Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Beki

God sent Beki to us and to Niger...
Building her house...
The terrace will be between the two buildings. Mud brick is
actually cooler out here...
About a month ago the team working in Makalondi just increased by 50%. Beki came to join us and take over the work with the young people that we do at the Center and in other ways. Beki has been coming to Niger on trips throughout High School and College and prepared specifically at Moody to come back and work in this country. Although the past year has held some challenges and alot of circituous travel for her, she has finally arrived and is anxious to get started.

We're anxious for her to start, but there have been some slight hold-ups to Beki being able to fully settle in and start. One main one is her house, which is presently under re-modeling. It's mud brick and being revamped with two things in mind: Lots of windows for lots of light (we don't have electricity) and Lots of windows for movement of air. We're putting up a nice screened-in terrace so that on hot nights, she can sleep on the terrace in her hammock.

We're so glad to have Beki with us and I think the young people are even more excited about her arrival!
Interesting facts about Beki:
1. She has traveled over 48 different times through numerous countries this past year to finally arrive in Niger.
2. She hates bugs! Especially cockroaches!
3. She has an awesome Motorcycle she rides when she's here in Niamey.
4. She worked in security at Moody!
5. She can make a pillowcase into a dressy headwrap. That's talent!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Birthday Blessings

A little over a week ago, I celebrated another birthday. But this one was the most
unique one I've had so far. It was the most ALONE one. Gary had gone to Ghana for a conference, and Beki was in Niamey.

I had left Niamey that morning to go home and had only gone about 20 kms out of the city when I realized that I had left my cell phone charging in our apartment. It was too far to turn around and go back, so even as I realized that fact, I also realized that I would not get any "Happy Birthday" calls that day from my husband or other family. As I drove on to Makalondi, I decided to concentrate on all the blessings I've been privileged to have and experience in my life...rather than let myself get disappointed.
When I arrived home, my faithful worker, Abdou asked if he could go into Niamey to see his sister in hospital. "Of course...and while you're in, can you go by and pick up my phone," which he was happy to do. By late afternoon he was back with the phone (and I had missed 10 calls). But at least I had it in hand.
I decided that I would still celebrate and have a party for myself. (This keeps one
cheered up, you see)

I made a mock cheesecake with yogurt and fixed a nice salad and a big bowl of fresh green beans for my main meal. After putting a nice tablecloth down and putting the dishes out, I placed my unopened cards and Gary's gift on the table and then sat down and ate. When it came time for the Birthday desert, I put a candle in my cheesecake and sang "Happy Birthday" to myself! Why not? I figured I was really blessed to be celebrating another year of life! Then I enjoyed opening each card and reading the messages and then last of all, opening the gift that Gary had left for me...a beautiful necklace. (I documented the evening with pictures, as you can see.)










The evening's intertainment included watching a "chick flick" and, best of all, a call from my son, Joe, all the way from the States! All in all, at the end of the day, I'd had a wonderful birthday!
However, I don't think I ever want to have another one like that...far from family and friends. But it was a good experience and I will always treasure birthdays with loved ones quite abit more from now on!