Saturday, November 3, 2007

Cooler Mornings

It’s a beautiful morning in Niamey, the temperature outside dropped into the 70’s (F) in the night and so the temperature in my bedroom right now is only 80F—too bad I don’t have time to sleep in this morning. But there are always a few things that drag me out of bed: there is the call to prayer that lately has been starting at 4:45 am (instead of the usual 5am), this is generally followed by the “feed me” alarm on the newest member of our family. We adopted an African puppy that can’t be more than a month old and probably shouldn’t have been taken from its mother yet, so he is bottle feeding about six times a day, but at least he sleeps through the night. I thought he looked like coffee that had had the milk added but hadn’t been stirred yet, so the boys decided that he should be called “coffee crisp”. (I think that was because they have been missing chocolate and all those other good things that kids get at this time of year in Canada). But back to our morning wake up routine, the final stage is our alarm clocks, mine goes off at 5:45 so that I can choose between staying there for another ten minutes or getting up and having some time to myself (sometimes a difficult choice to make). The boys’ goes off anytime between 6 and 6:15 given than it is set and working, the batteries haven’t died and that they haven’t flung it across the room while playing earlier in the day—so in other words about half the time it goes off and half the time its mom’s problem to get them ready and in the car for 7am. (School starts at 7:30 on the other side of town). Dave finds his way out of bed somewhere in the middle of the scramble to get fed, dressed, and out the door with everything necessary for the day.

The boys have started TaeKwon Do at the school. It is an extra class that is run by a master from one of the clubs in town. It seems to be a fairly popular sport here—second to soccer or “football” as it is called here. That may be because it doesn’t really require all that much equipment, at least at the beginning stages, but I don’t know. Ben really isn’t sure that he likes it or wants to, but we’ll see what happens. Right now, Cole and Ben are the youngest in the group. The class started a number of years ago because there are a number of Korean students at the school that have to go home to do military service when they come of age and in Korea the kids take TaeKwonDo from an early age, so those that grow up outside of the country are at a disadvantage when they do their military service if they don’t have at least some experience with TaeKwonDo. We are really hoping that all of the stretching and kicking will do good things for Cole’s balance and coordination, not to mention help with his toe walking.

Just when we think that we are making progress with our paperwork in the government offices we find out that we need to jump through a few more hoops. We thought that we were waiting on our last signature from the Minister of Religious Affairs in order to get our mission status (and I think in reality that is the last one that is “required”), but we found out this week that it is in our best interest to submit paperwork to the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health at this point too, just in case the FM church is interested in doing development in these areas at a later date. I guess it is easier to get that approval on the front end. It just means more photocopying and more visits to offices in Niamey. Oh well!

The Zarma lessons are progressing slowly, I think that they are helping my competency in French more than my fluency in Zarma at this stage, but I guess it is still too soon to judge and either way it helps my ability to communicate. Please pray that I will become more competent with Zarma as most of the ladies in my neighbourhood speak Zarma and have limited French!

1 comment:

Beth said...

Cute name for the pup. I bet the boys are loving him! :)