Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Hoping to move soon

Things are coming together for our new home quickly now. The painter started on Friday and hopes to be done in a few days. After that it will simply be a question of moving in. In the mean time we need to decide on a fridge and find a night guard. Friends from the CMA mission told us that we could borrow a stove to try it out—the owners have moved back to Canada permanently but will be coming to sell off their things in November. We would also like to have a dog—most people keep one simply as a watch dog. We are ready to settle into something permanent. The boys are ready to have a place where they can finally unpack all their stuff for good; Jennifer likewise is tired of living out of a suitcase, buying small amounts of groceries so that we don't have to cart it all when we move, and trying to figure out someone else's kitchen. She also says she's get tired of eating rice all the time, and I think the boys are looking for something other than peanut butter sandwiches in their lunch. I don't know if a new kitchen will inspire new creativity but I guess you can always hope.

The rains continue to come regularly. The other night while it was raining the guard came in the front gate wearing rubber boots, saying the water was up to a metre deep in the road outside our gate. In some ways I'm not surprised—we seem to have a permanent lake outside the gate at the best of times. Nevertheless the rain and the clouds that provide it are always welcome—they cool things off and keep down the heat.

The boys are settling into school, though not without concerns. This past Friday there was a family activity day with a kickball tournament for the elementary kids and court soccer ( i.e. tennis/basketball court that serves as a gym) for the high schoolers, followed by a potluck. It was an opportunity for parents, students and staff to mingle and get to know one another. The school is short a kindergarten teacher in the elementary and could use a few more in the high school. The solution they've come up with for the elementary is to put the kindergarten with Grade one for the morning, and bumping the twos up to the Grade Three and Four during that time. In the afternoon, there is no kindergarten and the Grade twos join the Grade ones. Needless to say, it's difficult for the two teachers to prepare lessons for three different grades each day. Ben and his teacher have both expressed concern that he can't see the board. We had his eyes checked a year ago and they were fine but it now appears that he will need glasses. Were not sure where to go have his eyes checked but apparently there is a place in town. Nevertheless, he is doing well—in fact, his teacher feels that he is not being challenged by the curriculum and is wondering about bumping him into grade two. We have mixed feeling about this but are trusting the Lord for wisdom.
Having some internet trouble but we'll add pictures later!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Weddings and Houses

I think that we may have been doing more house hunting and driving around town than I realized this week, because both Dave and I have been developing “driver’s arm”—you know, where the arm that rests on the window tends to get a little too much sun. I think that it is the result of not having air conditioning in our car. Sorry to those of you who were looking for an update last week (it came on Monday). With our most recent living arrangements we haven’t been able to access the internet very well or very often and we don’t have access to a phone other than a cell phone (much to the chagrin of my parents who are being so kind as to handle our affairs on the home front—with some difficulty right at the moment). Please pray for my parents with all of that!

Well here is the latest breaking news (or at least last weeks news):
We had the fun of going to our first Nigerien wedding this past week, which was fun, but a bit westernized. I will try to include some pictures (but the connection that I have is giving me some trouble with that!)

We think that we may have found a house to live in and are starting into some of the negotiations that go along with that. (This is a picture of Dave with the land lord and our "house hunter"). Until we can move into the house (there are some renovations that need to happen—like building a kitchen) we are going to be moving into another missionaries’ house who is leaving and their replacement doesn’t arrive until the end of October. Please pray that all goes well with this I think that all of us are getting pretty tired of moving and living out of suitcases. Please pray that we can make the right decisions that need to go with this house ie. appliances, furniture, guard dog and/or guard etc. Thanks for the e-mails of encouragement we appreciate them. (I have pictures, but can’t get them to upload, sorry!)

Now for the most breaking news!:

We have rented the above mentioned house and will be moving in when the land lord finishes the renovations, please pray that the land lord and work crew see these repairs as a priority too!

We were also invited to attend the 25th anniversary for SIL (aka Wycliffe) in Niger this past weekend. They are in the process of having the local churches take responsibility for much of the work of translation in the local languages. It was a great celebration, it was just a shame that we had to cut our stay short as we had to move into our third temporary home in Niger on the same morning.

The boys start school tomorrow and are really looking forward to it (or maybe just not having to follow us around town in the heat!) Thanks again for your prayers!

Monday, August 6, 2007

Moving Days (or is it Daze...)

AAH! I think that I just experienced a ten minute vacation. I just had a hot shower (!!) and to make it even better I found some relaxing body wash that someone had left behind in the guest house. You can’t really appreciate a hot shower until you have endured at least 5 cold ones –it doesn’t really matter what the temperature is outside. It was a little piece of heaven.
Yesterday was our moving day from one guest house to another (hence the hot shower!). We woke in the morning to streams of rain running off the roof just outside our window and the occasional gust that sprayed us with the fresh rain. So we gave thanks for the rain, because Niamey really needs it and because it brought cool weather, and then asked a selfish prayer that the rain would stop just long enough for us to load the car and make the trips to the next guest house. Praise God for answered prayer, we got here fairly dry. But, that was only the first part of the day, we also had the excitement of trying to get Cole out of a bathroom that he locked himself into. Then we went house hunting…
House hunting is an adventure here, especially because it is rainy season. We hired someone to look for houses for us, so he travels on foot through the neighbourhoods that we are interested in and talks to the guards at the houses that seem to be reasonably well finished (a lot of the houses in the neighbourhoods that we are considering are still under construction). If the house is for rent he gets a look at it and then gives us a call to come and look at it as well. Part of the fun is trying to find the house in a car when he has been circling the neighbourhood on foot. In addition to finding the house the other trick is to get there on washed out roads in an old Toyota Corolla that doesn’t have four wheel drive! Talk about mud bogging! Yesterday we even saw five kids playing in the street in a puddle that was about 20 feet across and about a foot deep. I wish I would have had my camera! (Sorry the pictures are from our other stay here—I’ll try and get some new ones).
We have also seen some interesting houses. One of the first houses that we looked at had a kitchen with two to three inches of water from wall to wall and continued down one hall. The showers can be placed in interesting places as well because most of the locals don’t use a shower curtain. We had a friend tell us that when the guest house that we last stayed at was being built the first shower was installed in such a way that it was located directly over the toilet, so that you had to stand with one foot in the shower and one foot on the floor next to the toilet. (It would have stayed that way too if the inspector hadn’t taken a sledge hammer to the work after telling the crew to change it four or five times!). Please keep praying for us as we search!