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Showing posts from June, 2015

Book Review: Forgetting Tabitha and Lily Cigar

So far the books I’ve reviewed on my blog have been ones that I recommend, that I enjoyed reading, and that I benefited from reading.  But today I am going to review to books that I DON’T recommend reading because I did not find them beneficial.  As you will see, I felt more strongly about one than about the other.
The first one I want to review (which I actually read after the other one) is called Forgetting Tabitha: The Story of an Orphan Train Rider by Julie Dewey.  You know the old adage of “Don’t judge a book by its cover”?  Yeah.  It still holds true.  This book looks totally innocent.

How to Have a Successful Stay-cation

This year we just didn't have the finances to make a trip back to the USA.  Also, the summer is my busiest time of year.  There were a couple of years in a row that I left everybody else with all the work to do and now this year it's my turn to stick around.  There also aren't really any nearby places to go for a change of scenery and climate. We used to always go to Miango in Nigeria and that was fabulous, but the thought of driving down there now just doesn't sound like much fun.

So.....we decided to take a "stay-cation".  We get a month a year of vacation.  I know that sounds like a lot compared to what some of you get for vacation.  But the climate here is pretty intense and life here is stressful, so the one-month a year is much appreciated!  We decided to take two weeks now and then another two weeks near the end of August when things calm down a bit.

If you find yourself in the same boat and you just can't go anywhere for vacation, staying home isn&#…

Thoughts from the Dunes

It always feels good to get out of the city and let the wind blow my hair and be able to see the horizon.  I was telling John today how closed in I feel in the city.  I mean, we can barely see the sky!  The dunes are just outside of Niamey, but I really feel like we've put the city behind us whenever we go out there.  

Because about 3/4's of Niger's land mass is in the desert you may think all Niger is is one big sand dune.  But we live in the Sahel region (which actually means "shore").  The Sahel, as I explained in my last post, is the band between the desert and the savanna or the grasslands.  So we do have trees and scrub brush growing.  While there is sand everywhere, there aren't sand dunes everywhere.  

It feels great to sit on top of the dunes and look at the world around us.  The quiet soothes my soul.  The immense piles of shifting sand fill me with wonder at God's creation.

There are always some people who live nearby who follow us up the dunes.  …

Show and Tell Tuesday .... My Yard

I'm linking up with Show and Tell Tuesdays on Momfessionals....only once again I'm late to the game.

The prompt this week is to show us your yard.  First, let me say that we live in Niger the majority of which is in the Sahara Desert.  We live in the "Sahel region"....that bit of land between the dessert and the grasslands where things grow, sort of.  People can get grass to grow, but we don't have any.  We do have lots of flowering bushes and greenery, though, that brighten up the sand that is everywhere.

Our gate (yes, we live in a gated community, LOL!) opens up onto our driveway.
 We share a compound with two other dwellings.  A family of five lives in the house just to the right of the gate.  To the left of the ladder at the top of the picture is our guard's toilet/shower.  (Yes, we have a guard....we don't feel in danger here, but there is a lot of petty thievery.  Plus, it employees somebody who desperately needs a job.)  Currently ours is the only c…

Since John Came Home

It's hard to believe that it's already been three weeks since John came back from his intensive study time in Oxford, England at the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies.  Doing a doctorate part-time (or full time!) is not for the faint of heart, I can tell you.  

So much has happened in the past three weeks since his return that it feels like longer than three weeks!  First, we had Pentecost Sunday....I don't have any pictures of that.

That week parts of town were without power for about four days straight.  It would come on for an hour or two, then go off again.  Families were sleeping at the school since they have a generator.  Thankfully and amazingly our neighborhood was good most of that time.  We were without electricity for a 10-hour stretch at one point and a couple of hours off here and there, but nothing like other parts of town.  Here I am cooking in the dying daylight....just before we turned on our camping lantern and lit the candles. 

May 29 we had a farewell for …

You Know It's Hot Season

Depending on how you look at it, it can be said that Niger has two seasons....or four.  If you say it has two seasons, that would be the dry season from October through May or June and the rainy season from June or July through September.  Or you can divide it up a bit more and say we have the rainy season from July through September, the mini hot season from October into November, the cold dry season from November through February, and the hot season from March through May and into June.  And the worst month of all is May, hand's down, no further discussion needed.  Here's how you know it's really hot season....and especially that it's May.

1.  It's 7 a.m. and you're already sweating.
2.  It's 7 a.m. and it's already 90 degrees.
3.  The high for the day is anywhere between 105 and 112.  Anything over 112 is rare, though we've seen an occasional 114.  That is the temperature in the shade.  Temperature in the sun, though, is even higher.
3.  Everything y…

Grieving and Graduating

Living the life of a TCK is both a privilege and a challenge.  A TCK is simply a "Third Culture Kid".  Missionary Kids (MKs) are TCKs, but so are many military kids, embassy kids, and kids whose parents work for companies around the world.  The short definition of TCK is “A third culture kid is a person who has spent a significant part of his
or her developmental years outside their parents’ culture."  A TCK integrates aspects of their passport culture with their host culture, creating a third culture.  According to the website TCKid, 90% of TCKs feel out of sync with their peers, 90% report feeling as though they understand other cultures better than the average American, and 80% believe they can get along with anybody.  TCKs are well-rounded, adaptable, and in general are good employees.  Probably their biggest struggle is the state of constant transition and the need to make new friends every year.  Let me explain.
A TCK may be born outside of their passport country or…