Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Anita & Cal's Summer in Niger

(Anita is Lutherhaven's Office Manager. She and husband Cal are serving for ten weeks this summer at the Danja Fistula Center in Niger, West Africa, on the edge of the Sahara Desert.)

June 3, 2012

Dear All,
We are here in Danja and are so thankful for safe travels and all of your prayers.

We left Spokane on Tuesday morning, May 29, traveling via Seattle and Paris, arriving in Niamey, Niger around 4:30 PM (Pacific Time plus 8 hours) Wednesday afternoon.

We were greeted at the airport by our driver Marey and David, a local missionary who works as a SIM AIR mechanic. We settled in at the SIM Guesthouse and had dinner with a missionary family in their home around the corner. We were picked up at 7:30 AM on Thursday and flew in a small four-seater airplane to Galmi, Niger in the outback of Africa!

In Galmi we were met by Chad Windsor, a young man building a new hospital there. He showed Cal how they do construction in Africa, how to deal with the language barrier, how to get materials, and everything else he could jam into a few hours. The plan was to spend the night in Galmi, but word came that the generator was down in Danja, so Chad loaded his family and us into his truck and we were off on a road trip like no other.

It was three and a half hours of potholes, big trucks loaded to the over flowing, vehicles with goats on top, motorcycles, bikes, people walking, donkeys, camels, small children, chickens, goats, and honking and passing on either side of the vehicle. Oh also, the temperature was over 100! We made it safe and soun, and were really relieved, thankful and overjoyed, (did I say REALLY THANKFUL,) for the comfort of a newly constructed guest room!

Friday and Saturday we met other people around the Danja compound and took it a little easy to make up for a bit of jet lag. Everyone here is taking good care of us and they are an interesting group from all over the world. Sunday we walked to church with local Christian Hausa people. The sermon was preached in both the Hausa language and French. We had people with us who spoke both, so we could at least follow along in our Bible when they were reading. The music was so beautiful! Last night we went into Maradi to the SIM compound and went to a prayer meeting with missionaries from the area. It was an amazing collection of people.

Today Cal started the building project, a single home for Dr. Etengrey and his family. He had one helper, Lawalu. They can't understand each other's words, but they have nice smiles and they got a lot of work done. Tomorrow Hauwa the Fistula Hospital Administrator is arriving from Liberia. I'm excited to meet her!

Hope all is well with you, we love you all.

Cal and Anita

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