Wow . . . we managed to pack a lot into today!
Before the final presentation had been arranged, we had organized camel rides for first thing Saturday morning. So this morning, we anxiously awaited the traders at the designated time. They arrived . . . on African Time . . . a caravan of 6 camels, and then a second group of 4 more. Dr. Ezekial (here short-term from Nigeria) decided to join us, so the 8 of us mounted (Kevin volunteered me to go first!) and then had a wonderful ride through “town” – that is, parallel to the main road – watching the world go by. We provided the days entertainment for the locals, for sure (and I discovered why more women don’t ride camels around here – it’s very hard to do in a skirt).
Actually, I even got a camel cuddle! While we were waiting for the rest of the team to mount, Kevin’s camel – right behind mine – kept coming closer and closer. Now, you have to remember, my previous experience with camels in Danja were some nasty critters, where we were warned to keep pressure on their neck with our legs so that they couldn’t turn their head around to bite us! And here the camels head was just a couple of inches from my leg – I was quite terrified. And suddenly, his head moved toward me . . . and rubbed against my leg. He was trying to scratch his cheek on my saddle. Once I reassured myself that he really had no intentions of taking a chunk out of my leg, I appreciated the experience much more!
An hour later we were back to do the final presentation. We had a really good showing, and people seemed very excited about the proposals. I loved to see all the interaction and discussion afterwards too.
Lunch, and then we had a bit of down time . . . the guys headed to visit the traders and to walk around the hospital a bit. I went to join an ESL class one of the missionaries has for a few community kids. Unfortunately, they showed up just a couple minutes before I had to leave . . .
A whole bunch of us – most of our team (I think Curtis opted for a nap instead), plus half a dozen of the Galmi missionaries – headed up the hill across from the hospital. The area is actually still hospital land, and the water towers are up there. We saw lots of herds making their way back home along the main road from Nigeria. On the way back, we walked through the village and it kind of felt like we had stepped into a national geographic magazine. We’re living very “western” in the guest house here . . . but just across the street are kids that sleep in mud huts and women that winnow grain by hand . . .
After walking back, Steven and Carol took us for a quick drive past the water reservoir to a nice outlook to watch the sunset.
We arrived home to food already being prepared for us. I joined the girls in the kitchen and the guys had a chance to just relax – they haven’t had much of that this week!
After another delicious supper, a bunch of us gathered to sing . . . Dr. Ezekial has apparently arranged to do a special number at church, and a few of the guys, plus a couple of the short term girls, will be singing along . . .a few of them are still singing in the other room (it sounds beautiful), but I’m ready for bed . . . I uploaded a bunch more pictures (likely the last batch before I get home) . . .facebook seems to have changed something, so I can’t figure out how to link them into my blog right now . . .
Pray for us tomorrow as we travel back from Galmi to Niamey. We’ve got a day or two to relax there before the long flights home . . .