Saturday, April 10, 2010

Visitors from home !

Recently for two weeks we had the pleasure of having visitors from home! As part of an initiative to have people visit the “fields” of the Alliance after a large bi-annual conference in Turkey, our team received 12 people here in Niger. 6 of those people were tied to us and our church in Calgary! Our Pastor Shawn, his wife Gini and his two small children AND his parents (a three generation group!) came to spend two weeks with us here in Niger. (check out the giraffe in the background!)

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I have asked Shawn to write a guest blog here on his perceptions and experiences of Niger, so hopefully in the next few weeks you will see that here. But for now I thought I would post a few pictures of their trip and some of the highlights of what we did with them!

Shopping for African necklaces with Gini

We took them several times to our outdoor markets where we buy lots of our food and household items. They were amazed that you could buy veggies, carpets, backpacks,  shoes, underwear, tea, plastic basins, cloth and everything in between all in one aisle!

*picture not taken by me. I’d love to give credit..but I don’t remember who did take it.

We put Shawn to work building tippi-taps with Paul

Gini came to hut class several times. (You can see her in the back here)

Everyone came to visit the first day of our Grain Aid distribution.

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Gini looking so stylish!

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There were always kids around us. They love seeing other little children, so our “white” kids always drew attention from other children. But it was never in a negative way, they just wanted to play!

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We hosted a Tuareg music and cultural evening for all our Canadian visitors. It was at the home of a National just out of town. There was a rice and sauce meal, millet/milk cold porridge drink and dates to eat. There was a traditional drum played and a good group of local Tuareg guitarists. I think all of our visitors had a great time, getting up and dancing, trying the drums, playing with the kids and sharing culture. Many of our Canadian visitors spoke French so they were able to interact directly with our National friends, which was a wonderful way to connect and talk and learn.

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The kids kept asking to have their pictures taken and then would look at it with glee on the display screen after.

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Shawn got a turban given to him by this man Saidi. Shawn gave him his hat in return.

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We went to the giraffe reserve. It never ceases to amaze me there. And our visitors always find it equally amazing! It was a very dusty day so it was hard to get crisp pictures, but I managed to be standing by ready when a group of them took off running and got a whole series of them running across the savannah.

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Here is Kiam checking out his first ever giraffe, sitting calmly 30 feet in front of him. “Dad – I know it’s just a giraffe but he’s scary!”
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We also went to the sand dunes, one of our favourite places to take visitors.

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I had fun taking some photos of Shawn and Gini. For some reason I really loved this one :) Gini might kill me, but I wanted to show it anyhow. I didn’t even edit it in Photoshop! I like to call it “Divine Conception” !

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As I talked about in my previous post about the great care package they brought, their visit was a huge encouragement to us. We are isolated here, and it means so much to have family or friends come to see us and share in what we are doing. Thank you so much to the entire Vickar family for coming to Niger!

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3 comments :

Esther Garvi said...

Hi Chantelle! Sorry to hear about your tooth! I wouldn't dare going to the dentist in Niger either... :-)
Love the Niamey market! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment; looking forward to seeing more of the West of Niger through yours. I'm a "center Niger" person, lol!
Warm greetings from Sweden (though hoping to make it back soon),
Esther

Anonymous said...

oooh! just love it all - and all of you. heather

Pamela said...

Seeing the photos of the Vickars in Niger makes me happy...it sounds like it was an amazing adventure for all of you. I love the photos you've taken Chantelle....especially the one of Eden with scarf over her hair.

Wishing you many blessings and a renewed sense of "home" in both countries! Miss you all very much (I hope that someday, Ray and I will make it there to see you!)

hugs,
Pam