Monday, April 28, 2008

Names and Appearances Have Been Altered to Protect the Innocent!

In West Africa, things are not always as they appear to be. We had a nerd party to say goodbye to our favorite office worker here. She is wrapping up her time in Abidjan this week and heading off to the good old USA to bless the rest of the world with her always positive spirit. She'll be sorely missed, but don't worry there were no tears shed at this goofy party! It is a little bit difficult to remember that you are sad when you are looking at a fully grown human being across from you with their hair sticking in all directions, tape on their glasses and a huge calculator in their front pocket!! If you ever have to have a going away party you should try it. Also fun, try explaining to an African what you are wearing, why and what exactly is a nerd. Slightly more amusing, explain in limited French why your friend is wearing a sign on her back that says, "I eat paste!"

Another oddity to our life here, Caleb and Karis have taken to collecting strange pets! Now, we all miss our dogs. The kids have never lived without at least 2 animals in their house and we've been without our pets for about 9 months now. We currently have a pigeon, who was caught and wings clipped by our guard before he sent the kids to ask for the thing. At any given moment the kids have a box of snails in the front yard, that Mom insists that the lid be left off so they can make their not so quick getaway when they get tired of their prison. Also known to be in boxes around here are a variety of sizes of toads that live here. In French toad is crapaud (pronounced crappo), similar to the name I might come up with for the critter if I were picking names!! ;) They've very frequently tried to catch the millions of lizards that run around this place most measuring in around the 6-10 inch range. Fortunately they can't seem to catch them! And we have bats that live in the trees in our front yard, not that we encourage that, but they live there nonetheless. Now I love pets, I really do. I just prefer pets with fur that either say bow wow or meow. We would love to have our dogs from home and don't know that I'll ever give up on that, but for now I'm thinking we might need to get something more along the lines of a traditional pet to hold us over.

French is still going well. You just get to this point and you realize how very long you've worked at this and how very far you are from where you want to be. We are still telling stories in Vridi once a week. Tomorrow is Cain and Abel for some and creation for others and stories about Paul for even others. I sure hope I can keep track of who is which lesson!!!

Baby Jeremiah is still doing well. We hope to be able to see him sometime soon, but Mom says he's getting bigger.

We are excitedly awaiting our first volunteer team. We can't wait to get them here and spend some time getting out into the city. We are planning to do some research, prayerwalking and just outright evangelism. I'll try to get a prayer schedule out soon if you'd like to pray for them. We are also thrilled about skipping a week of formal French classes to hit the street and really see what we've got. We thought about doing without a translator, but decided we didn't want to put the team through that kind of torture. We do want them to come back after all!

It is book time in the McAfee household. Come on over and I'll read you a story before bedtime!


Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Where's the Monkey?

If you look really close, there are monkeys in those trees. In the other picture, the two little white monkeys wearing their favorite PJs crashed out together are wiped out from a long day in the bush! They enjoyed spending time in the village.

This is one of our night guards here at the compound sporting his new bike! The kids had to go fetch theirs bikes so as not to be outdone.

We've been to the bush! Can't say we were all that impressed with the long ride and bumpy road. Quite honestly even using the word road is somewhat misleading, I prefer to think of it as a string of multi sized potholes with an occasional set of ruts for your tires and the odd stretch of creek in the middle of it! Mike kept saying that for all of the safari effect we were getting, we really should be seeing some animals. We saw the occasional cow and many sheep, goats and dogs. Not exactly what we hoped for.

The village we stayed in was fun, though. We were able to meet the chief and his family. We also got to watch the ladies draw water from the well and carry it on their heads. We even saw little girls about Karis' size carry a huge bucket of it on their head.

Karis is now completely well. She's running around like a wild Indian again and enjoying life. My arm is also much better. Thanks for all of the thoughts and prayers for us.

We have a new French tutor now. She seems to be very capable of taking us to the next level of French. We are still plugging along. We are actually able to learn and tell some Bible stories now if we apply ourselves and find patient listeners.

We are also looking forward to having our first volunteer team soon. We can't wait to see friends from home!!

We love hearing from you guys. Skype, email, come, whatever! ;) Send us pictures of you too.

Love to all,