Saturday, August 9, 2014

Week One.

After having been here for one week (what?!), I am eager to let you know all that has happened!  Each day presents a series of exciting, new activities.  I am extremely thankful for the people here who have made it all possible.  My roommates, as well as other teachers and staff at Sahel Academy have welcomed me warmly and openly.

There have been many cultural experiences.  One of the first was attending a 3 hour church service, all in French!  I actually slept through my alarm that morning (jet lag?), and didn't wake up until church had already started at 9:00am.  But if you know a little bit about African culture, time is relative.  People were still coming in at 10:30am.  There was a baby dedication during the service, in which all of the married women start at the back of the church and walk up the aisle singing in honor of the family!  I wished that I could understand the sermon and music, but I plan to learn!  After the service they had celebratory bisap (pronounced "bee sap" -it's like a fruit juice)!
Women of the church singing for the baby dedication.

Sunday night there was a service held on Sahel's campus called NEWS (Niamey English Worship Service).  I enjoyed being able to worship in English and understand the sermon!  The man preaching that evening spoke about the power of the Holy Spirit, how we can do nothing apart from Him.  Afterwards, we went out to eat at a restaurant called La Cabane.  It's new here and serves fairly "American" food.  They even have a "Philadelphia Sandwich" (Philly Cheesesteak!).  It was great food and fellowship!

The rest of the week has been a series of meetings and getting my classroom ready for school.  I am so grateful that I have had help looking over curriculum and putting things up on the walls.  The more I prepare, the more eager I am for the first day of school!  And at the same time, I wonder if I'll be ready!  As of now, I will have 14 students to start.  A few of the students' parents work at the school, so I have been able to introduce myself.  Other students are either with other missions and a couple are non-mission.
This is my 2nd grade classroom!  I am still getting it ready.

Picking out bananas!
Another cultural experience (that was a bit overwhelming!) was going to the market.  Grocery shopping is not quite as simple here as it is in the States.  And then we went fabric shopping...there are so many options!  I am getting a skirt made! (Pictures to come.)
Some of the beautiful fabric!

Other events from the week include dinner with the roommates (Rachel cooked chicken for us!), an intensely hot game of Ultimate Frisbee, game night with popcorn and brownies (in which the games ranged from Uno to Scattegories to Empire), a relaxing and laughter-filled game of  volleyball, and me cooking my first perfect batch of rice!

I was pretty excited about the rice!

Last night (Thursday) may have been my first full night of good sleep!  Please pray that I continue to sleep well and have enough energy for the start of school.  Today's activities included meetings with all of the school staff.  Please pray that as we continue to get to know each other, that we would be unified.  I hope to update you soon on what the Lord is teaching me...there is SO MUCH.  Praise God!  Thank you for praying!

1 comment:

  1. I'm so happy and excited for you!!! :) Thanks for keeping us updated, and I pray that Jesus would be your strength as you adjust to a new culture. Love you Hannah!!!