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A Moving Experience

The end of June, the entire month of July, and the beginning of August are our busiest months in the personnel office.  Not only are there things in the office to do to say good-bye to those leaving Niger and to prepare for those arriving, there are things to do outside the office as well.

Every house that somebody vacates needs to have curtains washed (you should see what a year of Niger dust on curtains looks like!), all dirty linens washed, and needs a good thorough cleaning.  Sometimes we have a few weeks to get that done before the next arrival, but sometimes we only have a few days.  Thankfully it only happens rarely that we only have a few hours....but that was the case last week.

We recently had two long-term families arrive who had bought furniture from families who had left.  But the furniture was not in the house where the new families would be living.  So we needed to get it to the right place.  We also had a third long-term family return from home assignment.  Their house had been set up for short-termers while they were gone, so we needed to collect that stuff from their house.  This was going to be a lot of work.  And how to do it?  One missionary said we could borrow their pick-up truck, but it was going to be in the garage.  It would take dozens of trips in the truck, anyway.  Then Crystal, my amazing co-worker who has been a life-saver since her arrival in early July, mentioned that once she had hired a truck.  We knew that was our solution.

So, Wednesday morning I started out with a big breakfast to fortify me for the day.  I guessed I wouldn't get much, if any lunch, and that turned out to be true!

The truck driver showed up at the office with the truck and the agent who organizes the contract between us and the truck driver.  Crystal also brought three guys from her church, her cousin, N., who is here for a month to help us out, Mr. & Mrs. G (we were moving their stuff), and John showed up to help.

First thing on the truck was a wardrobe that was being stored at the office.

Then we stopped at the W's house and picked up some mattresses, a bed, a washing machine, and a stove.  The truck is starting to fill up!

From there we drove north and picked up furniture at another house.  This included a couch, chairs, a fridge, some shelves, a cupboard, and a stove.  That house is now empty and ready for the next occupants!  By now the truck was pretty full.  It's good we got one this big.

I just want to say here that John is amazing at packing boxes and loading trucks and trunks.  He can see exactly what will fit perfectly in which spot.  At this place he was up in the truck telling the guys exactly what to put where and how to tie it.  It took us longer in the other locations because he had to get back to work after helping there.  But without anybody to give directions, it was just a lot slower.

We then went across the river to the Bible School compound where we have a big garage where we store furniture that we use for furnishing houses for short termers.  I wish I'd taken a picture of the garage, but it wouldn't show all the accumulation of dust and cobwebs in there.  Mr. & Mrs. G also live on that compound so we off-loaded their stuff and then put other stuff in the storage garage.

From there we ran down the road to Sahel and dropped off a bed and picked up another bed and washing machine that were no longer being used, but were needed elsewhere.   I didn't take many pictures because I was too busy holding adorable twin boys!

Then back to the Bible School compound where we loaded up all the furniture the D. family had bought from another family.  I didn't get many pictures there as I was too busy helping to load the truck.  By the time we got that all loaded the truck was full again.  Everybody was getting hot and tired and it was past lunch time.  So we told the guys on the truck to go out and buy some food and we'd meet them at the gas station.  Crystal also went out and got some pop (sodas; minerals; fizzy drinks....whatever you call them!) and cookies.  So that was lunch, but it sure helped get the blood sugar back up where they needed to be.  Bless you, Crystal!

From there we drove to the D's house and offloaded everything that belonged to them.  It kind of looks like everybody is watching Crystal work!  And there was no way that truck would fit in the gate.  

There were beds, a living room suite, dining room table and chairs, a stove, a fridge, and lots of boxes of stuff.  We also had to take from that house the things they no longer needed....beds, living room suite, dining room table and chairs, a stove, and a fridge.  I'm sure the truck driver thought we were insane, especially since so much of the furniture looked exactly alike!

Then it was back to CBN to put the stuff in storage or to drop off to the M family.

We worked from 9 a.m. to about 4:30 p.m.  On the way home I dropped off a mattress somebody needed to borrow and returned the hand truck we had borrowed.  It was past 5:00 when I got home.  I was pretty tired at the end of that day....moving is hard work and don't forget to factor in the heat and humidity!

I'm thankful for our willing and able helpers!!  Well done, everybody!