This past week ... three countries in twenty four hours. Stepping from one world to the other. Jumping from one culture to another.
Monday, April 15 ... The week started in Niger with me packing my suitcase by the light of the camping lantern and candles. The power was off, which isn't unusual during the hot season. Thankfully it hasn't been too bad so far this year.
Tuesday, April 16 ... I was told that our director's wife would be bringing a birthday cake for his birthday to our Tuesday morning coffee/tea time. So I just assumed Tuesday was his birthday. I thought that if nobody said anything about his birthday he would think it was a bit weird, so I asked him if he was feeling old. He kind of looked at me funny and said his birthday wasn't until next week. Another missionary who works in the office also wished him a happy birthday. In spite of almost spilling the beans, he was still surprised when he walked in the break room and saw his wife there with a huge cake and everybody started singing to him. We celebrated a week early because he was going to be traveling on the actual date of his birthday.
Wednesday & Thursday, April 17 & 18 ... Twice last week we got a few drops of rain. Apparently the day after I left they got a real downpour! It's a bit early for heavy rains. The rainy season usually gets underway early in June, so it's hard to know if these are just unseasonable rains or if the rainy season is really starting.
Friday, April 19 ... So Thursday night Beki and I flew from Niger to Turkey and then on Friday from Turkey to Washington DC. The flight from Istanbul (bummed to not have been able to leave the airport!) to DC was 12 hours long, but there was a lot of leg room, foot rests, tons of movies to watch, and comfortable seats. Beki and I got a four-seat section to ourselves, so we got to stretch out a bit. Here's Beki in Istanbul, enjoying a Starbucks coffee. We also enjoyed a nap, sleeping here on this cold hard floor.
Saturday, April 20 ... I got to spend a few days with Daniel and Kelly. On Saturday we went to the Pentagon City Mall for lunch at the food court. Then we went to the 9-11 Memorial at the Pentagon and then walked to Arlington Cemetery and walked to the Kennedy's graves, to the Custis-Lee house, and watched the Changing of the Guard. We figured out we walked almost five miles. It was an absolutely beautiful day and I think all the exercise helped me get over jet-lag faster.
Sunday, April 21 ... I went to church with Daniel and Kelly. Afterwards they took me to Walmart and then we had dinner at a Thai restaurant. That afternoon we read, took naps, listened to Kelly play the piano, and surfed the internet. Just the way Sunday should be! The couch and coffee table are pushed back to make space for me to sleep, so this isn't how their living room usually looks. In the evening we walked down to a frozen yogurt place and then played games.