Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Niamey Diet Plan

It is amazing how fast the walls start to close in on you when you have been sick for a couple of days. This past weekend was Tabaski and I thought that I was going to make it through all of the visiting better than Dave this year because he had been having problems before the fete began. (He calls it his Niamey diet plan). But I guess my turn came the day later.
For many here Tabaski is one of the two times during the year that they will eat meat. They roast a sheep all day the first day and eat the organ meat and some of the roasted meat that day then they deep fry the remaining meat in spices so that it will keep without refrigeration. This meat is not only eaten by the family but is also supposed to be given to extended family, friends and the poor.
When my house help found out that I had been sick the last two days, he laughed and said that I must have eaten too much meat because that is what tends to happen with most people during the fete. They eat meat until they get sick. I just laughed with him and said I must be becoming Nigerien. In reality I didn't eat that much meat. I might have eaten some that wasn't cooked well enough and I did have deep fried intestine for the first time.... But, I suspect that my problem had more to do with drinking unfiltered water than the meat.
Please pray for health and strength for us, but even more importantly (I must be starting to feel better to say that!) pray that these relationships that we have built with Nigerien friends would begin to produce spiritual fruit. That God would gives answers to their spiritual questions.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A "WAWA" Day

It is 3:45 am and I really should be sleeping, but I am not so I thought I would take advantage of the fact that the internet seems to be working right at the moment...
Friends of mine coined the term a "WAWA Day" a few years ago. It stands for "West Africa Wins Again" it was their way of explaining those days that seem to have everything go wrong (and usually have a West African twist). I had a WAWA day on Monday.

I found out the truth about the washing machine that I thought was repaired of Saturday. It can go through some of the right motions and make a lot of noise but doesn't work properly. Now the question is do I pour more money into having someone try again (the repairman didn't really inspire a whole lot of confidence) or just give up and wait until I can replace it! Any chance one of my mechanically inclined friends would like to come for a visit? :)

I had talked to a neighbour about getting someone to come cut my grass. They showed up and started to do the job, but wanted to charge me more than two weeks worth of wages for a day's work (that most kids here would do for free because they can sell the grass --especially this week with Tabaski coming). At that stage, I tried to get rid of the guy by paying him a little bit for the little bit he did but he insisted on doing the job. Unfortunately, Dave was teaching and our night guard had left so I didn't have anyone to back me up. He stayed and I ended up paying him about the equivalent of a week's wages. Oh well, I guess someone will have a good Tabaski that might not have otherwise and it is good to be able to distinguish between the grass and the trees! I just hope that my neighbour who helped him received his share of the money.

Dave took the car in to get somethings repaired and asked the mechanic to look at the air conditioning because it was working some of the time but not really well. Unfortunately, the mechanic that we know and trust doesn't deal with air conditioning himself and has someone else come in. He was able to tell us that the gas isn't the problem, but since than the air hasn't worked at all (although Dave is sure he gets puffs of cooler air on occasion). Of course this happens to be the heart of the mini hot season! So, I guess it is supposed to be going back in today to see if they can find the problem.

I tried to finish putting up the curtain rods (trying to calmly do school work when I was stressing about the washing machine and the men in my yard wasn't working), but the cordless drill that we borrowed started to die so I couldn't get the one rod finished. The desk will have to wait until we can get the charger and recharge the batteries. I guess it just wasn't my day (Dave did get the drill to work long enough to finish the rod on our bedroom).

I am truly grateful that not every day is a WAWA day! Yesterday Dave was able to submit his first chapter of his thesis (I think it was around 30 pages) only a little outside of his original timeline. Praise God! (Now he moves on to the Wesleyan section.)

Please pray that God will bring fruit in spite of (or maybe because of?) the WAWA days. Or maybe, we should pray all that we learn the lessons God would teach us quickly and thoroughly so that the WAWA days are fewer and farther between.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Survivor or Victim of the Flood?

The lost has been found! This weekend when we went to move somethings from a friend's house on the school campus, the director told me that they had found our washing machine and water cooler (sorry I don't have a picture of it, but it is a glorified fan that stores water to humidify the air). It turns out that instead of being in one of the many containers that we had searched they were stored in a magasin (a cement storage building). Unfortunately they had been almost completely submersed in the murky river water that had taken over the school and had remained there until last week. We still don't know if they are victims or survivors. We have gone through extensive cleaning and drying and tried to get the washer going today, but the motor was seized up and wouldn't move. So, we called in the repairman and are hoping that between his skills and our prayers this might turn into a survivor. Otherwise, I will be hand washing until we can afford to replace it. I am just grateful to know where it is so that we can move forward from here.

There was a gas shortage in town this week, people were lined up at various gas stations around town for miles. I was so grateful that our new (to us) vehicle takes diesel and I was able to fill my tank before the real problems started to build up. I had friends that waited in line for 8 hours and where only allowed to buy the equivalent of $20 worth of gas. This coupled with a taxi strike has made transportation issues interesting.

The last week or so has been very tiring just to get settled into the house. We made several trips to the electric company to get the account transferred into our name, the same for the phone and internet company, and waited for days for the technician to finish servicing the air conditioners in our house. Even though he started a week ago Wednesday, he only just finished today. The problem with all these things is that half the time they need to get into the house and set meeting times and then never show up. Wednesday I waited down the street at the main intersection for an hour for a man who was coming to find our house to place a garbage can for pick up service. I finally called and asked if he was coming. He apologized, saying he had totally forgotten our rendez-vous but that he would come in fifteen minutes. The time was not lost as I made a new friend of a street vendour who was BBQing brochettes. I also happened to standing across from where our old house was a couple of old neighbours saw me and came over to chat and ask where we were living.

Pray that we would be able to redeem the time even when we are forced to wait and that the Lord would give us patience. Please also pray that the evacutation procedures that we have put into place would be successful in getting the furry friends that have taken up residence in the insulation in our stove to relocate.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

We Are In!

I am happy to say that we moved into our own rented house this weekend. So we now have a semi-permanent place to live while the ministry centre is being built with lots of extra space for visiting teams. I am hoping that I even get to sleep in my own bed tonight. I have been camping out on a mattress in the living room this weekend while we try to work the the logistics of putting together our waterbed. Please pray that there aren't any holes and that things will go well when we try to fill it today. It is very old having been passed on from other missionaries before us and I am not sure how well it has survived a year of storage.

I had an interesting visit at the market yesterday, I was mistaken for someone else by a couple of ladies and had a good chat with some others while I was buying plastic to line the bed and curtain rods. Pray that God would use our new location as a blessing to many, that we would not only find rest, but that we would make life changing contacts.

Please pray that we would be able to make arrangements for a team to come this summer to help with a leadership retreat. The group that was considering coming has decided that it won't work this year.