Jody and Sarah Fox - this phase of our Journey as IMB missionaries in Niger, West Africa

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

How to buy a watch in Niger (23 easy steps)

1. Realize the only watch you brought with you is broken and you need to know what time it is to keep up with life.

2. Go to a store to buy a watch.

3. See that the cheapest watch is $90 and leave the store with no watch.

4. Learn the French word for ‘watch’, which is montre.

5. Go to the market to buy a watch.

6. Get lost in a maze of people and craziness.

7. Find an 8 year old boy who will hopefully help lead you to someone selling watches.

8. Follow the boy through the market, then leave the market, cross a busy street, walk past a dozen “stores” selling electronics and other random things, but still no watches.

9. Have a man tell the boy who you are following where to go to find watches.

10. Go back across the street and return back towards the market where you were.

11. After more walking, miraculously end up at a man sitting at a table with a pile of about 30 watches on it along with a pile of ‘spare watch parts’.

12. Realize all the watches are men’s watches, but since you have no desire to hunt for more watch ‘stores’, you ask for the smallest one. There are two smallish ones – shimmering gold and silver.

13. Tell the man you like the silver one.

14. Have the man fit it on your wrist (first class service indeed).

15. Ask how much it costs.

16. Have the man tell you it costs 4500 francs (about $9)

17. With much excitement say, “I’ll take it!”

18. Pay the boy some money for helping you.

19. Have your husband make jokes about your watch.

20. In reply say, “Look, it’s a CASIO!, it’s even brand new, look the plastic covering is still on the face.”

21. Have your husband reply, “Yeah, it was new back in 1980.”

22. Realize there will never be an end to jokes about the watch, but nonetheless you had a memorable experience and are grateful to know what time it is.

23. One week later, see a man in your village wearing… the exact same watch!

The Infamous "Casio"

Thursday, December 22, 2011

New Kittens

Just wanted to quickly introduce you to our two pets. When we moved to Africa we talked about getting the girls a kitten when we moved to the village. I (Jody) am not a cat person, but I do love my children and they did want kittens. So when we moved to Boubon a few weeks ago we started looking for a kitten. Since the girls wanted a kitten and not a cat we had to find a young one so it would be a kitten longer. My friend Mounkaila found a kitten for me and called me and he told me he would pick it up for me. I agreed at first, but then called him back and told him I had another kitten I was going to try to get so don’t worry about it. He said Ok and we went and got ourselves a little black kitten. As I was driving away with the black kitten, Mounkaila called me to tell me he had picked up the kitten for me. I was thinking, “I told you not to” which apparently means, “do it anyway.” I thought briefly about having two kittens, but quickly came to my senses and remembered I don’t even like cats. However, when I got to where Mounkaila was working and saw the kitten, he looked pathetic. I took one look at the cat and knew I could not send him back to where Mounkaila got him. He looked sick, starved and tired so without my wives permission (she was not present for any of this) I now had two kittens.

Our girls love them. However, they did pick two strange names for kittens – Richard and Samuel. Why these names? Well I think Jordan named the black one Richard because that’s my middle name (I’m so honored) and I have no idea why Camryn named the white one Samuel. I pushed hard for Snowball or Tiger or something cute but in the end Richard and Samuel it is.

At first I found them cute and still do, but now I have remembered why I am not a cat person. Cats don’t learn, they just don’t care, they’re going to do their own thing no matter what you want. Sounds a bit like our sin nature…hmmm…maybe there is an application here somewhere for a new blog topic…we’ll see.

Lauren and Samuel

Jordan and Richard

Camryn and Samuel