Sunday, August 30, 2009

A Saturday afternoon hike

Yesterday was the perfect day here in Niamey. Paul even ventured to say it was –weather wise- one of the best days ever here! There was a cool breeze blowing all day long and a light cloud cover in the sky. Usually when it is cloudy it is also very windy and usually brings rain, but this day there was no rain, mild low 30s temperatures and a nice wind to cool us. Woohoo! So we had been planning to go check out a geocache that someone had planted outside Niamey for a while and do a little hiking on the volcanic rock mountains outside town. Mountains for here, but nothing compared to the Rocky Mountains we just left! So we headed out and followed the clues to lead us to the spot the geocache should have been . Sadly it had been hidden within a cleft of rock in this mountain. These deep clefts are formed by water being funnelled down them during rainy season and washing away the mix of mud and rock that makes up their surface. So…since we are at the end of rainy season, we discovered these had all of course been washed out often during rainy season and the cache container was gone. However, we fully enjoyed a few hours at this location! We had snacks and climbed all over the rocks. Bennett proved himself to be very agile and climbed like a little mountain goat. Arielle stuck to the path but enjoyed watching us and yelling at us. Then we all enjoyed some old fashioned rock throwing. Today is cloudy as well and it looks like we might get that rain, but we are thankful for such cool days!!

And one other update- OUR LUGGAGE ARRIVED!!  We don’t know where it went or why, but it arrived here all in one piece and for that we rejoice!! Thank you for praying!!

Enjoy the photos of our day outside Niamey!

The path up

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The green valley below us. Amazing to see so many crops growing- but I guess it is the rainy season! This is usually mostly brown all year.

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Bennett climbing around looking for the geocache.

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The start of another “mountain” across from us. There are three is a row year in the midst of flat plateau as far as the eye can see.

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Let the rock throwing begin!

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Mark, Teresa and Jael

 

This summer I was especially blessed to be able to overlap with my best friend Teresa, who normally lives in China. She was home with her husband and new baby girl. How awesome to be able to hang out, catch up and just be together. Here are a few pictures from the shoot I took for them. You can check out more in my Photography blog by clicking on the link in the right hand column!

 

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Friday, August 28, 2009

Leanne & Colin plus a bun in the oven!

I am going to be an Auntie again soon! I did a whole bunch of pictures with Leanne and Colin while we were home this summer. Their baby is due the middle of September and sadly we won’t see him/her for quite a while. At least we could be a part of this though! Here is a few pictures, and click on the link to my photography blog in the right hand column to see more.  More summer pics to come!

 

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Photo of the day

 

 

Hi there. I have wrapped up a few major work related things that I had to do as soon as I got to Niger (namely the Proposal for the School feeding program project) and now I am just putting away clothes we brought home, working on this months newsletter and reviewing all my language notes for Tamasheq classes. While a larger post and more photos about the summer is still to come (this weekend I hope!) I thought I would give you a little teaser. Here is a shot I took of my sister Michelle. We have a blast setting up shots together :) Click on it to open it in a larger window if you would like a better view!

On another note- Air France *may* have found our missing luggage….so Paul has gone to check it out! I am hoping it is there, not opened and all in one piece!!

 

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Sunday, August 23, 2009

Lost baggage woes

HI there. We are back in Niamey! And not without the drama of travelling,but more on that later. Right now we are frustrated. When we arrived Friday afternoon, none of our checked bags arrived with us. Thankfully we had a house full of clothes and toothbrushes,etc here in Niamey so that was alright. I wondered about the state of my beloved cheddar cheese sitting somewhere in a hot cargo hold lost though. They said the bags would arrive with the next Paris-Niamey Air France flight, which was this afternoon. This flight goes Paris-Niamey-Ouagadougu-Niamey-Paris as it’s route. It picks up new passengers in Ouaga and Niamey on the way back to Paris. Anyhow, 7 of the 8 pieces of luggage arrived this afternoon on the Paris-Niamey connection as promised. Surprisingly at the time, one piece, a large action packer, did not arrive. They said it had left Paris with the other luggage and maybe it got put with the Ouagadougu luggage and thus didn’t get off in Niamey with the rest of it. So we called back tonight when that flight returned to Niamey, only to be told that the bag wasn’t there. *sigh* Now this has to be the worse piece of luggage we could have “lost”. It has the projector in it for our work here (and personal movie enjoyment!) as well as a bunch of tool stuff, bike stuff, the kids malaria medication for 3 years and a bunch of other assorted things that we can’t find here in Niamey to replace, nor can we afford to. SOooo frustrating that they don’t seem to know what happened to it, and no one will give us any answers.  Maybe the next flight they say? Who knows at this point how it got separated so suspiciously. Please pray for us that this bag will arrive. We really can’t replace those things here and who knows what kind of poor insurance claim they will give to us anyways. The good thing about having a very detailed shopping list when we were home is I do have a fairly good list of all the items that we are missing. So yeah, please pray that this bag will find it’s way back to us in Niamey, that would be really great.

And my head is better mostly. I got hit in the head with a falling 30 pound bag from the overhead bins that split my head open and bled (only about 2cm cut) when we landed in Paris. Good times folks. Nothing like International travel to spice up your life!!

Thank you for standing in the gap with us. More later on the time in Canada, our return, etc.

Chantelle

Monday, August 03, 2009

Niger situation

Hello again! I just wanted to communicate to all of you out there about the current situation in Niger. Please continue to think about and lift up our teammates and friends who are currently there in the midst of all this, and pray for peace in the country.

Mr Tandja (the current President) has recently dissolved parliament and the constitutional court to push through his referendum plan. He wants another term in office which is against the constitution and been deemed illegal by everyone else in the country basically. Thus the reason he assumed "emergency powers" and took over by force saying the country was at risk if his plan to get another term of power didn't go through. Gee...haven't we heard all this before played out in numerous countries across Africa?

Please pray for Niger and our team-mates. There has already been escalating demonstrations and unrest and we are unsure what the today will bring, which is the actual day of the illegal referendum. Things could go sour quickly, or the day may pass quietly. We just don't know!

Thank you for partnering with us and caring for Niger.

Here are links to a few news articles to read more: (actually the link feature doesn't seem to want to cooperate but you can copy and paste into your browser)

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/8164629.stm

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/8152020.stm

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/8180964.stm

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Still here!

We are still here. Sadly my hard drive is not. It has been having dirt and heat induced issues for months in Niger and Sunday it gasped it's last dying breaths and passed away peacefully. So at the moment I am computerless while the tech decides whether or not it is worth simply replacing the hard drive or if it is time for a new laptop. Not surprising to come extent since Niger is extremely hard on laptops and I run mine lots. I am just thankful it happened here rather than in 3 weeks in Niger! So stay tuned and we will be back in action soon!

Last week we spent 4 days on holidays with Chantelle's family in BC near Radium Hot Springs. This is actually close to where one of our teammates Lisa lives and we even met people who knew her! It was sheer bliss to be in the mountains surrounded by beauty and family. I took a ton of photos as you can expect, but without my laptop I am limited in my ability to post, so stay tuned for that as well!



Tomorrow morning early we say goodbye to my brother and sister-in-law ( we won't see them again before we leave) and head to Calgary. Paul's parents (who are international workers overseas) fly in Monday afternoon, we have a BBQ with Harvest Hills Alliance church, and then we head to Canmore for 3 more days of vacation with Paul's family. Once again I am sure I will come back loaded with a full CF card of photos :)

The following week is full of appointments for Paul and Arielle. Thank you for continuing to lift us up in prayer. This nice week and a half in the middle is a much needed time with family and refreshing in nature.

Also- Paul and I are gearing up Wednesday for a 100km+ bike ride! Woohoo! I get to look at the Rocky Mountains all the way to Canmore from Calgary!

A visitor every morning at our cabin!