Every trip seems to have its adventures. On the way up, Suzanne wanted to practice her driving. We let her and she was doing a great job when all of a sudden she started weaving all over the road. As is typical with learning drivers, she was over-correcting, but she finally got it under control. It was pretty scary, but she handled it well. John soon switched with her....not because of that, but we were getting closer to Tera and more populated areas. It was then we realized we had a flat tire! No wonder she lost control of the vehicle!
I think Suzanne did a great job taking these pictures.
Then when the team came on Friday, they had an adventure, too! The road from Niamey to the ferry is being repaved, so it is mostly dirt/gravel. Vehicles fly down the road at a pretty good clip, flinging little rocks right at your windshield. The first vehicle in the Sahel convoy saw some Land Cruisers flying down the road, coming towards them, so he got over as far as he could and was ok. But the 2nd vehicle had a stone hit his windshield and got a pretty good ding in it. Then the van also had rocks hit his windshield. I think he got two dings. But the really bad thing was that a side window in the van blew out. It just shattered. Fortunately the two girls sitting by that window were not hurt.
Here are some of the things the kids did during the weekend.
Eating good African food and just hanging out with each other in the evenings and at siesta time. 13 girls in one bathroom!!!!! The guys camped at the church property and were banned from the inside bathroom. This year the water tank filled every night so we didn't have to go looking for water.
Precious times of worship in the evenings.
They did a kids' club in our yard. This is "Mr. G" the giraffe puppet. The kids insisted on calling him "Minister G". Minister being an important government official, not a pastor.
One of the young men told the story in English and Suzanne translated it into Songhai.
Our eager listeners.
Here they are acting out the story of Joshua. Joshua is praying and the angel appears to him.
They worked at a girl's school. The school doesn't have enough classroom space, so we built grass-mat classrooms for them. The parents had already done a lot of the work to prepare for the building and had even built some of the grass-mat shelters themselves. Many of the girls who attend the school were there working alongside our kids.
They played football (soccer for you Americans). We didn't have a really good team that had practiced together or anything and the town guys were good, so we mixed up the Sahel team and their team. So instead of "us versus them" it was "rouge versus blanc" (red against white). White won. As Suz says, this is a sweet picture. She took it!
The team did the church service in Doumba. John also did some music and the believers sang some Gourma songs for them.