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Monday -- Grocery shopping here is pretty basic, which is fine with me.  I find grocery shopping incredibly difficult back in the USA when I have to make so many choices!  Here there are two brands of spaghetti, two brands of olive oil, three brands of mayonnaise, etc.  And then a lot of the items available are eliminated off my list because I can't afford them.  So when I find something here that I've never seen before and it's affordable, I get pretty excited.  Last week I found both oat bran and wheat germ!

Tuesday -- John and I went for a date to one of our favorite restaurants. 

 It's by the river and has really basic fare....brochettes and french fries.  They have a few other things, but not much.  It's a laid-back atmosphere, is affordable, and it doesn't matter what time you go.  (A lot of nicer restaurants don't open until 7:00 or even 8:00 p.m.) This was our last chance for a good conversation before he headed off for England.

Wednesday -- I like how John used a real-life example in our Bible study on Matthew 6.  We were going over the passage about why do you worry about what you will eat or what you will put on.  He explained to the guys how when he waters, the termites come out of a hole (in the house?!!!) and then the lizards come and eat them.  He said the termites didn't wake up this morning worrying about what they would eat.  With their little minuscule brains I'm sure they didn't even remember they had termites for dinner yesterday.  But God fed them (and good riddance to the termites).  Likewise, we need to not worry about what we will eat or wear tomorrow.  One of the students asked the excellent question, "Is it wrong to plan ahead for our days and even years to come?"  What do you think?  How would you answer that?  

Thursday -- John left early, early Thursday morning.  Thursday noon the office ladies had lunch together at my neighbor's house.  Her girls had made three kinds of quiche and muffins.  I'm so thankful for my friends....and that I had something special to do on John's first day away.  Unfortunately one of our friends couldn't be there because her mother-in-law is sick and she needed to go home and check on her during the lunch break.

Friday -- Rocks, you say?  Yes, well, under those rocks, which is our driveway, is the septic system.  I came home Friday to find workers here with the lids of the tanks (septic and dry well) and both of them full to the brim.  No wonder our toilet was having such difficulty flushing! I'm thankful that our neighbor (three of us have the same septic tank) called the workers and dealt with the whole mess.  I just held my breath and tried to not look!  And aren't you glad I didn't take a picture of the tank with the lid off?! :)

Saturday -- I made hummus and had that for a snack.  Mmmm, it was delicious.  It's so easy to make.  This is how I do it....and I know I got the recipe off the internet, but I don't know where so I don't know to whom I should give the credit.  

Whirl in a blender until smooth:
1 can chick peas (garbanzo beans) (I used a 14 oz. can)
1/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup olive oil
juice of two lemons
1 bunch of cilantro (I just used some dried cilantro and didn't really measure it)
1/4 cucumber, peeled and then diced (I didn't even remove the seeds, but you could if they are really big)
1 clove garlic
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp paprika
This turns out creamy and tastes great.  It's good as a dip for veggies or with pita bread.

Did you notice my little photo bomber in that picture?  Don't worry, she didn't actually stick her nose in it.

Sunday -- Our services are often pretty long and today we had three extra things on the end, but all three were real celebrations.  The first was a baby

dedication.  I love how all the moms in the church come up and support and encourage the family.  (I know our churches in the US ask if the family and church will support and help the family and that's great.....but I really like how the African-American church we attended in Maryland had the entire family come up with the parents and's just a very visual reminder that we stand behind you, that it does, indeed, take a village....or, if you please, a Church.  So this isn't a criticism, just a statement of something I've grown to appreciate.)  

We have had a short-term couple who have taken their retirement to come to Niger for part of each year, I think, seven years in a row.  Each time they have ministered wherever they've been asked.  This time they came and did a family/marriage ministry which they really enjoyed.  The ladies sang for them, then had them come up and receive a gift.  It was a very fitting appreciation for a couple who have attended this church whenever they've been in Niger.  The other day they were leaving the office (they stayed in an apartment above the office) and I heard our receptionist refer to them as "les jeunesses"....the young people.  Isn't that great?! 

And the third celebration was that one of the ladies in our church had attended the Trauma Healing Training seminar.  Part of the program is that those who are trained hold two groups in which they go over the materials with others.  This lady had already held her two groups and presented the participants with certificates.  Unfortunately I didn't get a picture of that.