Sunday, January 24, 2010

Kabiye Women's Retreat

This weekend I had opportunity to stay in a village with a couple of the other missionary women and go to a retreat for Kabiye women in Soumdina Powayi. Among the women from our team, Becky Reeves, Grace Hangen, Jacque and I along with two of our 6th grade students, Hannah and Maddie all stayed the night in the village. We slept in a schoolhouse situated near the church in Soumdina Powayi and the meetings were held at desks that were pulled together under a large tree nearby the schoolhouse. I had such a great experience singing, praying and reading scriptures along women who shared my faith, but not my language. At the beginning of the retreat on Saturday afternoon we split into small groups where we read scripture and prayed together.

Jacque befriended a woman named Julianne in her small group the first night who made sure to keep us both included in activities throughout our night there. We both were able to watch as the woman prepared our dinner for the night, moto (cornflour and water), in a huge pot over a fire stirring with one large wooden spoon (about 4 ft long) and two smaller wooden spoons. Then Julianne offered to have both of us try to stir the thick mixture. It was quite an interesting experience after watching these strong women hand over the large spoon to me to spend only a few moments wrestling with a wooden spoon and an unfamiliar mixture and tire myself within seconds.

After we had helped with the cooking Julianne began singing to me in English "Remember Me O Lord" after singing along with her she taught Jacque and I the French and Kabiye versions of the song. Soon we were singing Ameya, one of the Kabiye songs we remember enough words to sing on our own, and she and a friend of hers joined in. It was beautiful standing there with two women I had only just met and Jacque who I have been blessed with living with for this year. Singing and praising the Lord together crossed our cultural and language barriers and although it was only for a short time, that moment made my weekend :)

Photos and Links!

I recently posted pictures on facebook from a few hikes I've been on during my time here, some pictures from the village and some safari favorites, but I decided for all of you without facebook to provide a link so you may enjoy the photos as well :)

Also, for any of you interested in reading how our teaching here affects the families that work with the Kabiye, Bethany has an eye opening blog post mostly written by the ladies of the families we teach for:

Thursday, January 7, 2010


Today I realized how much I miss rain. I haven't seen or felt a raindrop since November... and I'm not sure I have ever gone this long without rain. After all, I was born and raised in the Northwest and spent my early years playing in the beautiful downpours that the weather there offers. So many of my favorite memories from college are in the rain, running around and puddle jumping with friends :) Well, soon enough I will be back in the states and wishing the drizzles would stop and wishing for a sunny day.

About the previous post, I have no great photos of the lion although I saw it on two occasions-- once a bit too close for comfort, but it is a lion in the last photo... that photo shows how great at hiding in the grass these large cats are! If you want to see better photos check out Jacque or Bethany's blogs and for the story of our encounter with these deadly animals check out Jacque's post which details our amazing courage.. haha.

Jacque's Post =

Bethany's Post =

After getting over a stomach bug at the beginning of the week, school officially began this last Tuesday for me and the kindergartners :) I also enjoyed a week of roommate birthdays and birthday cake!

Happy Birthday Jacque and Bethany!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Penjari Safari

Do you see who is hiding in the last photo?

Friday, January 1, 2010

Bonne Année

Happy New Year Everyone!

I had a beautiful holiday season here... filled with activities with each of the families here :) We even had opportunity to visit the orphanage here and share an evening of activities with the kids.

After Christmas the three of us teachers went on safari with the Emersons!

Being the only teacher without fear of motion sickness I sat in the back seat with Caden (you can tell Caden has been on Safari four times already with his look of indifference..)

Bethany and Jacque shared the middle seat with Corban.. (come on he's only 2, and it was a long drive). Bethany and Jacque however.. they know how to show their excitement for safari!

We were all on the roof of the car as soon as possible to get the best views of the animals... Of course after enjoying our ride we had very dirty visages due to it being the dusty season!

We were able to see such a variety of animals at Penjari Safari Park :)

This included assortments of deer and antelope, monkeys, hippos, elephants...
and can you tell who is hiding in the last photo?

due to a failed attempt at upload.. I will post the pictures of the animals in another post.