Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A new perspective

I want to share this wonderful experience with my new friends! It's moments like these that help me gain a greater perspective on what life is really about!
(Just in case you are wondering, my husband works for the LDS Church Welfare department. He is in charge of the clean water initiatives in the third world countries.)
This is the Tarae family from Sierra Leone, Africa.
Matt was lucky enough to meet this sweet family last summer while in Africa. Brother Tarae was Matt's personal driver through all the crazy roads (if that's what you can call them) They had some good laughs remembering their adventures!
This is Prince. He is 3 1/2 years old. The Taraes pay $4000.00 a year for him to go to an American school. There are only 3 Sierra Leone students. They work so hard for Prince to get the best education possible!
He is SO darling. We fell in love with him the minute he walked in the door telling us to "Hang Loose"!
This is Princess. She is 10 months old and the cutest thing you have ever seen! She kept staring at us and kept touching my hair :)
We took a walk to the park and they LOVED it!
Sister Tarae ad NEVER been on a swing before! She was so nervous telling Jacqueline not to push her too high! :)
We had an amazing evening. They have been very overwhelmed by vast differences between our countries. Here are just a few:
How much FOOD we eat! They can't believe how much Americans eat. They kept talking about how often and how much everyone eats! They look at their plate of food and say, "This is like 3 meals worth in our country!"
At home they usually eat 1 meal a day with little snacks in between.
Sister Tarae asked me how I keep my 'figure'. (funny I know!)I l told them "Well, I run." Brother Tarae started to laugh and said, "We exercise to GET our food, Americans exercise to work their food OFF!" SO TRUE!!
The Tarae's were amazed at the beautiful yards, garages with electric doors, running water, dishwashers, clothes washers, lights.... and so much more!
They have their own water tank they pay to be filled with clean water.
They run a generator for 3 hours a night to try and cool the house down for them to sleep.
They wash their clothes by hand. (They taught the pioneers at This is the Place park a few tips! on how to really clean clothes by hand!)
They don't have refrigerators
They think Utah is COLD :) (I agree!)
Matt asked the Taraes if it will be hard to return home when they have seen and experienced all of the things in America. They told him they are happy to go back because the Lord has work for them to do. What AMAZING people they are!
Our family was so blessed to spend a few hours with this sweet, sweet family. They are so good, so faithful, so dedicated, and such great examples of making the most out of life!

Matt was able to take this family on a tour of the Conference Center and the underground parking lot. They ran into 3 General Authorities! Matt said it was so fun to see them get pictures with each one and speak with them. To be members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and get to meet 3 General Authorities and visit places they have only seen in pictures was a dream come true!
It was wonderful to meet the Taraes and experience a little bit of what Matt gets to enjoy when he visits Africa. He is SO LUCKY!! (I can't wait to go with him someday!)


  1. WOW Jill, that is incedible. I needed that little bit of perspective put into my mind tonight. Maybe I need to print this off and re read it when I'm feeling overwhelmed with my struggles. We really are truly blessed with all we have and I am the first to admit that I take it for granted.

  2. Thank you for sharing this. Things have been stressful at work and when I read this it really did put things in perspective for me. It reminded me of all the blessings I have in my life and that I need to let the stuff going on at work go and be grateful for my full time job.

  3. Jill, wow! What a fun experience for you and them. My dishwasher and my clothes dryer died this last week, and I have just grumbled about it. Thanks for sharing that. It sure does put things into perspective. We have so much stuff, and most of it we really don't need.

  4. That sounds like amazing work! Our brothers and sisters around the world have so much to teach us. One such lesson: our body's needs are so different from what we imagine them to be and what our culture tells us they are. This was a really great post to read Jill. Thanks!

  5. As Americans I think we need to be constantly reminded that we have so much compared to the rest of the world. Most of us pretty much take for granted our luxurious lifestyles and they are luxurious. Jill this was a great post and I'm so glad you shared it with us.

    Loved all the pictures but especially the one with the two families together. What cute kids and you look great!

  6. Loved this post, Jill. What a beautiful family. I could eat that baby girl with a spoon! I'm jealous of Matt, too!

  7. Can I just say I love you guys?!! Thanks for being such wonderful people!

  8. What a cool experience! And what a neat connection to a family from another country. So glad they were able to visit and you could share this with us.

  9. Tonight Mindy, the Queen and I were talking about what a beautiful family and experience this is. We are very fortunate people and they are very blessed with the ability to feel they have work to do in their home country.

    I think Matt must have wonderful experiences like this a lot?! How great for your entire family to have this experience.

    Thank you for sharing this with us. It's always important to remember the world doesn't revolve around ourselves :-)

  10. Love this post! So beautiful in every way. Thank you so much for sharing this. Wow!

  11. Thanks for sharing. I remember when my sister had some dancers from Russia stay with them. They took them shopping one day and they thought the store had been set up to look good (stocked with food and clothes Etc.)for propaganda to make America look good. When they went to another store that was the same he was amazed. Then he asked to not go any more because he felt so sad for his own people who had so little. They later defected to the US. We have so much to be thankful for. You need to hear Mary Ellen Edmondson's talk on Relativity. It is a real eye opener. Thanks for sharing.