We've had a busy several months, so we just wanted to share a few pictures that highlight some of the things we have been up to. Enjoy!
Camryn turned 7 on December 20th. We had a fun ocean party for her and her grandparent's Harold and Lisa were able to be here to celebrate with us all!
One thing we did while Jody's parents were here was take a trip out to Park W. This is a game reserve that is in Niger, Burkina Faso, and Benin. We took a boat over to an island to spend the night in some cabins.
While we were on the small island we went on a nature hike only to discover we were not alone...with our guide leading us we began searching for elephants. In this picture Camryn is following elephant footprints.
We did find elephants...amazing and a bit scary since we were on foot and elephants can stampede...but we made it and didn't wander far from our cabins the rest of the time!
Here are a few pictures of our Christmas...
The girls with their beautiful gingerbread house.
Jordan enjoying the best part of a gingerbread house...eating it!
Very happy with their new baby dolls - gifts from a sweet friend
Camryn decided to dress up...tiara and marker lip stick! Nice...
From time to time we try to participate in a common African activity so that we can learn some about the culture, spend time with people, and possibly help out with their work. These are some pictures from a morning outing Camryn and Sarah went on to collect firewood. Every meal has to be cooked over an open fire and it's not a meal that cooks in 10 minutes...so this means lots of firewood is needed. This job is usually given to children within the 7-12 age range. This is a picture of us heading out to look for firewood...everyone is holding up their machete.
This is Camryn making a sand angel on our way out to the bush. The other kids thought it was silly, but they weren't impressed enough to try it themselves!
All the kids use machetes like the one in this picture. What she's doing is actually cutting thorns off of the stick she found. So it's not even as simple as going out and picking up sticks. You have to walk out into the bush, find branches, cut thorns off each one, and pile them up.
Camryn and some of the other kids on our way back.
Look...no hands! Ok, so I didn't go too far balancing like this, but I'm working on it. Also, notice how small mine and Camryn's bundles of firewood are compared to the other kids...
These boys are twins who live in a compound close to ours. I often see them in matching clothes, so I snapped a picture. It's not common to see twins wearing matching clothes. However, twins are very common in our village and an interesting thing about twins is that there are special 'twin names'. So if you have twins there are a certain number of names you pick from. If you have girl/boy twins you might name them Adamu and Hawa (Adam and Eve); if you have boys you would name them Hussein and Hassan, or for two girls Husseina and Hassana. There may be a few other options, but if you have twins the names are pretty much already selected.
Aren't these babies adorable?!?!?
This is a picture of a baptism in Boubon. Praise the Lord!
Well, I hope you've enjoyed these pictures! We are constantly learning and growing in so many ways. Living in a foreign culture definitely has its challenges - language learning, being an outsider, being surrounded by the unfamiliar, etc. But we are truly blessed and grateful that we are here. We've been able to see and experience so much first hand and God has given us peace and joy throughout our time here!