Thursday, November 20, 2008

Getting along

Sannu- It has been a while since our last entry. A few weeks back we spent a weekend at Miango Rest Home. It is a beautiful setting and only about half hour away. The weekend was peaceful and restful. They provided us with wonderful food and had activities for the kids. They played tennis, ping-pong ball, and miniature golf. We saw a chameleon for the first time. Quite an odd little creature, especially with its eyes rotating in different directions from the other one. It walked very slowly. The kids also said they saw a snake and it was standing up from the ground about 1-2 feet. I said latter that if it is standing up from the ground then it meant that you were too close to it. The girls had one of their friends from school along and the kids also met some other children at the rest home to play with. When we returned, the following week we had water working at our house and a small solar-battery run fridge. That was wonderful. It’s amazing how simple things back home that we take for granted make life so much easier here when it’s available. Needless to say the fridge stopped working because it drained the battery. So now the plan is to set up solar panels. Language study is keeping me busy. Every so often my head gets so full and I wonder if I’ll ever be able to communicate in sentences that convey a clear message. The kids are enjoying school and seem to be doing quite well. We like our home and the compound. The kids have found some local children to play soccer with. We visited another church last Sunday. It was about a half hour walk through the village and then up a hill. We were the first ones there because we did not know what time it started. Some curious children told us that they had gone to tell the pastor we were there. About half hr later the service started mostly in Hausa. It was a very lively church with lots of singing and dancing. The different choirs are great with their traditional instruments. At the end of the service many of the members welcomed us and the pastor offered us some minerals(pop). He then walked back down with us to our compound. Just found out today that he and the other pastor of the church are coming to visit us this evening at our home. MCC Nigeria has hosted a serve and learn group this past week and a half with doctors and nurses from US and Canada. We joined them yesterday evening for a cultural experience of some Nigerian dancing and singing. Randy and I offered to help the cook prepare the meal for the event. So yesterday we spent the afternoon cutting up fruit and watching them cook the meal over a fire for about 100-200 people. It was an interesting scene with dogs, a cat and chickens roaming around the cooking fire and listening to the mom and her daughters speaking in hausa. If they needed water it was carried in a bucket from the well on the other side of the house. Dishes were done on the ground and I watched one daughter grab some ruff sand to scrape off the bottom of a pot. They did not have any electricity at the time so another daughter took some of the coals from the fire and placed it in a metal iron to get the mom’s dress ready for the evening. She was singing in a group at the event that night. After the food was ready we assembled it into smaller eating containers on the kitchen floor. We then loaded the food and people into the pick-up ready to go when we discovered we had a flat tire. We all got out and changed the tire-got back in and then the new tire went flat. We called for someone to pick us up and then we all squeezed into a smaller vehicle. We felt at home in Nigeria. This morning we picked up our dog. We have decided to name her Kyra—a combination of our last 2 dogs Kiva and Kyr. It will be a challenge to keep our kids on task with their school work with the addition to our family. Culturally though a dog is considered a watch dog or a meal. We have seen women on the side of the road selling dogs for meat. I look forward to having another companion for my and westen’s walks in the morning. Happy up-coming US Thanksgiving-may your travels be safe-charlotte

Thursday, November 13, 2008