Thursday, November 20, 2008

A visit from Bryan

These last ten days we have been very excited here in Niamey to have Paul's brother Bryan visiting us. He came as part of a short term team from Calgary who encouraged and blessed our socks off with their presence. We loved spending time with them all, but the highlight was obviously Bryan. How awesome to be able to share our home, our city, our experiences, our crazy situations, bad smells, hot weather and deep thoughts all with someone who knows us and loves us. It was like cool water to our souls.

Bryan also was the bearer of good gifts and came loaded with chocolate chips, real cheddar, movies, books, a few things we had left behind, christmas gifts, peanut butter and other assorted wonderful things. Thank you to you others who sent things with him as well. We are so appreciative!

I wont write very much here, as you can look forward to a special blog guest in the next day or two with his stories, impressions and insights. I will post some of the pictures (some of which were taken by Bryan) with a little commentary and let the images speak for themselves.

One of the highlights was spending a day taking a camel ride across the tundra, then a piroque (long canoe) down the river to spot hippos (we saw them!), then wandering through a village before a big lunch.

The landscape from our camel eye view

Camel drivers

Bryan and his trusty (and ornery, difficult and stubborn) camel.

My camel driver

Paul and Bennett on their camel. Rather than being afraid, Bennett loved it and talked everyones ear off the entire time!

Riding in the camel train. Arielle was sitting in front of me, and she wasn't so thrilled with this whole idea.

As a team they had the priveledge of visiting several villages and seeing the bush life up close and personal.

We took Bryan to all our favorite markets, and he learned you can in fact eat what is sold off the ground and still stay healthy, and that there is so much color, life and variety in the markets. Here is Paul and him wandering around the building supplies market (our answer to Home Depot)

Guess who was the star of the show and centre of attention? One hint - the white guy.

Bennett hitching a ride.

We went to the sand dunes and got there too late for sunset pictures, but not too late to try sand-dune-crazy-carpeting! This sort of looks to me like he is going down the side of a planet!

While he was here, he also got to spend time with our workers, visit their homes, pray for people and see how the locals live.

Bennett carrying around his goat again

And one final shot of our expanded family for 10 days. We are so thankful for the time we had and can't wait to share our lives here again! Thanks so much Bryan. Sorry you had to go back home to snow and ice!


Carrie said...

Chantelle, Wow! I love getting your newsletters and is inspiring! You guys are doing great work. I think and pray for you often.

Carrie Wiwcharuk
Joseph's Mom

Anonymous said...

Fabulous! heather

toomanywhatifs said...

How wonderful! Is this the first time you took a camel ride, and did you do it just for fun, or is that the best way to get around to where you were going? Did you know these people in the village you visited? Had you been there before? So many questions!