Global Trellis Cultural Challenge

Check this out! An upcoming challenge and conversation with yours truly, in April:

No matter where you are in the world these days Covid-19 has changed how you interact with a culture you love. Maybe you are currently displaced or maybe you are isolated.

You might find yourself wondering, “How do I connect with the culture?”

Enter the Global Trellis Culture Challenge. Because no matter where you are, you are somewhere. You are still engaged with a culture that is beautiful and messy. You are still able to learn. You can take breaks from the weight of this time, as you learn more about a place you love. This challenge is for you, right where you are.

The challenge includes three activities, with the freedom to participate in all or just some of each activity.

—The Culture Challenge Checklist contains ten ways to connect with the culture . . . and most can be done at home. (God knew!)

— Participate in a discussion with Rachel Pieh Jones (hey that’s me!) on culture

— Two Facebook Live parties with prizes


Are you up for the challenge and the ways God uses it to keep you culturally connected?


Join today.


11 Ways to Wipe Your Dji-Booty Sans TP

I’m having fun with my silly, short, sometimes serious podcast episodes. They are all less than 10:00 so you can totally binge listen while doing push-ups and sit-ups or making a sandwich or eating donuts.

In Episode 11 I shared vital tips for facing the (apparent) toilet paper shortage.

11 other ways to wipe your dji-booty without toilet paper.

Some feedback I heard was to double down on the warning to not use poison ivy, or poison oak for that matter. Don’t do it. Just don’t. Seriously. Don’t.

Also, it is not recommended to use sticks or stones. I’m not sure why a person would be so intent on wiping their butt that they would choose to use a STICK, but there you have it. You did not hear that suggestion from me.

If you take a dump and the only thing in your vicinity is a stick (meaning, no left hand, no t-shirt, no stick of grass or non-poisonous leaf), let me humbly suggest you just LEAVE it on your butt. A poop streak does not seem to be your most dire issue at that point.

You can listen to all 11 suggestions at the Djibouti Jones COVID19 Diaries podcast, available at iTunes (why not subscribe? leave a review? a star, or five stars?), Anchor, Google Play, Spotify…all the places basically.

What’s your go-to wipe technique if the paper is gone?

By |March 29th, 2020|Categories: Podcast|Tags: , |2 Comments

Djibouti Jones COVID19 Diary, Episodes 1-6

What is happening in Djibouti in regards to the COVID19 pandemic?

I decided to process it out loud, every day, just a a brief glimpse.

Have a listen. Enjoy.

March 17. Connected.

March 18. It Is Here.

March 19. We Know How to Take Care of Each Other.

March 20. What is Hoarding? Plus, a Car Accident.

March 21. Do We Stay or Do We Go?

March 22. COVID19 Has Left Djibouti. Plus, a Special Guest.

Available for now on Spotify and Anchor. Coming soon to iTunes and Google Play.


In Case You Missed It

Here are some links to essays and podcasts that come out in the past few weeks, just in case you missed them and are looking for something “else.” You know what I mean.


Pleasure and Pain, in The Smart Set

COVID19 and the Expatriate, at A Life Overseas

Creating Community in Djibouti, podcast at The Turquoise Table

Out of Africa, podcast at Worth Your Time

Life at the Crossroads of Faith and Culture, podcast at Grace Enough




11 Books to Read During COVID-19

Start with:

Stronger than Death: How Annalena Defied Terror and Tuberculosis in the Horn of Africa

This book will show you how to live in a time of contagious disease and fear. I am so inspired by Annalena, as I think comes across in the book. She was relentless in her love and care for the most vulnerable among us. Her legacy continues and I want to quote her nephew, with whom I messaged in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis in Italy where he lives. He said, “All is quiet. It is a time of silence and also of God.” That is just so beautiful. He is caring for his family and they are turning to faith. He also quoted Annalena, “Everything is grace.” What a privilege to get to know people like this, who live this way and with these hearts in the world. They are what bring me hope.

You can read the prologue of Stronger than Death free, just enter your email address here:


Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel

I loved this book especially because (spoiler alert) it ends with hope. It is so beautiful and thoughtful and richly imagined and slightly terrifying. All the right elements.


Black Death at the Golden Gate, by David K. Randall

I saw a dead rat in the streets of Nairobi about a week after reading this and felt a cold pit in my stomach. This book is a deep dive into the bubonic plague (which is still around, who knew?!) but also the way fear stoke racism and how that leads to further death and mayhem. A super relevant read right now.


On Immunity, by Eula Biss

I quote this book all the time. Biss is such an incredible essayist. If you want a thoughtful look at herd immunity, on caring for the vulnerable among us, on being a parent in an age of disease and fear, if you just want to read someone with a sharp and smart mind, this is amazing.


No More Faking Fine, by Esther Fleece

I gifted this book to many people. An excellent look at how to cling to faith in the middle of a crisis or of pain without pretending that everything is fine. I love this book.


Pandemic: Tracking Contagions from Cholera to Ebola and Beyond, by Sonia Shah

Science, history, geography, disease. It’s all here.


Illness as Metaphor, by Susan Sontag

Such a powerful essayist. This is a look at how we talk about illnesses like cancer and how the words we use can sometimes also cause harm and affect the patient.


The Empathy Exams, by Leslie Jamison

How to cultivate empathy when we feel overcome by our own fear? We need to wrestle with this question because I do not want to see the end of empathy. I’ve read this book several times.


Living Beautifully with Uncertainty and Change, by Pema Chodron

Could there be a more apt title?


It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way, by Lysa Terkeurst

Nope, it’s not. There is so much pain and brokenness in the world. How does our faith respond?


Devotion, poems by Mary Oliver

Because we can always, always read poetry.


What would you recommend for readers right now?

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