Sunday, March 29, 2009

A Brief Synopsis

Our first weeks in country have been a bit of a whirlwind of activity. When we first arrived in Abalak, visitors in tow, living arrangements were not quite what we'd expected. The first few days we were sleeping in one house, cooking in another, and going back and forth between them all trying to get set up. Luckily, Brooke and Larry seemed to take it all in stride. That first week we visited Tagalalt, Mini-Mini, and Toumbi's family at Abilbal. All too quickly it was time to take Brooke and Larry back down to Niamey. We stayed down there for a week to visit the clinic where I was anticipating delivering, stock up on food supplies, and to hang out at the rec center where we were blessed to meet cool new friends. We then went back up to Abalak to settle in to our new place and start learning Tamasheq. In addition to scrubbing the floors, I learned to make yogurt (so easy in Niger) and sewed together some cotton produce bags in an effort to not contribute to the black plastic bag problem in Niger. I think we had about a week before we had more visitors. We hosted a group of five in Abalak for a week that were there to do an evalution of the relief and development project. I don't think I've ever, in my whole life, spent as much time in the kitchen as I did that week. (By the way, Abalak Alumni, I've expanded my repetoire beyond chili, peanut sauce, and East Indian Beefy Curry fact I haven't made peanut sauce once yet!) They left last Saturday. Sunday afternoon I went to Alkassoum and Tawadou's and read with them some stories in Tamasheq (I still haven't gotten over the fact that they have a little girl!!!). The next three days after that I wasn't feeling so hot, so Wednesday we came here to Galmi...but more on that later.

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