Saturday, September 14, 2013

Le Phare

We had our first "all by ourselves" family outing here in Dakar. It went really well. On a side note I feel like our pictures show such a tiny bit of our lives because of the fact that taking pictures is super sensitive here. We've heard stories of people getting very upset over photos taken of them and its very difficult to take a picture that accurately depicts life in Senegal (or at least Dakar) without the people! People are everywhere...culturally it is not normal to stay in your house all go out to the road or wherever outside and be with the other people! But since we do not have a lot of real friendships yet with the people here we also don't have a "right" to take pictures and taking pictures of the city without people in them is impossible. Anyway...that's why you just see pictures of the "fun" and somewhat rare things we do for the most part.

Today we had a free day and decided to check out the center vehicle (and it was available which is rarely the case!) and go on a family outing. We stopped by the big grocery store here that is across town to get things that we can't get anywhere else and then drove up to the lighthouse or "le phare". The view was beautiful. The actual grounds were...well they were. I won't say too much about it except that the kids had fun despite the fact that there wasn't much to enjoy on the actual grounds. There were two sheep grazing up there, a cat, and some toddlers who belonged to...someone up there.  So we made the best of it and had fun with our pic-nic.  We tried not to think of the fancy french cheeses and baguettes that we had during our french pic-nics (bread machine bread, leftover hotdogs and cut up veggies had to suffice:).

One of the views...right now is one of the greenest times of year.
The lovely Liv.
Nice smiles from my pretty girl!

The three enjoying their picnic. 
The steps up to the lighthouse (not open to the public).
So of the little Senegalese toddler girls kept trying to hold his hand.
Pretty and cheesey all at the same time!
Boys posing by the other view.
Mommy and her boy (with his mouth full of brea).
There was a nice little breeze every once in awhile too...
Voila...le phare
Notice the sheeps (is that how you say sheep in plural???)
The beaches are pretty...come visit!
Les trois enfants
Les deux se cachent...
Marianna and her hot dog, Louis and Liv with their brownies

We were so thankful to have had a day where we felt like we could go and do something as simple as do some grocery shopping and visit a local monument.  We felt safe and everyone had a good time...a big accomplishment.  With the heat/humidity that was almost as much as we could reasonably "do" in a day, but little by little we'll get used to it and be able to handle more eventually!

Monday, September 9, 2013

1 month in Senegal!

Here is a peek into our last week of our first month in Dakar. This month has flown by. Our last week was the hardest... the first time we were just having a really hard string of days dealing with the frustrations/inconveniences of life here. But we have been encouraged in many ways since then and are still very thankful and content to be here. We are excited to see what God has in store for us in the future.

Our kids received a kitchen to "borrow" indefinitely from a friend who is heading to boarding school.  They are lovin' it!  
Marianna showing Louis and Liv her sweet playground at her school. 
Louis is getting SO big...he was swinging here like a big boy.

Marianna looking lovely on the spinning toy.
Olivia couldn't be shown up by her little here she is swinging too.
That night we had dinner with this great family at their house.  They will be leaving soon to head back home and we are praying about taking over their apartment (and buying their stuff) next summer.  Their is another family who are doing the same and we are considering their apt. as well.  Praying for wisdom!
All in all we had a good week.  We are learning over and over again that being flexible is absolutely essential here...plans are made to be tossed aside and plan B is the new plan A.  Examples:  torrential rain made getting Marianna to school impossible...just getting out off our road would have meant getting totally soaked.  Another night the weather struck again and a storm with lots of thunder, lightening and downpours made taking our orientation babysitters our for dinner impossible.  The other family and ours made a quick plan change (even ordering in was not possible due to the bad roads) and pooled our resources to make pizzas, salad, and chocolate filled crepes.  Completed our night of fun with a cartoon:).  Lots of other adventures like dead and living animals in my kitchen each morning make life hard to plan for...but never boring:).