It’s Sunday afternoon, and Shannon and I are taking a bit of time to relax during the hotter part of the day. We’ve come to appreciate the “siest” time (between 12:30 and 3:00), where people break from work to nap or relax (or shower to stay cool for us missionaries!). A couple of Sundays ago, some kids from the church were hanging out near our house after church, waiting for one of the short term missionaries who does a little kids program in the afternoon. I pulled out a soccer ball we had brought along to kick around with them, and they loved it. This Sunday, there are about 10 kids in front of our house playing with the ball!
There are so many differences with life here, and I thought I’d share a few related to transportation. Very few of the people out here in the village of Mahadaga have a car. If they are pretty well off, they’ll have a moto (motorbike), and they buy gas for it in old glass alcohol bottles at the side of the road. If they’re not rich enough for a moto, they’ll buy a bike. LOTS of people ride around on bikes here! Or, if they need to transport goods like produce from their fields, their preferred transport method will likely be donkey cart. Or, if they can’t afford any of those, walking is just fine too. Right from the time people are kids, they learn to carry things on their heads, and I can’t believe what they manage to balance as they walk along! Actually, that seems to be another trend. Why take three trips, when you can pile things up sky-high and just take one? This works on foot, on bikes, on motos, on cars, vans, buses, and trucks. On the highway, we passed trucks so highly loaded down they were leaning precariously. We even snapped the picture below, of a pretty highly loaded van, with a person sleeping on top! (apparently he was tied in).
Last weekend there was an orientation for all the new short term missionaries (anyone here for less than 1 year) in Burkina Faso. There were 8 of us there, and it was nice to connect with some other people who have come to serve here and to find out what areas they will be ministering in. There were people from France, Switzerland, the US, and Canada, who will be doing things as diverse as carpentry, running kids programs, nursing, and computer work! It’s amazing how God uses each of us, no matter who we are or what talent He’s given us, to contribute to His kingdom.
After returning from the orientation, I’ve started more fully into the work of laying out the database that will help replace the paper forms and manual calculations. There are so many parts to it, it’s a little overwhelming! Please pray that I’d have wisdom, and be able to understand all the requirements they have.
Shannon has been exposed to some new experiences with her work in the last little bit as well. Recently, she rode on the back of a moto out to a village to give vaccinations. They basically waited under a mango tree for parents to come with their babies for the shots! She has also been asked to help out administratively at the handicapped centre and possibly even at a local Christian high school that just started last year and needs help with typing up curriculums. Pray for guidance for how she uses her time as well, and that we would both be very useful.
We’re so thankful for all of you who are praying for us!