Thursday, April 23, 2009


I don’t know about you, but it seems that around our house you never run out of just one thing at a time. You can go for weeks without having to replace something and then it seems like you are replacing everything at once. This was my week to throw out the tube of toothpaste, the bottle of hand soap, the bottle of face soap and three containers of Dave’s deodorant. I don’t know if these things are more noticeable here because they are the remnants of home that we have been using sparingly to make last as long as they can or because there is no recycling program here (other than the kids on the street picking through our garbage barrel) and garbage is a problem that we face every time we leave the house.

I think that as Christians we have a responsibility to care for the world that God has given us authority over and so I tend to spend a lot of time thinking about garbage while I am in Niger. When I am grocery shopping, I ask myself it is better to spend a little more for a container that I can use again for something else, or that has a better chance of disintegrating. I try to remember to use the cloth grocery bags that a pastor’s wife gave me the last time I was home as often as I can for groceries and invent other ways of using the plastic bags that accumulate in spite of my efforts.

I am still trying to wrap my head around composting. I have tried explaining that peelings, etc. are good for the soil and that they need to go into the yard instead of in the garbage, but it seems to fall on deaf ears. I now have two rabbits that help with this because it is easy to say that the rabbits will eat the vegetable scraps and at least that keeps from encouraging mice. But it seems like this is a completely foreign concept to my Nigerien friends—the closest they get is throwing all of their garbage into the streets and letting the sheep and goats eat whatever they find. But then again maybe my neighbours have the better idea because the goats feed on the garbage in the streets and add their own deposits along the way. Then when rainy season comes they will harvest the crops of plastic bags, tin cans and glass remaining from the garbage and plant their beans, which in turn feeds their animals.

We are leaving tomorrow to go to Ghana to visit the Mobile Member Care Team there. Please pray that all goes well with our travel and time away.

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