Wednesday, March 7, 2012

From the Bush to Bluegrass

We have been enjoying a climate change to winter being back in the states.  But, our bodies have been shocked by the cold weather and snow over the winter.  This has been a big change from the 100 plus heat of Sudan!

Although we have not written a post in a while, we have spoken with many of our friends personally about the details of our changes.  We made a hard decision in November of last year to resign from Make Way Partners.  These last 3 months have been a time of transition. 

While living in a tent in the bush of Sudan, we came to value sustainable and environmentally friendly living. Kevin has learned much about natural building and has begun to pursue these techniques.  We traveled to Blacksburg, VA to reconnect with our "home" church and were very warmly welcomed.  Some friends that attend the church, Bill and Carla Mcguire, began a block making company that makes similar blocks to the block program Kevin implemented in Sudan.  We chatted briefly with Bill and Carla and pursued a partnership with them and another couple, Jim and Jean Ebel.  The company is called,  Builderscrete.   Jim and Kevin will be forming the construction arm of Builderscrete called, Builderscrete Construction. 

After giving birth to Abigail and hiring a doula for my birth, I became very passionate about birth and the services a doula provides.  I had a desire to become certified as a doula but was not able to when we left for Sudan.  I was honored to be a doula for a dear Sudanese friend's birth in Sudan.   Her birth was powerful and amazing.  You can read the story on a previous blog post, "Away in. . .  the bush. . . No Crib for a Bed. . ." .   I desire to support couples in their child bearing year and help them prepare physically, emotionally, and spiritually as they embrace the journey to parenthood.   I am pursuing certification and serve the New River Valley including; Christiansburg, Blacksburg, Riner, Floyd, Woolwine and surrounding areas.  I am also teaching child birth education classes.  I believe every aspect of our lives, especially birth, has rhythm.  I am calling my maternity care business, "Rhythm of Birth".

Kevin and I are both excited about this new chapter in our lives.  Through all of the transition we have felt deep peace and grown together as a family.  We embrace developing new skills and remain open to one day using them overseas.

We are excited about living near Floyd, VA.  This small town is known for its one stop light and lively music scene and art culture.  It is a major stop on the VA Heritage Music Trail.  There is so much life and culture in this small town!  Abigail and I stumbled upon a fun toddler music class at the famous Old Country Store and our family enjoyed a night of blue grass at the same store.  There is music to enjoy all weekend and every weekend in Floyd.

Thank you for all of your support and prayers as we have made these transitions.  We would love to hear from you and about your lives.  You can contact us via e-mail or Facebook. 

With love,

Kevin, Shalene, Abigail


  1. So glad you guys have decided to settle here! We want to have you over as soon as all this craziness with Daniel getting ready to take the P.E. exam is over. I enjoy your blog!

  2. Great to meet you last month shalene at church! Glad the transition is filled with peace! I would love to get to know your family! My husband and I have 4 beautiful children, of which one shares your daughters name!
    My family is possibly making a move next summer to Stuart. Very exciting times
    God bless and talk soon
    Lindsey Pate