Friday, June 27, 2008
In stark contrast to the repulsion of the slave trading that made this island famous, was the beauty of the landscaping that is there now. You could have easily imagined yourself on a lush tropical island where only happy memories are made. It is truly beautiful there now.
When we finally made it home Monday morning at 3AM, we found our little dog and cat well and happy to have us home. We are definitely glad to be back to the usual happenings.
We love and miss you all.
Since we wound up spending Saturday in Dakar, we decided to visit one of their historic sites. It is supposed to have been one of the big slave trading spots here in West Africa. How much that is true has been debated, but it was at least one of the places they did that. It also has a little history museum on the island with WWII cannons. It was very thought provoking to stand in the slave house and look out onto the ocean at a place where people looked at their homeland long ago for the last time before being herded onto a ship.
When we finally got to Senegal, we did have a pretty good time. We enjoyed meeting the other new apprentices. We had many good metings to keep us focused and got to spend some time talking about what we saw as strengths and weaknesses of the program. Our kids plopped down in the middle of the other 12 kids and had a great time. You'd have never known they weren't really cousins at a big family reunion. They left their friends with hugs and well wishes. "We'll see you in a month and a week!" All of the MKs look forward to our big annual meeting which will be at the end of next month, so they weren't having to say goodbye for long. While we were there we went to the beach for supper one night and to have a little worship service. Can you believe we actually have missionaries assigned to this lovely spot?! I picked out my vacation house for when I am old and rich and took a picture of the sun setting behind it for you!
Last but not least we got to spend some extra time in Dakar, due to a canceled flight. This is a picture of us at the lighthouse with the Western most tip of Africa in the background!
Dakar is a beautiful city and I hope that we might go back some time with the intention of spending a few days there.
Karis lost her first two baby teeth on the same day while we were in Senegal. She's had a tooth loose for a little while now, but we noticed in the airport on the way to Senegal that a tooth was coming in behind. For those that didn't hear, we had a horrible time trying to fly in and out of Senegal so the problem didn't get taken care of right away. We finally made it out of our country on the 4th try. Then when it was time to come home, we had the same problems of cancelled flights and incredibly late airplanes. Mike pulled one of Karis's teeth in the Senegal guesthouse with the encouragement that her brother had never lost a tooth in Senegal. He then got her to let him pull the second tooth with the enticement that her brother had never lost 2 teeth in one day and the fact that he was pretty sure that teeth lost in Senegal were worth a lot more than teeth lost in Cote d'Ivoire!!!
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
We've celebrated two birthdays now in Africa. Caleb turned 9 the 27th of May and I am now 31 as of the 7th of June. For Caleb's party we had the whole mission gang over for pizza and cake. We'd intended to go go carting, but since we are now in rainy season, that didn't work out so well. We ended up staying home and peeling bananas with our feet. It was good for a laugh, I suppose. Caleb got two cakes because he had one that Auntie Barbara made for his party and one that Mom made for his real birthday.
We hope that you are enjoying your summer! Happy Father's day, Dad, McDad, and Grandpa!!! We love you.
Saturday, June 7, 2008
I know that you probably already have heard of the passing of my friend, but I've felt the need to blog her story. Aissatou was a 32 year old widow with a 20 month old beautiful daughter. I met her in the first weeks I was here in Abidjan. We were instantly friends as she agreed to help me learn French. To start with, I visited her at her house at least once a week just for her to talk to me. Not long after that, her little daughter had wrapped me around her little finger and both Aissatou and Faridah were constant figures in our lives. Everyone that has visited us has met her, because she was so often here. When the kids or I were sick, she was here to say "Bon Guerison!", if we were absent for very long, she'd show up on the doorstep to say, "It's been two days!" We saw her anywhere from 3 times a week up to everyday.
Aissa got sick a few weeks ago. At first it was just some pain that she worked through. She even came over and cooked for our team. I encouraged her to go to the doctor from the start, but she didn't want to. By two weeks ago, she was so sick she couldn't get up and allowed me to take her to the hospital. A friend helped me pay for what she needed and she was released. She was never well again after that. We took her back later in the week, but she passed away at her own home Saturday of last week. I'd seen her just a few minutes before she died, but had no idea it would be the last time I saw her. The funeral was held the very same day.
Her little girl is with Aissatou's dad right now. They are trying to decide what to do with her. She most likely will not stay here across the street from us.
Aissatou's family is Muslim and her deceased husband's family is Catholic. Pray with us that somehow Faridah may someday accept Jesus as her Savior. Pray also that we'll have opportunities to share with her family. Aissatou had professed faith in Jesus some months ago and had been to church nearly every week since.
Thanks for sharing in my memories of a dear African sister.