Fofo! Ay ma Jordan. Ay ya Americ boro no, amma ay go Niamey, Niger soho. Ay ya Mission Baptiste volunter no.
"Hello! My name is Jordan. I am an American, but I am in Niamey, Niger now. I am a Mission Baptiste volunteer."
That is just a tiny tiny piece of what I learned in my language lesson today! My brain is completely exhausted and I still have 4 more days to go!! I really enjoyed the lesson today, but please pray that I will continue to enjoy the lessons and that God would divinely grant me understanding and wisdom to be able to retain all I am taught.
I am so thankful that Stacey is also here as a volunteer learning with me. I would be so completely overwhelmed if I had to do this on my own. So it has been such a blessing to be able to go through orientation with her and to now be learning Zarma together.
One thing I desperately ask of each of you is to just please pray that we will have the energy, patience, and wisdom to endure these language classes and retain what we are taught!!
As for everything else that has been going on... I'll just start from when I landed in Niamey.
My supervisors, Don and Teresa Bolls, picked me up at the airport (Stacey was already with them), and we went straight to get some food to eat. I don't know what the place was, but we sat outside and ate bruchettes, which were like beef shishkabobs, and french fries. I was quite surprised at how yummy the food was, but even more surprised to hear N'sync (or maybe it was Backstreet Boys) playing on the radio with a few other American pop songs.
The next day, Teresa and Don took Stacey and I out to the markets as part of our orientation. And that was quite an experience!! We went to a few different grocery stores and a souvenir shop. Teresa took us behind the souvenir shop where the people are actually making the items that are sold in the shop. You can bargain with the prices outside, but not in the shop. It was really neat, and I'll try to take pictures of it at some point so you can know what I am talking about.
And so I don't bore you with a ridiculously long post I'll try to wrap it up. There is an American Rec Center very close to the guest house where I live, and that place is such a retreat. Almost like being back in America. They have a pool, softball field, tennis court, and an air conditioned building with a TV and some very American food - pizza, hamburgers, etc. According to "American standards," however, you all probably wouldn't think this place is very nice. Compared to what we have in the states, I guess we would probably consider this place "dumpy." But here, to Stacey and I, it's heavenly.
So the plan for the next couple of weeks...
This week Stacey and I are in Niamey just doing our language study and have the afternoons "off" ...aka study study study so we don't disappoint Ibro (our instructor) in the morning. Monday (the 12th) we leave to go to the bush in Oallum for 10 days to work with Teresa and do whatever she asks of us basically. I honestly don't know what all we will be doing. But I'll fill you in after we back from there (we won't have internet for those 10 days). And then, we get back to Niamey on the 22nd (my birthday!) and then have a team meeting on the 23rd to discuss what our assignments will be for the remainder of our time here. So at this point, I don't know what my purpose is yet, but I know the Lord will reveal it to me!!
Specific prayer requests for now:
That the Lord will guide and direct me as to where he wants to use me for my time here.
And that Stacey and I will have the energy, patience, and wisdom to endure our language classes and retain what we are taught.
Thank you for your prayers!!