Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Back to Work

Ben's Market Cat

I have really been enjoying my special market ladies.  They are such a joy to teach and I keep hoping for the day when A takes the plunge!  They have really become good friends that I miss anytime I have to miss a Tuesday or Thursday afternoon. 

Ben caught me sneaking out of the house on Tuesday and so he joined me for the afternoon.  It was quite a risk since he would miss his afternoon nap.  He's been fascinated with riding on my back again and so I thought maybe he'd get in a nap on my back.  HA!  Vridi is filled with all kinds of interesting things for a little boy to look at: sheep, chickens, lizards, flies, and cats.  Everyone of those was good for hours of fun.  He was good while I visited my friends because he was collecting flies on his banana to watch.  Another friend had sheep and chickens, a double treat.  As we were walking down the road, somebody's cat was out sunning and Ben broke down laughing because it blinked its eyes at him in that really slow cat way.  "Mama, dat cat cyosed his eyes. hee hee hee" He covered his mouth with one hand and slapped at his knee with the other for good measure!  He had the whole street out laughing at him.  Unfortunately school was out and so we had a parade of kiddos following us most of the day.  I say unfortunately because that means they get yelled at and shooed off every two minutes and Ben's hair gets pretty ruffled.

I was a little worried about my main group because it is not unusual to spend a couple of hours sitting there on a wooden bench with them.  After we'd been there a few minutes, I mentioned that Ben liked cats.  Someone came dragging out the market kitten for Ben in just a couple of minutes.  It was love at first sight, for Ben anyway!  He carried that cat here and there, picked it up, put it down, named it three times, kissed it, hugged it until I thought he'd hug the fur right off of it and sang to it.  Finally he let the thing go, but it wasn't smart enough to run away.  It hid right there under the bench, so it was easy prey in another few minutes.  I thought I'd get through the story fairly easily with the kitten there, but sure enough, Ben had to potty about halfway through.  He was taken to the little patch of dirt all the kids use, but he didn't quite finish up his business and was hopping around again in just a few more minutes into the story.  I asked if he could wait and he said yes.  I suppose by kid number three I should have known not to ask or accept that answer.  At least I did finish the story, but Ben needed a bath by the time I got finished.  So he got stripped down right there in the market and got his bucket bath. 

It was quite a day.  Ben was so tired that he fell asleep on the way home.  His suppertime nap meant it was nearly 11 by the time he stopped hopping out of his bed last night and went to sleep.  He sure did bring a lot of joy to the Vridi gang, though, so I guess it was worth it.  I've told you before that I am known by nearly everyone there as BenjaminMa or MamaBenjamin.  By the time he came home, he'd accumulated 5 mangos, a banana, and a handful of a local fruit as gifts.  They wanted him to take home that poor market cat, but I told them Daisy would eat it for sure!  She's always itching to take on the full grown cats of our neighbors, so I figure she would eat that kitten for dessert!

Come see us some time.  Ben and I will take you to Vridi and show you a good time!
With love,

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Spring Break

Ben and Karis going to the beach

Ben throwing Caleb in the pool

Ben crashed out during lunch and so he took a little nap when everyone else got back in the pool.  He woke up and stumbled directly to the pool before he could even see straight.

Picnic in the yard

We took the week before Easter as spring break this year.  We mostly just played games at home, but one day we headed out to the beach.  Ever since the trip to Ghana a couple of months ago, Ben has been pretty serious about getting back to the beach.  The big kids have always enjoyed the beach/pool too, so I'm sure they've been encouraging him.

We don't really have parks or anything, but they are always wanting to have a picnic in the yard.  With school this year, there really isn't time in a school day to do that and still get done by 3 or so, so I always say no.  Spring break seemed like a good day to say yes.  Some how or another, the sandwich and chips we could have eaten at the table gained flavor on the way out the door.  I think it was probably the mosquitos we munched down with them, but at least we had fun.

By Saturday, it was time for me to get back to work and the kids started back on Monday.  Ssshhh!  Don't tell them that was a holiday, that just makes me look bad.  Caleb always thinks we should get all American holidays and Ivorian holidays off as well as a fall, Christmas and spring break like his cousins, and a ski break like the kids here.  He figures we should start school in October like his Ivorian friends and finish school in May when he hears the first of his American friends are out.  Needless to say, he is quite often disappointed and I'm usually the bad guy.

I hope you all had great Easter and hopefully got some rest with the long weekend.
With Love,

Sunday, April 8, 2012

BONNE FETE DE LA PAQUES 2012!!! or Happy Resurrection Sunday 2012!!!!

Well, I can finally say I have proclaimed the Word of God in French.  I have taught the Word of God to small groups, but this was the first time I actually preached in French at a Church here in Abidjan.  I definitely had butterflies before the service started, but once I got started I really felt the peace of God and I relaxed and just let it flow.  God is great and He was definitely helping me through this.  When the service was over someone actually came up to me and said that I speak well in French.  So God must have done something!!! I praise Him that He was able to use me in this way.  All the glory goes to God!!! Happt Resurrection Sunday!!!!!