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Showing posts from April, 2007

Living in Toad

Did you ever read The Wind in the Willows? It's one of those kids books that can be enjoyed by all. Anyway, in the book, Toad lives in "Toad Hall". We don't live in "Toad Hall", but we live in "Toad". For the whole story, read John's blog: . You'll enjoy it! I won't be posting again until May 21 or 22. See you then!

Strawberries in Niger??!!

There are gardens along the Niger River that grow all sorts of fruits and vegetables that they sell in the Niamey markets.

Sahel Academy is beside the Niger River. There are gardens separating the Academy compound and the river. There are also gardens between the compound where the guest house is and the river. The gardener for Sahel Academy, Leni, has his own gardens where he raises STRAWBERRIES! What a treat these are when they are in season between January and April. Often they are finished by the end of March, so I was surprised when Mr. Strawberry Man came yesterday and asked if I wanted more strawberries. How could I resist? I rinse them off in bleach water, cut them up, spread them out on a cookie sheet, freeze them, then put them in Ziploc bags. All through the season when we can't get fresh things we can enjoy frozen strawberries. In February they are big, plump strawberries, like the ones in this photo. The ones he brought yesterday were the end of the season and …

Buried in the Waters of Baptism

A week ago, Monday April 16, Daniel and Suzanne were baptized.

The service was led by Dave Totman, youth pastor at Sahel Academy and for the wider English-speaking community. It came together rather quickly when the Totmans found out they needed to go back to the USA for the birth of their 3rd child.

There were 11 Sahel Academy students and one Peace Corps volunteer baptized. The baptism was held in the back yard pool of a family who graciously opened their home to us. (If you're counting heads...two of the dads with younger kids got in the pool with their kids.)

Pastor Dave explained the whole process of baptism and the seriousness of the event, then the candidates entered the water together. One by one he asked each young person if they had accepted Christ as their Saviour and if they were determined to live for Him. He then baptized them. What a beautiful and vivid picture of Christ's death, burial, and resurrection! Afterwards somebody the young person had chosen prayed indi…

Easter Holidays aka Spring Break

It was great to have the kids home for two weeks for the Easter Holidays. It's kind of hard to refer to it as spring break as it feels like anything but spring. Every day was over 110. One day it got down to 109 and that felt cool!

The saddest part of the vacation was that at the beginning of it we had to say goodbye to Jeremy. He returned to the US on April 3. We are really going to miss him. He was a good addition to our family. Suzanne would like you to note that she's taller than me. I don't be the judge.

After John took Jeremy down to Niamey, he picked up Joseph Cail who spent the rest of the vacation with us. We loved having him with us.

Here are some of the things the kids did (along with some random pictures which don't necessarily match up with the item they're beside).





Easter seems like a distant memory already, but I'm going to go ahead and post some photos from the day so you'll know what it was like for us.

We collected all the people in our church in Tera and drove to Doumba, about 7 miles away. We decided to combine the two churches, Tera and Doumba, since both are small and neither really have a pastor. We sat outside in what felt like a barnyard. Our mats were right beside where the sheep are tied up at night so we were right by piles of sheep dung. People would walk by and those worshipping would greet them and talk to them for awhile before turning back to listen again. Women continued working all around us....pounding grain, sifting flour, etc. But we had a great time singing....The Doumba folks are Gourmas and the Gourmas are great singers. Then John gave a good Easter message, followed by communion.

After the service we went home and had lamb chops and I forget what else. I wanted to make a mustard sauce for the lamb chops, but I d…

The Sting

One night, along about 11 p.m., I was sound asleep. I kind of felt something walking on my neck, so reflexively, without even thinking, I grabbed it to fling it away from me. (John says I flung it towards him, but if I did, it wasn't on purpose!!!) I instantly felt a sharp pain shooting up my finger. I started gasping in pain. John sits up, all confused and says, "What's going on?" He turned on the light and I said, "Something stung me or bit me. I think it was a scorpion!" We started looking for it and there it was marching across the really was heading towards John! He grabbed a shoe and smacked it and that was the end of that scorpion. ( hero!) John gave me two extra-strength Tylenol, but they did nothing for the pain. Suzanne brought me a bag of ice and that helped to numb the area. The pain was so intense and I didn't want to keep John awake, so I went outside and sat in a chair for a couple of hours until the pain d…