As you have probably figured out by now, we spend a lot of time at the ferry! Almost every time we go to or from Niamey, we cross the Niger River on the ferry. It is only a five- to ten-minute crossing, but we usually have to wait for the ferry at least 10 minutes and as long as up to an hour. It is blazing hot there as the entire area is paved in black tar and there is absolutely no shade.
Recently we were at the ferry late in the afternoon. So, the sun was going down and maybe this guy couldn’t see very well. At any rate he comes up to our truck and kind of leans on my door and starts a conversation with John that went like this:
Random guy: Hi White People! How are you? Hey, Yaaye, is this your daughter?
John: No, she’s my wife.
Random guy: Did you get a new wife? (Take a 2nd one)
John: No, I’ve had her for over 20 years.
Random guy: What? She’s the same one? She doesn’t look like the old one! She’s a lot younger.
John: Yep, she’s the same one.
Random guy: How old are you? You must be a lot older than your wife!
John: I’m 48.
Random guy: That’s not so old. How old is your wife?
I don’t remember exactly what John said, but he wasn’t allowed to say my age. We both got a real kick out of the conversation. I’m sure he wondered what we thought was so funny! In case you're wondering, no I haven’t had a face lift or anything!!
Here’s another funny one. You know how kids often can’t pronounce words well? This little guy, Kabiru (aka Geghis Khan) asked me one day, “When are we going to do ah-way-soo-waa?” I couldn’t figure out what he was talking about. He kept going on and on about awaysoowa and I finally figured out he was asking about “Alleluia”. They have figured out that Christians say “Alleluia” a lot and many of them now call Sunday School and kids’ club “Alleluia”. So he just wanted to know when I was going to start teaching again!
Recently we resumed kids’ club. I was teaching about how Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refused to eat the king’s food. We also talked a lot about how certain things like smoking and drinking beer are not good for you and can harm your health. As you know, Daniel and his friends were tested for ten days on a diet of fruits and vegetables. Because they were so strong and healthy, they were allowed to remain on that diet for three years. Then they appeared before the king who found them to be wiser than anybody else. At the end of the story, we had review questions. I asked, “When the king tested Daniel and his friends, what did he say to them?” The first little girl, Gaambi, said, “He said he would kill them.” Nope, not right, so I went to a little boy, Oumarou, and asked him. Oumarou says, very seriously, “He told them to drink more beer.” I don’t know if he was just trying to be funny or not, but we were playing for points. Everybody thought it was so funny they weren’t too mad that he didn’t win their team any points. As you can tell from the picture, he's quite a character.
Like they say….it’s better to laugh than cry. There are days when I feel like crying, but thank God for these funny things He sends my way!