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Fires, Mobs, and a Phone

It seems like some new drama happens every few weeks. I spent Christmas with friends in Ivory Coast where I visited the beach and tried my absolute, foolish best to drown in the Atlantic Ocean. I swam out too far, but a divine wave came along and pushed me back to shore without harm or incident. On January 17, violent riots…read more →

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas Everyone! Many weeks and happenings have occurred since I last wrote. I try not to let so much time pass between my updates, but sometimes the plans of mice and men just don’t work out. My parents and I planned a one-week vacation to Paris. My parents and two of their friends arrived in Paris a few hours…read more →


Much has happened since my last update. A few weeks ago I was preparing myself to stay up all night helping chaperon a lock-in at a Christian high school for English speaking students. That would be on a Friday night. The following Monday would be the first day of one of my busiest weeks: helping translate for a medical team…read more →

French School and Back Again

Well, I traveled from Paris back to Niamey without incident. I like boring travel, no stories to be told. During my last day in class, as was fitting, I discovered yet another word that I have used incorrectly for many years. This one took me by surprise because I was convinced of its correctness. Apparently, the French word ‘complete’ does…read more →

When in France

I must have done something to anger the travel gods. Travel troubles find me. But, at least they give me something to write about. My flight out of Niamey was supposed to leave around 3 am. It actually left around 7:30 am. So, I spent the night stretched out on metal African airport seats listening to rain and thunder. I…read more →

The Whole World’s a… Soccer Pitch?

Well, the big news around here recently has been the World Cup where everyone roots vehemently for the five African teams. I watched the U.S./Ghana match on my porch and was mildly afraid of bodily harm from my two Nigerien friends who were watching it with me, especially since the US won in the final few minutes of the game….read more →

Tongue Twisters and a Secret Savior

Greetings After a long and anxious wait, the hot season made its unwelcomed arrival last month. Depending on the source, our temperatures peeked between 110° and 115°, and nights cooled off to around 90° or 95°. But, laundry sure dries quickly when the temperature in your house is 120°, so that’s nice. Also, the heat has diminished the standing water…read more →

Happy Easter

I had a friend in college who would say, “Happy Easter egg!” So, happy Easter egg everyone! If you watch any police drama on television, you know that every crime comes with a motive. The mail man is dead. Why is the mail man dead? A common struggle for readers of the Easter story is to find a motive for…read more →

See Time Run

The year 2014 is already almost two months old. I feel like maybe planet earth has slipped into one of those Star Trek subspace anomalies, and time is being accelerated every year until… boom… until, of course, Kirk and company save the day. I’d like to give you an update on my activities here in Niger. I have found myself…read more →

Christmas 2013

Merry Christmas, Temperatures here have dropped to a frigid 60° F. Everyone is dressed up like Eskimos (no, seriously, everyone is dressed up like Eskimos). Dust is glistening in the streets. Donkeys and oxen, long-lost relatives of the beasts that carried Mary and Jesus, smile faintly as they slowly weave between overloaded taxis. Minivans, piled high with chickens, pots, and……read more →