For The Love Of Flowers!

Written by: The Bridge on Wednesday, April 19th, 2006

It’s been really nice to hear from home, through the emails that have been sent, about the taufest, melting snow, and spring flood. Sorry for not replying to your emails, but I try to get things done on this journal first, so emails are often left out. That doesn’t mean you have to stop writing, I download them and take them home to read on the laptop. This post has many pictures, if you’re just reading a printed version you might not get too much out of it, the online version is better.
I started writing this post to give everybody an idea of what it is like to live here. However, it got very incoherent, so I decided to split up the posts into categories. This post is all about flowers, so if you don’t do flowers, you might just want to skip this one!

PhotographersWe only have to open our eyes and look around us, to see the many beautiful things here in Africa. We have to be careful not to drop any ripe bananas, because as soon as they hit the ground, they start growing so fast that you will find yourself 10ft in the air on top of a fully grown banana tree! (Ok, Ok, dus is a pisela schtrekt!) This place is a living paradise! With bananas, pineapples, mangoes, papaya, avocados, guava, plantain, and whatever tropical fruit you can think of. Oh! We can’t forget the delicious hot peppers! (That last line was Talitha’s. I don’t think delicious and hot peppers go together in the same sentence.) Everything grows so quickly; a freshly plowed field looks lush and green in no time. There are plants, insects and animals here, that one only reads about in books. Talitha and I are going to get them on camera, so that we can at least share them with you in that way. So it’s picture time, whatever it takes, even if it means getting wet while trying to get the job done!
Take this small, white flower for example. Everyone of them has a splash of purple on the bottom petal; maybe God had a bit of extra purple paint around that he had to use up. This five petaled purple/pink flower is grown a lot in the gardens around Palmgrove, it looks a lot like our ‘zuckerbamble’ back home. The butterflies seem to enjoy them, but these little flutterbies are a bit harder to get on camera, because they have no patience when it comes to sitting and posing for the camera man! Can you spot the preying mantis, hidden amongst the flowers? Hopefully, I’ll get some better shots of him. He has a really cute heart shaped head, with beady eyes. Unfortunately, he decided he wasn’t made for the camera either!
This flower here, is what I would call undescribable. I don’t know how, or where to start, it doesn’t even look like a flower! Talitha said, that this is where the idea of ‘kruschelle’ must have come from! Look at the picture and you’ll see exactly what she means. We found this purple flower, growing on long straight stems that were swaying gently in the breeze. The opening is quite big, and the flower deep, so the insects that visit these flowers crawl all the way inside to get at the nectar. Here is a yellow flower that is even bigger than the purple one, it has a sweet gentle smell and it grows on a tall shrub that is completely covered with these yellow beauties. It may be called Okra, but for now we have no way of knowing for sure. These tiny, white flower are so small that we almost missed them completely. They grow in a delicate cluster in the center of the plant. This tree is completely covered with pink blossoms. They form huge clusters of pink, with the odd yellow flower mixed in. They almost look ‘out of proportion’ big. Let’s not forget this small clump of plastic looking flowers, they look man made but of course they’re not!
The next two pictures are from two separate trees. They look exactly alike, except one is yellow and the other has red mixed in, that makes it look like life giving veins.
I see we have too many flower pictures already to describe, so we?ll save them for later posts. Maybe we’ll add an extra picture folder on the side just for that. If anybody is ambitions enough to find out what some of these are called, it would be a great help, just post the name of the flower in the comments. Thanks!
Anyway, I have to get going, it’s late and our water system quit working on us. We’ll have to figure out how to take a shower without running water for today, should be interesting.

Showing 24 comments

Ian said:
On: 20th Apr, 2006 at 01:48

Hi Lance
The “Clump of plastic looking flower” is called “Crown of Thorns” or “Christ Plant”. It should make a great Easter decoration. Of course, with so many flowers to choose from the problem will be where to put them. Very interesting post! Keep it up.

Jonathan said:
On: 20th Apr, 2006 at 07:48

The white with purple looks almost like the azalea flowered snapdragons. Pink/purple is most definately a Vinca. Wonder how they get them to grow over there. I can’t do it here:P. Apperently they like hot and dry. nit? Obber wos tast’n du wissen? :D. The red undescribable almost looks like Celosia, in fact, i’m sure that’s what it is.
Musst mir sohmeh schicken.


leanne said:
On: 20th Apr, 2006 at 09:15

hey lance, i SO like this blog!! it looks like you two are enjoying yourselves immensely, which is a relief after hearing about broken water lines, disconnected power lines, and so on. the flowers are gorgeous and the fruit makes me ‘glustle’! are you sure there are no water snakes or alligators in that pond!? it looks like the type of pond that they would be creeping around in! oh, bruce says you should send some dried snake heads, thanks! 😀 keep it up, we want lots of pictures!!!

Grade 2s and 3s at Crystal Spring said:
On: 20th Apr, 2006 at 09:21

Dear Talitha
I love you forever Dear Judy Basel, Have fun in Nigeria. Come home well! (From Greta).

Hi Talitha
I hope you have a nice time in Nigeria. Have fun! (From Gabriel)

I hope you bring home some flowers. (From Candice)

I hope you have a good day in Africa. (From Elliot).

Dear Eddy Vetter
I hope you have a nice day in Palmgrove. I’m at breakfast every day. Sarah Basel is in the Essenschule. (From Samuel)

Enjoying your reports said:
On: 20th Apr, 2006 at 12:03

One of the Palmgrove High School teachers teaches a course on Botany. You can bring him any plant or flower and he can give you the name. Unless this course is not available anymore, but you could ask one of the Palmgrove High Schoolers.

Jason said:
On: 20th Apr, 2006 at 12:45

Hi all, great to hear that things are going well. I suppose Talitha is thinking she is in Heaven when observing all those beautiful flowers. I must admit they do look by far a lot nicer than the dandelions I once gave her. They were long stemmed too, but by far not as gorgeous as the flowers you are showing us here on this site. Anyways, wish Talitha a Happy Birthday, and while you are at it, tell her to pick a flower on me. Keep maintaining this site, because it does fill our gray area with a brilliant and enlightening hue whenever we think about our missionaries. Keep on working for God, and he will keep on being the “wind beneath your wings.”

Stephanie said:
On: 20th Apr, 2006 at 18:53

Wow! I have to say your words are breath taking and your picures more than beautiful. Your whole blog is a reminder of just how much presence God is in this world. Thank you so much for sharing your journey. I pray for you and your fellow missionaries to continue being instruments of God.

Stephanie said:
On: 20th Apr, 2006 at 18:58

I forgot to mention that I found your blog while researching the Hutterite. I just couldn’t keep enjoying such a wonderful, educational blog without saying thank you. I am a university student in Georgia, USA and hope it was ok to share my graditude.

M.W said:
On: 20th Apr, 2006 at 20:01

Lance, thanks for the walk thru your flower garden, this blog is just awesome, breathtaking makes us feel as if we were experiencing it as well. Oh the wonder of God, if things look bad, he makes his presence known to you thru his flowers and natures beauty so even in darkest hours you’ll have no choice but to remember he’s there for you- Keep on working for Christ

karis said:
On: 20th Apr, 2006 at 20:15

hey lance, it’s okay about the emails. We understand you not having that much time. You’re doing a great job with the blogs. Keep it up!

John said:
On: 21st Apr, 2006 at 10:24

Hi Lance

Nice of you to take this on! I’m not a green thumb but I did enjoy this post (I enjoy the other post as well) We have a creative Heavenly Father that made all these lovely things to teach us about himself, his infinite wisdom, power and glory, and how we can conform to his image. I liked your bold and honest post on the situation in Palmgrove, great leadership qualities, if you ask me…If you’ll accept this with a humble and thankful spirit you will do just fine!
The Lord be your pillar by day and by night, Your guide and fortress…..In JESUS.

leah said:
On: 21st Apr, 2006 at 11:11

Hi Ta, a belated birthday wish all the way to nigeria..must have beautiful flowers from the pics you have to hope all is well with you..thinking of you a lot… and praying all is well ….Gods’ protection to you all …

Mary said:
On: 21st Apr, 2006 at 12:47

Hi Talitha
No we didn’t forget your Birthday. We just didn’t take the time, but anyway Here’s wishing you Gods Protection and birthday wish from a far away land.
Miss you

RBG and PVG said:
On: 21st Apr, 2006 at 16:49

Just want to say that it’s not only a pleasant surprise for you to see all those responses.It’s also overwelming for us, to see that you have SO many supporters back home.So all those responding, remember you’re also encouraging to us,knowing our Loved ones in Palmgrove are in your thoughts and prayers. RBG PVG

Yer bro mit grusa oxel said:
On: 21st Apr, 2006 at 19:51

Hey bro!
What is going on? Oh…right u told me already.
Here I thought it wasen’t supposed to like..a good time.Ha! Glad to hear that u r injoying it.
Even though u r one of us though waldners…. m
soo glad to hear u aren’t getting sick or anything…waay awsome!
Almost ready to go seeding here. The feilds that aren’t under water will be ready pretty soon.And send me some banananana seeds to plant. A couple 10 footers would look pretty nice in the canola.
Tzaks ih die Nigerians dos da dina visea ach Ko!!
Praying fr u guys….allllll the best!!!

Lynda Waldner said:
On: 22nd Apr, 2006 at 09:51

Lance! Du west ih ormeh Jonathan mocho zu hie glustleh, mit danna gonza plembleh! Great to hear you’re exploring the great outdoors of palmgrove, but hey! Watch out for those alligators! I’ll try and get back to you on those address’ and pic’s ASP.

L.kay said:
On: 22nd Apr, 2006 at 12:30

Hey Lance and Talitha, you are getting up close to some interesting critters that we only see in National Geographics. That’s how I was introduced to the praying mantise a few days ago while flipping through the January 2006 addition. All these beautiful pic.s’ are a comforting reminder of our great creator’s omnipotence and love. Thanks for the effort!!!It’s great that you seem to be enjoying yourselves.

Robert said:
On: 22nd Apr, 2006 at 15:33

Greetings Lance

Lance, ask someone to pinch you,it seems you are in paradise already.
This blog is absolutely good, pictures and all. It sure gives us a clear picture of both the positive and negative side of things in Palmgrove. It sure is quite diffrent than most of us realised until now. I’m sure because of this news more prayers are being sent Heavenward every day. This colored and white hand clasped together as one give us a clear picture of the attitude of your heart towards those people.
Keep faith in God, everything will work out fine for the good of his people and bring glory to his blessed name.

Anonymous said:
On: 22nd Apr, 2006 at 22:15

Hi Lance,
Greetings from Newdale SD, our thoughts are with you. The DLK family is here in Newdale; we are having a good time. The States looks lush and green already, apple trees are blossoming, and the gardens are planted. Even the dandelion blooms it’s best for what it is. Not exactly like the exotic flowers you are presenting for us. But still… part of the circle of life. Just as you are leaving your footprints in the sands of Africa. So do your best as you work for the kingdom of God. In the sands of time we will reap what we sow…Thinking of you, Debra (CS)and Mandy

CS German Students (1&2) said:
On: 24th Apr, 2006 at 11:39

Talitha, we decided to write and send you some Easter poems, but …apperantly got delayed. The children were extremely excited about it, and so I decided to send them anyways,..late, but nonetheless…from them.
They still mix up my name and yours,..some of them even say Nerissa sometimes, so, moh veh’s seh ibo-schaung…
You better stay strong, (after reading your dad’s report) and pray and believe in what you’re doing as much as we do.
Love, Charlie
Oh and Lancela, and all the rest!…you too! 😀

Jesus starb für mich
Ein blinder Juden kam
Und stich durch Seine Seite
Jesus war in alle Städte
Und viele Leute kamen.
Zu Ostern fingen
Römer Jesus
Und tun Jesus
Nägel herein hämmern
Und Maria weint,
Mein Kind, und Johannes
Weinte auch
Von Candice

Jesus starb für mich
Er wurde geschlagen
Er wurde gekreuzigt
Sie haben Ihn begraben
Er stand auf von Tod
Er fuhr auf gen Himmel
Er sagte Ich komme wieder
Und Er kommt wieder
Von Gabriel

Ein Körbchen
Ein Ei für dich und mich
Und ein schönen Ostern Tag
Ich bin glücklich das
Jesus ist gestorben
Für mich und dich.
Ein schönen Oster Tag es war
Als Jesus für uns starb
Auch glücklich sein soll ich
Hab’ ein guten und glücklichen Ostern.
Von Greta

Jesus Christus
Er starb für mich
Für unsere Sünden
Soldaten geschlagen Ihn
Weil die Priestern so schlecht waren
Ein Nagel in Seine Hand
Das Blut kam aus Seine Hand
Jesus sagt zu Johannes
Sorge Maria, meine Mutter
Wenn die drei Mädchen kamen
War Jesus schon fort
Von Tessa

Jesus ist zu uns runtergekommen
Jesus starb auf dem Kreuz
Jesus lag in dem Loch
Jesus ist aufgestanden
Jesus fuhr wieder nach Hause
Von Iris

Auf dem Kreuz
Wenn Er ist gestorben
Ist er in ein Grab
Auf dem dritten Tag
Kam Jesus raus aus dem Loch
Er fuhr auf zu dem Himmel
Von Elliot

Jesus ist auf dem Kreuz gestorben
Er wurde geschlagen
Sie haben Nagel in Seine Hand gehämmert
Sie haben eine Dornenkrone auf Sein Kopf getan
Er starb
Sie haben Ihn begrabt
Er ist aufgestanden in drei Tagen
Von Samuel

Jesus Christus
Ist gekreuzigt auf dem Kreuz
Jesus ist in den Grab gelegen
Wenn drei Tage über sind
Dann wird Jesus aufstehen
Von dem Grab
Von Niel

Anonymous said:
On: 27th Apr, 2006 at 22:15

i keep go-ing back to look at this blog…….God made some really beu-tee-full stuff!! when you get bleu just look at the sky, ……. look around …………and, you’l know he really loves you!

Lydia Jones said:
On: 1st May, 2006 at 21:46

Hi Talitha (oder sage ich lieber Gruß Gott)!

I was suprised and pleased to get your email directing me here. I’ve truly enjoyed seeing what you’re up to. Looks like quite a rewarding challenge. I’ll be interested to watch the story unfold. All the best to you and yours and thanks for sharing the flowers!

Lydia Jones

P.S. My great aunt always called those plastic looking flowers a “Crown of Thorns” or a “Madagascar Plant.” I’ve also heard them called “Kiss-me-quicks.” Believe it or not there are a few all the way over here in Alabama, USA! A small world indeed!!

Jennifer said:
On: 9th May, 2006 at 17:00

I ran across your website by accident, but have thoroughly enjoyed reading about your adventures in Africa.

Those beautiful pink flowers that you couldnt quite describe…the ruffly looking ones that almost feel like velvet…they are called Cockscomb.. (like a roosters comb) we grow them here in Kansas, and they are one of my favorite flowers 😀

Praying many blessings on your work and may God use you all to further His kingdom.

Jennifer in Kansas.. homeschooling mom to 8 wonderful blessings

bill kimbro said:
On: 10th May, 2006 at 11:28

be careful now, brothers and sisters. all this joy can be contagious. but it would certainly produce better fruit than asian bird flu!