met her.  Now I want to share the week she spent here with us.

“I’ll just have one.” photo courtesy of Austin Dean Ruff

First…I drove 120 miles east to pick her up at the airport.  Not a bad drive and I had a couple of places I wanted to hit in the big city before I picked her up.  I was right on schedule when I pulled into the parking lot in front of Cake Stuff.  My cell phone rang and it was Joanna’s friend, Sharyl, telling me Joanna’s plane was delayed.  No problem, I assured her.  I’ll just hit a few places I love here.  Two hours later, the cell phone went off again.  Now Joanna was going to be  2 more hours late.  No…wait…make that 2 more hours.  OK, it seems the weather had driven the plane off track, they needed more fuel so they went back to the original city, waited for this and that and finally arrived at 10:00! 

 Big Boss had been calling every 30 mins. with weather reports.  Wasn’t sounding good either.  The same system that delayed Joanna’s plane was headed straight for us.  So, by the time she arrived, got her luggage and we were loaded in the car….the rain started.  And the wind.  Thankfully no hail.  If it had hailed, I think Joanna would have bailed out on me!! 

It wasn’t the worst storm I’ve ever driven in but it was the worst I’ve ever driven in with a fearful African who had no idea if I really did know what I was doing.  I reassured her that this was nothing…although I could barely see the yellow center stripe.  I knew we could get to the next town because we were on a divided highway.  But once we turned off that, I was a little worried.  That road is long, narrow and black. 

But we made it home.  At 2 am the next day. 

photo courtesy of Austin Dean Ruff

All in all, we kept her busy!  Or maybe it was the other way around?  LOL!!  She was determined to experience apricot picking, so we did that in a big way! And wow! Did she love eating them.  I kept saying to be careful of too many.  As she popped another 2 or 3 in her mouth!  And she rode the feedtruck with Big Boss and rode around the feedlot/farm.  She met almost all of our grands…3 were gone.  I’m not sure but I think our taco salad was the first taco anything she’d ever had.  We worked in my garden some and pulled weeds.  She sang the whole time we were out there.  Now I wish I had recorded some of her native work songs.

We had a church supper where Joanna presented a short program on the orphange.  The next day, Sunday, she treated us to an extended version of her slideshow, with our Mennonite friends in attendance along with our community members from surrounding churches. Later that day, #2 son stopped by with his family to visit with Joanna…and grandson took lots and lots of pics!

Then, it was back to apricot picking!  We didn’t keep her all to ourselves though.  I loaned her out!  A friend took Joanna to her farm where she learned to make goat cheese!!  (My friend has promised to call me the next time cheese-making is scheduled!)

Joanna’s goat cheese-photo from my stash!

And the cheese was excellent!!  They mixed fresh herbs in it and it’s perfect with crackers

photo by V. Miller


Another day, she went out to another friend’s farm and learned all about turnips.  Yep, turnips in Kansas!  Turnips are sometimes used here to help break up pack ground.  Once the turnips are up and growing, cattle are turned out to graze on the turnip tops.

photo by M. Salmans

photo by M. Salmans

Son #1 and his family had us over for supper where grands entertained Joanna with a tour of new puppies in the kennels.

Granddaughter has towel on her shoulder as she was waiting tables…photo by Joanna


Our farmer friend also gave her some pointers on the use of solar panels used with water wells. Before Joann left, our cheese-making friend stopped by with her grandson, who gave Joanna some small toys to take back to Burkina Faso.  How sweet was that?!  “…I am very much touched. I will keep them and pass them to my first Grand Child God will give me or put them in my office (with my little friend) and me beside!!!”


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5 Responses to Africa visits Kansas

  1. God bless Joann and you and your friends and family for the love you show one another.


  2. alfagetti says:

    I absolutely echo Pat’s sentiment here, Debbie.


  3. The Queen says:

    Thanks gals! G-d is good!!!!


  4. servetus says:

    It is hard to resist a sunripened fresh apricot. Who can blame her?


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