Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Back in Washington (fun in Cashmere)

Mowing with Daddy

Swimming Lessons!

Grandma looking awesome in a Senegalese outfit we brought back!
Cuties with their new goggles for swim lessons, courtesy of grandma and grandpa gregory
We are BUSY, but in a good way.  Really enjoying our time back in the states and reconnecting with everyone!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Conversations I'll be having soon...

Our oldest child has memories of the United States, but the other two...don't.  I can only imagine some of the conversations we'll be having after 3 years out of the USA when we arrive in a few days....
This my friends, is a picture of a ....snowman.  What?  You didn't guess?  Olivia made it.  Signs we've been in a country with no snow for awhile....
  • Yes honey you can really drink water from that tap AND you can brush your teeth with it!  
  • What?  Mom knows how to drive?  I don't believe it... (I haven't driven since we left 3 years ago)
  • What's a drive thru? 
  • How come we have to wear seatbelts ALL.THE.TIME?
  • Mom look...there's someone from Senegal!  No honey, they're probably not from Senegal.  Mom, yes they are, just wait I'll ask them "D'ou tu viens?" (where are you from)  No honey, they don't speak french or wolof....
  • No, this 7-11 isn't the big grocery store in the city...just you wait for Costco  or WalMart kids!
  • Mom, why are things SO cheap here (a quick trip to buy three things costs about $10,000 cfa in Senegal) which amounts to about $20.
  • THIS children, is a movie theatre.  :)
  • THIS children is a McDonalds (no, I actually wish I could hide these from the kids because it will be harder to bring them back to a place without them afterwards...;)
  • Why do people dress so BORING here, where are the colors!?
  • Where are the taxis?
  • LOOK trees!  (Louis already yells with delight whenever he sees them here, they are pretty rare where we live)
  • Why so many yards have no fences and do have lawns
  • Where are all the people (you literally can't leave your house without running into people every 20 feet)
  • There are so many garbage cans here mom!
  • Mom, where are all the (insert: sheep, cows, goats) on the roads here?
That's only the tip of the iceberg.   A lot of them will be funny, but I realize that the kids are going to be experiencing some serious culture shock when we return.  There are so many things we are looking forward to, but I need to remind myself to TAKE IT SLOW for the kids' sake and so I don't burst out crying in the isles of Target or Wal-Mart when we first arrive (which I hear is a coming occurrence for first time returning overseas workers;). 

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Dakar waterfront in our Senegalese duds

We took advantage of our time with a vehicle (Daniel drove and picked up a family at the airport and in return he was able to borrow their truck for the week!) and went to icecream, the waterfront and took me out to a mothers' day lunch. We really enjoyed the freedom of being able to GO places that a vehicle affords. Yes, taxis work, but are so much more stressful and less convenient for a family with little ones! Plus the drivers can be...a little scary at times. It works, but man, having a car was nice! Here we are on Mother's day after church followed by a lunch out, then a walk on the Dakar waterfront. We had fun:)

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Resurrection rolls and painting eggs!

Since we are still working out our own family traditions around Easter, we were thankful to be able to tag along for some friends' traditions this year. They invited us to make "resurrection rolls", paint eggs and read the story of Jesus' resurrection out of a kids' Bible. It was fun!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Daniel's trip through S. Senegal

 On the way they had some adventures...a flat tire...
 They saw a termite hill...
 The radiator overheated...
 And finally...the New Tribes Guest house (whew!)
 Some of the things they saw included classrooms for literacy...
 Lots of small villages (and lots of grass roofed huts)

 The Gambian River
 Another classroom
 Daniel outside of the one of the "guesthouses" he stayed in
 Mosquito nets ...a normal and necessary part of our life here
Yes, these are the bathrooms. Don't be worryin' none about turning on a fan!
And after you use the might see some goats or sheep?

 Yep, you know what that is:)
 Daniel and Augustin, a new friend (and pastor)

 Daniel rode down with Jim and his daughter, and here they are reading a Bible story in these kids' heart language.
The crew coming back up to Dakar (including one of our Senegalese colleagues and family)

Monday, March 17, 2014

Daniel hard at work

Since Daniel started working at SIL again in January, he's done a number of different maintenance type projects, but his favorite is working on vehicles/motorycycles that need repair. Since he doesn't have automotive training (officially anyway!) he's been doing tons of research as well as just "figuring things out". One of the big hurdles/skills is needing to be creative/patient everyday since there are not the correct tools available (its not a full shop where he is currently working) and getting the parts is often a half-full day process and that's often just ordering the part. Life is certainly different and more challenging in Africa, but we are learning and growing in our new "roles". Here are some pictures of Daniel hard at work:

One of the challenges you might notice is that everything is always covered in a thick layer of dust.  Often the skies are brown from the dust and within a few hours of cleaning something there will be a new layer. 

Daniel will also be taking a break from this role for a week and a half starting this week to do some traveling here in Senegal and look into possible projects for our future here (as well as seeing more of "rural" Senegal).  We are excited for this opportunity!