Wow! That is a lot packed into one week and I didn’t even include the flu bug in that list.
The rain continued to descend this week. Thursday was reminiscent to me of many days last year. It was cool, the rain drops were huge and it poured. Attempting to get my precious Kindergarten class to their P.E. class on the other side of campus was definitely a challenge. With flip flops and a long skirt, walking through squishy mud that so wants to gobble up footwear and grab your toes too is only a part of the fun. Grabbing one of the class mats, my Teachers Aid and I gathered our class underneath taking hold of each end. An umbrella in one hand and the mat in the other while trying to keep my skirt from dragging in the mud, we began our trek across the campus, hoping no one would lose a shoe or fall in the mud. Laughing as we went…..because what else can you do….. we made is successfully. (Sorry no picture, my hands were rather full)
Yet on this day as the rains fell, the Niger river continued to climb.
We took pictures of the dike as we drove home from school Thursday, and by Thursday night, the river had breeched the dike and school was canceled for Friday. As we were driving on the other side of the river last night, it was incredible to see how much the river had risen in just 24 hours. Today, we are thankful and praising God as miraculously over night the river went down approx. 15cm. As much as I feel that another flood is not what I want to deal with, the inconvenience in my life is pretty minimal when I look around and allow myself to take in the impact on the community around me. It is heartbreaking when I let those walls down.
This past week we also celebrated Stacy’s birthday…is was a special one but I won’t tell you which one it was :). We joked that Stacy really knows how to celebrate as last year he was thigh high in flood water and this year he was out sandbagging and helping further protect the school campus. We did however get to take him for a special dinner and this morning we all enjoyed a camel ride. The scariest part was definitely getting on the camel, but I am happy to report that we all conquered our fear and no one fell off!!
As we wandered our way through the desert sands and a few small villages, I could hear the children hollering out to us as if the king and queen had come to town.
I was overcome with how incredible all of this is. We are living in Africa, we are blessed beyond measure. God’s handiwork is amazing. Language is amazing. Colour is beautiful. The people are beautiful. My heart felt full. At the same time, my heart felt sad for the immense needs that are all around me. The poverty, the heartache, and the emptiness. The striving and seeking for more. I have so much and I am here because of the vast grace of God.