Thursday, June 19, 2008

An update

Our turtle slow internet is back and running again, so I can tell you a little bit about what we all have been doing

Chantelle: I have been unpacking boxes and trying to find places for everything. I still have piles of clothes on the kids floor since we ordered a dresser from a woodworker guy here that wont be ready for a few weeks yet. It's been fun to open some boxes and see things that people snuck in while helping us pack back home. All the sticky notes of love from Michelle and Danielle and the big multi pack of kraft dinner from Grandma are examples! Anything decorative is low on the priority list! I'm sweating through one shirt by noon usually, especially if I go to the market, and am washing a load everyday since i have limited drying rack space until our line is set outside. I really am not much of a skirt fan, and yet I wear one everyday because of the cultural norms and "proper wear" expectations for respect. I am working with Rebecca, our house help, to get everything organized and in a routine here. We enjoy talking (its in french) while we work and I am really liking getting to know her and ask questions about culture, etc. I do most of our shopping, be it at the outdoor markets or the indoor "white person" store where you can get special items like cheese, but at a premium of course.

Paul - I'm trying to get the house set up. I picked up several big fans today, one to put in the kitchen, which is the hottest room in the house and has no fan or screen door, so that will be nice, and a stand up fan that looks like a jet engine that we can move around the house to where we need it. I welded and mounted frames to put over our windows and got straw mats to put on them. This will shade the window to keep the heat out some and hopefully keep some rain out too. Our drains are plugged, things are falling off sporadically and there is no shortage of work. I dug a ditch yesterday in the heat to run our swamp cooler as soon as I get it plumbed in tonight. Overall, I'm working way too hard and need to learn to take a siesta! (ok that part was Chantelle talking). I was out in our yard the other night talking to our guard Mohammed until 3am and sharing Tuareg tea. My french is getting a lot of practice! I am also MacGyver. This afternoon, much to my wife's amazement, i fixed a problem with the radiator in the truck we are borrowing with two eggs. Yup - two eggs.

Bennett - I dont think I like this heat. i have asked my Mom and Dad to turn the heat down, but so far no luck. Each time the power goes out I also tell them to hurry up and call the city and usually they get it back on soon. They must have called the city. My biggest problem here is that I am used to so much activity and people back in Canada - play dates, excursions, family etc. So i think I find it a little bit boring here. My Mom and Dad try to set up games and toys where I can play, but I like to bug them a lot. I'm not really good at this whole entertaining myself thingy....but I'll get there. Hopefully I'll meet some friends. I do love the pool we set up on our patio though! Mom calls it a "terrasse" in french, but I keep telling her its just the patio!

Arielle - Do you all know how much sand is here! I love the sand! My hands,legs,bum and face are covered with it by 10:00 am every morning since we spend the morning on the terrasse while its still shady and cooler. I love the sand! I have trucks, shovels, toys and plants to water with the guards. I could happily spend my whole day out there. My adjustment here has been so much better than we ever thought and we are so thankful for that!

Dr Pepper update - I know you all read that my Dr Pepper didnt make the trip. And while that is true, it also creates its own great story! The cans were in a crate with Pauls tools (at the bottom thankfully) and when he opened the crate he saw that all the cans had expanded, popped a hole in the lid and much of its contents escaped from pressure. Many of the cans still had half their contents, which were now very warm and very stale. Paul took the 3 cases (36 exploded cans) and the mushy cardboard boxes and had them sitting outside our gate to get to the garbage. Well, did I mention that we live right across from a local school? It has a big open field and a few trailer like classrooms. ill upload a picture someday for you. Anyhow, the kids saw that these cans had been left outside our gate and they thought Christmas had come early! It didn't take long for every one of those half opened, stale cans to dissapear and Paul and the guard saw children running around the school yard with cans of Dr. Pepper and joy on their faces. I so wish I could have seen that. I think maybe I would have even given them up to them even if they had arrived intact just to see that. Picture a schoolyard of kids running around laughing and yelling carrying cans of Dr Pepper like it was the greatest thing they could imagine. That's so awesome and I wish I had a picture! I will of course take any that you send my way. Thanks for the offer Pastor Kevin ;) What you say at Sylvan even makes it's way here :)

Sorry there isnt more pictures here. i had a few more to upload, but after more than 20 attempts, only the one of Bennett ever got through. The curse of the crazy slow intermittent internet. I'll try again next time!



Anonymous said...

So glad to hear that Arielle is settling in. That's better than great! Look at that!!?? Dr. Pepper came thru' in a real positive way. Thanks again sweetie for the update - good to know you are all doing well. Nothing wrong with a little siesta... remember to take one. Love,hugs and prayers - heather

Anonymous said...

What a fantastic adventure! I'm sorry the internet is so bad and it's hard for you to upload pics - I always enjoy them. You're a talented photographer. And a gifted writer. I feel like I'm there with you. Bonne chance getting settled in and I will definitely follow your adventure on this blog and Facebook. Keep detailed notes if you can. Someday, you should turn this experience into a book.
I can't believe you are there!! I'm sure you'll make a difference.
Cousin Michelle

Jesse Shanks said...

Hey MacGyver! That's pretty impressive that you fixed it with two eggs. But the real test is if you can you make a bomb with a toothpick and fingernail clippers?

We're glad to hear that you are all doing well and getting settled in. I'm sure that you're looking forward to the time when all the set up is finished and you can get started on other things.

Take care, the Shanks.

Jennifer said...

Bonjour McIvers!
It has been great to read your updates. I am so happy to see the pics of the kids and your house. I cannot believe that you live in that kind of heat! I see that right now it's only 28 degrees at about 2:30 am! Incredible!
We miss you alot but are so thankful for all the answered prayer and are glad you got there safe and sound!
Thanks for the last bag of clothes you gave to Callianna! We were blessed and thrilled to see M and T last week.
Very satisfied to know that you can get fraps there and nice ice cream! God sure knows all the little things we "need".
Thinking of you lots and praying too
Thanks for showcasing us on your blog--what an honour!
love C and J, Callianna and Carter