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

Monday, October 15, 2012

Seasons

Written by: Sarah
 
My favorite season is fall.  I love the beauty of the changing leaves, the crisp cool air, the harvest festivals, and the abundance of a favorite snack – caramel apples.  In America, I loved taking our kids to fall festivals – hay rides, hay mazes, and pumpkin picking. 
If it weren’t for my calendar telling me it’s October, I would have no idea that it is.  Here in Niger it does not feel like fall – at all!  No leaves changing colors, no fall décor in the local grocery store, no candy corn for sale, no crisp cool air…only 95 degree sun shine filled days.   Just a few weeks ago I hung up a scarecrow sign on our door that says “Happy Harvest” and every time I walk past it I am reminded what time of year it is…but it just feels so strange.     
 
Here in Niger we have three seasons – cold season, hot season, and rainy season.  We like to consider them hot season, ridiculously hot season, and hot and humid season.  Currently rainy season is just finishing up and ‘cold’ season is around the corner (yeah!).   Even though they don’t have the typical 4 seasons we are used, there are still things that change with each new season.  Different foods are available, different weather occurs, different jobs are done, people move depending on the season…things change. 
Thinking about seasons reminded me of the passage in Ecclesiastes chapter 3… “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;…”  and the passage continues with 16 more ‘time to...’ phrases. 
What seasons have you been through recently?  Think about the past few years... maybe you have experienced times of laughing, times of seeking, times of losing, times of healing.  Maybe you’ve had great seasons of growth or great seasons of joy and maybe you’ve had difficulties and struggles.  But the things about seasons are – they change.  If you’re in a difficult season, be faithful and patient and trust the Lord to bring you through it and to strengthen you.  If  you’re in a good season, don’t forget to give God the glory and the thanks.
For me, I am in a season of raising young children.  Our girls are 6, 5, and 3.  They are slowly getting to the age where they can help me and be responsible for some things, but for the most part they are very needy.  They demand a lot of my time and love – especially living out here in the village, because other than Jody and I, they have very little interaction with English speaking adults who can give them that attention.  So for me, this is a season which is difficult and tiring, but also fun and rewarding.  My girls are so sweet and encouraging to me and it’s so much fun watching them learn and grow and mature.  As far as ministry goes, my main ministry is my family.  I am a wife and mother first and a missionary second.  Some days I wish I could do more ministry or be more useful…but I am reminded of the importance of my role and even the fact that the time I spend with my children is in itself a witness and testimony to the community around us.  I also have to remember this is a season…be patient, be faithful, and trust the Lord. 
Throughout the book of Ecclesiastes the author is searching for the purpose of life, and trying to make sense of things.  He has seen good and evil and he has seen that in all life is short and when we die we won’t take anything with us that we’ve worked so hard in this life to acquire.  So what is the point of everything?  Well, I love the end of the book when the author comes to this conclusion about life, “The end of the matter; all has been heard.  Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.  For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil.”  This life is short and temporary, but eternity is forever.  We have to be concerned about our relationship with God and have to be prepared for what comes after this life.  God will judge our sins, the question is will you take that punishment or have you trusted in Christ to take it for you?  So no matter what season of life you find yourself in right now - difficult or easy, heartache or joy -- fear God and keep His commandments.  Honor Him with your life.  Trust Him. “For the LORD is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.” Psalm 100:5

This is how we spend our fall days...swimming!
 

Bringing in the Harvest! This is a donkey cart that was bringing a load of millet into our village. This particular one is broken down on the side of the road...the tire broke down not the donkey if you were wondering. :)

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Reduced to Flannel Graphs

Written by: Jody

Let me start by saying, that if you have an undying love for flannel graphs I apologize up front.  Although flannel graphs were very useful in their day, the increasing technology of our day has made them out of date and unpopular.  However, I have the opportunity to working in a country where technology is limited and even nonexistent in some areas.  A large percentage of adults have never been to school and cannot read or write.    I am discovering that working among illiterate people can be very difficult.  Why is that?  Well let me tell you a story of a man I know (the story is true but the name of this man has been changed).  Let’s call this man Tyson. 

Tyson is a baptized believer living near the village of Boubon where we work.  He is a fairly new convert and has walked with Christ for under a year now.  In this past year Tyson has shown a great excitement for the things of Christ and desires to learn more about the Bible.  He has under gone persecution and has not wavered in his faith.  However, Tyson is unable to read.
 
Several weeks ago I started teaching Tyson the book of Matthew.  I decided the best way to do that was one chapter at a time.  So Tyson and I decided that after I  teach him, he will return to his village and teach people in his village the same chapter.   Now keep in mind Tyson is illiterate, he cannot read or write.  He has no technology to listen to the story, so after listening to it on my cell phone and me re-teaching it to him, he must return and teach the story/stories from memory.  At first glance you would say how hard can that be, illiterate people are great story tellers so they memorize things easily, right?  WRONG!  This is not always the case and I am finding that out very fast. 

I think we forget how many times we heard these stories growing up.  They were drilled into our heads again and again in Sunday School classes so they became second nature to us.  By the time we hit high school, the stories of Christ’s birth, His miracles, His death, burial and resurrection are so crystal clear in our mind we can tell them and recall them without much practice or thought.  However, for Tyson most of these stories are brand new.  They have never heard about the city of Bethlehem or Jerusalem.  Joseph and Mary are perfect strangers to him and most stories he hears from the Bible he is hearing for the first time.  So things tend to move really, really slow.

On one afternoon I sat with Tyson in my compound on market day and listened to Matthew chapter two in full on my phone. You know the story of the wise men following the star to Jerusalem first and then to see Jesus.  After that, because Herod seeks to kill Jesus, they flee to Egypt.   After listening to the story I retold the story for him and then asked him to tell me the story.  He could hardly start it.  So I told him it again and again and again for over two hours I retold the same story over and over emphasizing different parts and quizzing him along the way.  In the end, when he finally left for home, he still had a hard time telling me where Jesus was born.  I was tired and frankly tired of teaching just Matthew chapter 2.  I was convinced that he would not be able to go home and retell that story to anybody, and I was right.  By the time I went to visit him 5 days later in his village, he still barely knew the story and I spent the better part of another hour or so re-teaching the story again, still unconvinced when I left that he was ready to teach the story.  After this first lesson my wife said to me, “Jody you have to think like a teacher, maybe if he saw what you were talking about it would help him understand and learn.”  So she recommended her flannel graphs which a friend from one of our churches gave us to help with ministry in Niger. 

Now I have to admit, that teaching Bible stories from a flannel graph did not appeal to me at all.  In my selfish and sinful pride, I did not go to Seminary to teach from a flannel graph, but I was desperate.  Desperate for Tyson to understand and desperate to teach something other than Matthew chapter 2 again, so I tried giving it a shot.

The next time I met with Tyson I pulled out the flannel graph and proceeded to teach the story again for the third different time.  And I really think it began to help.  Maybe it finally sunk in after 3 to 4 hours of teaching one story  or maybe the visual aids helped him remember, but either way I feel like we made some progress and were able to move on to Matthew chapter 3, which by the grace of God is a short one.

I tell you this story not to make fun of flannel graphs, or to make you think that illiterate people cannot learn for that is not true at all, but for you first to thank God you were given the chance to hear these stories again and again helping you to learn and remember them and that you know how to read so that you can read the Bible and even this blog post.  I also share this story so you will know how to pray for me and Tyson as we continue our long process of exploring the Bible together and for him this would be the first time. 

Remember, Tyson is just one man in the middle of what seems like an insignificant village.  But it is far from that, this is one man who by God’s grace will grow in the grace and knowledge of the Word of God and begin to pass the Word along to others through the same process we are going through.  There are around 3 million Songhai people, a large percentage of whom cannot read or write and a large percentage of them whom have never heard the gospel.  It will be through men like Tyson and the process that we are going through now that many Songhai people believe and are saved.  Pray for him, for us, but pray that the Spirit of God would impact this people through His word for the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.

Friday, September 7, 2012

A Busy Day!

Written by: Sarah

On August 27th we had a busy day!  We celebrated Lauren's 3rd Birthday and the other girls had their first day of school!

We started off the day by getting up, having our breakfast and Bible lesson, and then heading off to school.  No backpacks were needed for the short trek...30 feet across our yard to the school house.  Camryn is in the first grade this year and is excited to finally be getting back to school.  Jordan is starting kindergarten and she's excited to start math this year because she gets to do the same math her big sister did last year.  The teacher, Mrs. Fox, is excited about spending 1 on 1 time with the girls and getting back to teaching... How long will the excitement last?  Well, I'm writing this now that we've just finished our 2nd week and everyone's enjoying it, but the excitement has faded.  There have been some groans and whines and complaints, but what can you do?  Life isn't all fun and games and I guess it's time for the girls to learn this by enduring the rigors of a first grade and kindergarten curriculum :)

Jordan's been funny because she doesn't want mommy to be her teacher, so when I'm in the school house I'm her 'teacher' and not her 'mommy'.   When we're at the lunch table she wants me to ask about her day at school and we talk about her teacher...she likes to pretend I'm not both people.  She also gets a kick out of her math teacher, Mr. Demme, who teaches a lesson on dvd.  We pretend to call him and tell him how Jordan did on her math lesson and he tells her how proud he is of her.

Here are some pics from the first day of school...

Jordan and Camryn ready for their first day...how long will the smiles last???

Teacher, aka, Mommy ready for the 1st day...how long will the smile last??

The school room all ready to go...We are so blessed to have this place for our school house.

Daddy tearing up as he drops the girls off

Daddy wrote this message on the board...it says 'welcome to your first day of school' in Zarma


The girls sitting at their desks


After our first day of school, we had a little birthday bash for Lauren.  She loves the color pink, so we made her pink cupcakes, and a pink polka dotted crown, and she got a pink wheelbarrow from Grandma and Grandpa Pollock and a pink bicycle from mom and dad.  Camryn and Jordan made her cards and gave her some new toys as well.  Since Jordan received a bike for her birthday, Lauren was sure she would as well.  A few days before her birthday we were in Niamey trying to find something she would like and also something that wouldn't break the bank.  Jody and I spoke in code by spelling out bike.  And Lauren caught on and kept repeating 'B-I-K', 'B-I'K'.  She had no idea what she was spelling, but it was cute.  Luckily she fell asleep in the car, so she didn't see me bring the bike to the car!

Lauren and the amazing cupcake tower (created by Daddy)

Lauren and her birthday dinner...chicken, green beans, and potatoes

Finger lickin' good!

Lauren and her new bike!








Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Floods in the Desert!

Well, it's pretty shocking, but many people here in Niger have had to evacuate their homes because of flooding!  In a village across the river from ours, many have lost their homes and have been sleeping in a school here in Boubon.  Many in Boubon have also lost their homes.  Our friends who live 'out on the farm' have lost most of their crops because of flooding.  They've turned off the electricity in Boubon because a power line is in danger of falling due to erosion.
Our supervisors have written a blog post (www.seekingthesonghai.blogspot.com) explaining more about this situation as well as posted pictures and given prayer requests.  Please keep the Songhai people in your prayers!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Jordan's Birthday


Written by: Sarah

Jordan turned 5 on July 21st!  We celebrated by throwing her a party!  Typical, right?  Well, things here are anything but typical!! She wanted to have a jungle themed birthday, so since my mom was coming to visit, we asked her to bring some party supplies!  We invited some friends to come to the mission compound in Niamey and ate food, played games, and opened presents!  We had a great time and Jordan loved having a special day for her.  There’s extra work that comes in planning a party here, but it was worth the effort!


Jordan, the proud owner of her first bicycle!


Jordan finds an elephant in our safari hunt game


Jordan and her new teddy bear Scruffy Teddy

Jordan, her friend Izzy, and some new dolls

Eating cupcakes

Mom, Dad, and Jordan



Just another day in Niger...


Written by: Sarah

Other than “death by chocolate” ice cream one of the things I miss most about America is attending a local church.   When we were in Niamey we went to a church, but since we were still new in the language we hardly understood anything.  And now we live in Boubon –  a village with about 10 mosques, but no church.  And of course, we are here to plant a church and are working towards that, but for now we miss not being able to attend a church service each week.  
So this past week, we took an adventure and went to church.  Yes, I said an adventure.  There’s not much you can do here without the word adventure written all over it!  We woke up, packed some water bottles, snacks, and a change of clothes for the girls.  Our friend also wanted to go with us, so he and our family left the house around 8:30.  We took a 10 minute walk to the river.  



Lauren fell and skinned her elbow – we patched her up with a band-aid and got in a boat and took a 10 minute boat ride across the Niger River to the village of Sorando.  






Thankfully, we did not see any hippos because they have been migrating up the river.  Once in Sorando we navigated the streets, greeting people along the way.  The road we were going to go on was flooded because of recent rains, so we had to walk out of the way to another road.  We walked through a very nice wooded area and discovered a playground set.  But we had to push on because we didn’t know what time church would start.  By this time our friend was carrying Lauren.  We reached a paved road and walked along it the remaining way to the church. 

We finally arrived a little before 9:30.  The doors were open, but no one was there yet, so Jody went to find the pastor.  


He came out and greeted our family and told us church starts at 10:00.  As we waited, the girls had a snack, used the bathroom, found some snails, and decided to build a house for these new pets. 

"Squatty Potty"

Church started at 10, we sang some songs (in both French and Zarma).  There was only one song that we knew and could sing.  The pastor taught in Zarma and we could follow along fairly well.  Other than us, there were about 8 people at the service.  The service ended at 11:30 and pastor asked Jody to close in prayer.  We spoke with a few people afterwards, collected the girl’s snails, and then began our journey back home.






The way home was a bit more leisurely because A) we weren’t rushed for time and B) we were tired.  On the way home we saw ostriches, turtles, and geese.  


We also took the time to play on the playground we passed on the way out.  We discovered a zip line!  This was just about as good as discovering gold!  So we rested and let the girls play a while.  



Once we reached the riverside in Sorando a huge mob of kids had collected behind us.  As we pushed off from shore they were all waving at us.  It’s like we were celebrities or something.  Two girls even jumped in and swam after us.  

The boat ride home took longer because we were going against the current.  Still no hippos.  We reached the other side and continued our walk home (snails still in tow).  We got home at about 1:00.  Whew!  What a morning!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Adjusting to Life in a Village (Part 5)


The Comical Times of Village Life
Written by: Jody

Since I am having trouble thinking of one specific time that was very funny, I have decided to share with you 2 times that I thought were humorous.   A few months ago I dug a small plot for a garden I was wanting to plant.  The ground there is obviously lacking in resources so in order to help the ground I would water the spot each day and work it with a tool.  A volunteer who was here told me I should also put some animal poop in it and that this was great fertilizer.  So the first time I went out I walked around the cow market area and picked up goat and sheep poop with a shovel to fertilize my garden.  The second time however, I did not want to go, so I asked two young boys to go and get it for me.  I was planning on paying them for it.  I handed them the shovel and a bucket and off they went.  A few minutes later I looked over my wall to see how they were doing and to my surprise they walked from pile of poop to pile of poop picking up all they could with their bare hands.  They were just holding the shovel and using their bare hands.  When I handed them the shovel they must have thought I was nuts, “what’s he giving us this for?” But instead of being rude or leaving it behind they just carried it along with them picking up poop with one hand and holding the shovel with the other hand.

This next story took place while we lived in the capital city, but I thought it was funny enough to include here.  I had made an African friend who I talked with on most days.  One day when I showed up to talk with him, I noticed he had a bird and a cage in which to keep the bird.  I asked him why he had a bird and he proceeded to tell me that because he had a white friend that he must learn how to take care of a bird.   I then asked him if I was that white friend and he responded with “Yes”.  Apparently, some of the other missionaries and other Americans in Niger have had or do have a bird.  So he and many others just assume that all Americans like to own birds.  So I told him that I did not own a bird and he responded to me that maybe someday you will.  I then told him, “probably not”, in which he responded “are you sure?”  I answered with a “Yes”. 

When I told Sarah about the situation she said, Awww, that’s cute in a creepy sort of way.  The funny part was that he did not buy the bird in a store or get it from somebody else, he just one morning got to work and caught it with his bare hands.  Seriously, have you ever seen anybody catch a bird before with his bare hands? That’s crazy.  He told me it was in the morning when the bird was tired and could not fly well, but still that’s amazing.  And in order to get the bird back and forth from his house to work each day he would take the bird out of the cage put him in his backpack and drive to work on his motorcycle.   That poor bird spent weeks being ushered back and forth in a backpack. 

The culture is obviously much different here, which gives you many different experiences.  You have to try to enjoy the funny differences that the culture gives you.  

Sunday, June 24, 2012

30 Days of Prayer for the Songhai People


This year the Songhai team is having a month of prayer for the Songhai people.  The Songhai team includes Mark and Parker Philips and Randy and Susan Saleeby as well as our family.  Together we have made a 30 day prayer and we are asking all our prayer supporters to join us in praying for the Songhai people  daily during the month of Ramadan.    

Beginning on July 20, Muslims around the world will take part in Ramadan, the holiday they celebrate by fasting from sun up to sun down for 30 days in order to gain favor with Allah. We are asking that you, our faithful prayer partners, gather your friends & family & commit to pray for the Songhai every day during this 30 day period. We've composed a prayer guide with specific things for you to pray about for each of those 30 days. We are also asking that at the end of Ramadan, on August 18, you & your group will meet together to have a meal using free recipes & resources provided by the IMB (found here & here). During this meal, you will prepare Sub Saharan African dishes & pray as a group for the Songhai on the same day they are breaking their 30 day fast. We are hoping that many groups will join in this project &, on August 18, all of us (including the Songhai team in Niger!) will be meeting to pray in one voice for the Songhai. Will you join us? If you're interested, please contact us at jodyandsarah@yahoo.com & we will gladly send you our prayer guide. (We will not be posting the prayer guide on the blog as we will not be using pseudonyms for this project & do not want this information on the blog.)

This would be a great activity for a small group, Sunday school class and even church.  When and if you meet together to have a meal using the free recipes & resources we could also plan on Skype with your group.  This would give us a great blessing in order to talk and see many of you on skype.  We pray that you will consider the opportunity. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Adjusting to Life in a Village (Part 4)


The Difficulties of Village Life
Written by: Jody

There can be many difficulties living in an African village.  I will try to give you a snap shot of some of them.  Although I do complain about these difficulties, I don’t want you to think that I hate the culture we live in or even the people we minister to.  Keep in mind, the difficulties are many and some days are harder than others, but we love our ministry and the people we minister to.

Some of you have lived without a microwave before, however, we have not until just recently.  Let me say that when most things are cooked from scratch eating left overs makes life much easier, but when you don’t have a microwave to warm them up, life is just harder.   You may think that’s not such a big deal but when you live here it becomes a big deal, faster.  However, we are so thankful that a team from the states brought us a microwave a few months ago.  God is good.

Dust is everywhere.  It seems like dusting is just a big waste of time.  By the next day the whole house needs it again.  This is probably worse in the cold season because of all the wind. 

Thorns everywhere.  A day hardly goes by where I am not walking through the village and having to stop and pull a thorn out of my foot. 

How dirty our girls manage to get everyday.  In the states you could get away with a few baths a week.  But here a shower is necessary most nights for our little ones.  When your yard is literally a sand box and the girl’s think sand angels are so cool, you can understand right?

The language barrier is definitely difficult.  When I walk around I often talk about what I know, but inevitably the conversation will change to something I don’t know with words that I don’t know.  Everybody is participating and even some times laughing, leaving me standing there feeling like a loser and wondering if they’re all laughing at me. 

And finally the heat.  We are currently at the end of hot season and by the grace of God the rainy season is coming soon.  Most days are well over 100 and nights are around 100.   We do have fans which help with air movement and at night we are able to use air conditioners to help us sleep.  But when the electric goes out the hot, stale, non moving air is overwhelming.  Especially when I have to wear pants all the time. 

Again, these are some difficulties out of many I could mention.  But please remember that even though these are frustrating realities for us, we love what God has called us to do and press on in the joy of the Lord.  Although some days can be harder than others. 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Random Pictures and Videos

We wanted to share some random pictures and videos of our family and village with you.  Enjoy!!!

Lauren enjoying the swing that Grandma and Grandpa bought her.


Jordan on the swing!


My wife loves to have animals around our house.  So for the third time we have bought chickens.  Let's hope these ones stay alive.  However, Camryn is still learning how to catch a chicken, check out this video.


Camryn's unique swinging style.


Lauren and the Richard (the black cat).  Richard has just been banished from our house.  So he is now an outdoor cat.  He would just not learn to use a litter box.


This is one of my friends and his two children...I meet with him each Friday.


This is my friend's daughter 





Sarah and one of her friends...


Camryn and one of our chickens...


This is the main Mosque in the middle of our village.


Camryn demonstrating her African skills


Jordan and friends


This is near the market in our village and one of the main roads.


Camryn and her toys.


Lauren is mom's little helper and wants to help Sarah a lot.  Here she is helping make rice.


Our house help and friend.  


Jordan and her swing.


This is what you see when you look over our compound wall.  The sticks in the front of the picture is where the cows are on market day (Wednesday) and the farther part of the picture is the soccer field where they play soccer each night and on market day they sell all kinds of things, mainly goats and sheep.


Lauren and Richard.  She loves to carry this cat around but I am not so sure the cat always likes it.


Thursday, May 31, 2012

Zambia


Written by: Sarah
We’ve finally returned home to Niger after being out of the country for 6 weeks!  We were in Zambia for a time of training with the IMB (International Mission Board) and then we stayed on for a time of vacation.
Our training program is called 40/40 and basically it’s an orientation program to help you learn about African culture and help you begin adjusting to living on this continent.  There are four phases of this program.  The first one takes place in the capital city of Zambia, Lusaka and each day we went out in groups of three (2 missionaries and one African helper) and we had a certain topic we talked with people about.  While in Lusaka we had a few free afternoons and we went to the mall and we took the girls to see a movie (The Lorax).  To us it was like a reverse culture shock because we haven’t been around such a developed area for 9 months.  During the second phase we went out to a more rural part of the country and we lived at ‘bush camp’.  We camped out in tents and had to pump our own water.  During this time we also went out each day and met people in the village and learned from them.  The third phase is called ‘homestay’ and for  3 days we lived on our own in a village with an African family.  We ate with them, worked with them, our kids played with their kids, and we just spent time with them.  We went with them to their farm and harvested peanuts and sweet potatoes and we also went to church with them on Sunday.   

Jordan helping harvest the peanuts

Digging for sweet potatoes

The house we stayed in

Our homestay family

During the fourth phase we went to a ‘resort’ type place and had a chance to relax and enjoy a few last days with our group. 
After 40/40 our family got to enjoy a great time of vacation in Zambia!  We got on a bus and took a 7 hour ride south to the town of Livingstone where Victoria Falls is located.  The falls were beautiful and such an amazing thing to be able to see.  The first day we went Camryn and Jody did a zip line over the gorge, which they loved.  A few days later Jordan and I did it together, and we loved it as well.  We opted out of the bungee jumping.  Actually, Jody was considering it, but he claims he wanted to spend his money more wisely.  I think he was just too scared!  I would have been scared for him if he had gone, so I’m glad he decided against it.  We also hiked around the falls.  As we crossed over one of the bridges it felt like we were in a torrential downpour…this was because there was so much mist coming off of the falls!  After we got across Jordan was crying hysterically and it took her a while to get over that.  Well, we had to cross back over that bridge so this time Jody took Lauren across and Camryn and Jordan hid under my poncho (which we had so we could keep our backpack dry).  This time Jody slipped on the algae covered bridge and fell so hard that he had to go to a clinic and get 4 stitches, but we praise God that Jody didn’t get hurt worse and that Lauren was protected during that fall. 
Another thing that happened to us was that we got charged by baboons!  In this park baboons are everywhere, but we were told to be cautious of them because they can be mean.  During the hike Lauren had to go to the bathroom and since we were far from the bathrooms I just took her diaper off and helped her go on the side of the path.  All of a sudden Jody hears a noise and yells “monkeys!”.  I grab Lauren (who is still diaperless) and we all start running down the path.  One of the baboons grabs the diaper (thinking it was a bag of food) and some others chase us a bit down the path.  I think all of our hearts were racing for a while, but after the fact it was quite a comical experience.  And the poor baboon didn’t get any food…just a diaper.

Camryn and Jody getting ready for the zip line
Soaking wet after we came across the bridge

Jordan in front of Victoria Falls

Baboons!

Jody and the bridge

Beautiful view of the Falls

Besides the falls we went on a game drive and saw warthogs, bush buck, cape buffalo, a stork, zebras, giraffes, and some white rhinos.  We also went on a sunset cruise and saw some hippos and an elephant.  And one day we went to a crocodile park and saw some huge crocs!  Our guide went in the cages with them slapped at the pool and one of the crocodiles came out of the water snapping at the stick.  At the end we thanked him for risking his life for our entertainment!!

See that rhino back there?  We were pretty close!

On the boat

Huge Crocodile!

After four days in Livingstone we went back to Lusaka and spent a few days there. We watched another movie with the girls at the cinema, ate out some, went to a local zoo, and got stocked up on some things that we can’t get in Niger.
Enjoying ice cream in Lusaka

Overall, we had a great vacation, made some great memories, and saw some amazing things.  But after being away for so long we are happy to be home and anxious to get settled back into a routine.  And most of all we’re excited to get back into ministry learning the language and sharing the gospel with the Songhai people.