Thursday, August 22, 2013

This post brought to you from Africa's western shores

The flights: Went smoothly, no delays, no lost luggage, no sleep on either one.  (First time in my life I've ever been up all night!)

The arrival: Got in a bit early, no problem getting my visa, got through customs without too much trouble, met by friends I knew from training in Missouri.  Yay for familiar faces after a trip half-way around the world!

The first day and night: Slept a lot. :)  Hung out with the lady who's house I'm staying at right now.

The first full day (today): Shopping with three other ladies.  Saw (but didn't buy) Sriracha, Pringles, Nutella, M&M's, and popcorn!!!  (I'm really happy about that one!)  Went down to the mission office and met some of the other missionaries.  Came home wiped. out.  In a good way.  I'm looking forward to bed tonight!

The sounds: Honking horns.  Construction work.  Calls to prayer.  A very noisy frog.  A general insect hum.  (The last two are more night-time sounds.)  French (and a couple other languages?), which I don't understand yet.

The smells: A generally smoky scent (they burn their garbage, I'm told).  With undertones that resemble, you guessed it, garbage.

The sights: People.  Lots and lots and lots of people.  They are everywhere - walking all along the road, set up in booths or shops, filling the buses and car rapides.  Decked in colorful clothing, a mixture of Western and traditional.  Balancing things on their heads.  Sitting by the road.

The blessings: No lost luggage.  No jet lag (so far).  No major allergies or stomach issues yet.  Good internet access to be in touch with folks back home.  It hasn't been swelteringly hot yet, just uncomfortably warm.

The requests: Good rest and health.  Grace and strength for adjustments.  Wisdom for decisions.  The ability to learn and pick up things quickly.

...This is the condensed version.  I have LOTS more to tell, and hopefully I'll have pictures soon.  (Especially for the sake of two particularly insistent friends.  You know who you are...)

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

A dreadfully overdue update

Packing, packing, packing.  Prayers would be much appreciated.  My departure date is less a week away...