I, Jim McCabe, had a smooth 6AM departure on Thursday morning from Tucson AZ. Flew directly to Atlanta in only 3.5 hours, or a local landing time of 12:30. Ken was at my gate waiting. We walked towards our departure terminal and stopped for lunch along the way. Our departure from Atlanta to Paris was as good as can be expected for a 8 hour flight. We did not get the upgraded seats, so one gets cozy with ones neighbor. 8 hours means I could watch 4 full length movies, if I couldn’t sleep. I could only sleep about 2 hours, so I watched 3 movies, ate a dinner and ate a breakfast. We arrive in Paris about 6:30 AM local time. We wandered towards our departures point looking for places to sleep along the way. Now, we are feeling really sleepy. Only found some short backed foam chairs and made due, head hanging off the backside, sharing my snoring with everyone else’s.
Boarding was at 10:30AM, and we got on board for our 5.5 hour flight to Niamey, Niger, waited there for an hour and then the final 1 hour flight to Ogumugodogu(sp?), Burkina Faso. It was an easy entry, no awkward questions or delays. I didn’t take checked baggage. The Bible Translation Director met us at the airport. He took us to our lodgings for the week and then took us out to dinner. Between sleep deprivation and dehydration I got one of my really bad headaches and just when we got to our dinner location I had to puke. I drank two bottles of Coke for dinner but no food. I did feel much better afterwards, funny how that works. We got back to the SIL Center where we have a nice small two bedroom apartment. It is warm and humid here, its still rainy season. We went to bed about 9PM.
We got going about 7:00AM the next day, hoping the local SIL kitchen was in operation on the weekends, it was not. Oh well, we needed a walk anyway. We we headed off south to a main street and then west. Within a half mile we cam to a nice expat type hotel and went inside to see how breakfast looked. It looked and was very expensive. $14 a plate. (Yes, that is expensive to me, the cheep missionary) So we didn’t eat there, but we did exchange US dollars for the local currency, CFA’s. Its about 500 cfa for one dollar. We continued our morning journey west and found a nice clean looking local hotel with a restaurant. They only wanted 2500cfa / $5 for breakfast, and a nice breakfast it was. 12 inches of French bread, jam, butter, tea, and an omelet. They had wonderful service and when it started to rain they invited us into the main indoor restaurant. It only rained about 30 minutes. We walked back to our lodging and worked on our presentations. Then mid afternoon hunger struck once again and we wandered off again in search of food. We found another nice local restaurant connected to a local hotel with an outdoor covered dining area. I got brochettes and fries, Ken got steak with mushroom sauce and fries. With drinks it came to 11,000cfa / $22 for both of us. A good filling meal with excellent service.
The director called us as we were walking home and he wanted to take us to the Wycliffe Center where we would be holding the class. We arrived and looked at 6 of the 21 motorcycles that had already arrived, he said the balance would be delivered on Monday. Nice Chinese motorcycles that speak French. You push the starter button and it says something about starting, push the turn indicators and it tells you which direction you are turning. When you turn it off it tells you its turning off. The owners manual came in English, which is too bad for them, but such is life. We have a nice enclosed shop for doing the maintenance training and nice comfortable classroom for the classes and the National Police, next door are going to let us use their marching grounds for the riding practice. I think most people can’t imagine what we will tech them about riding. But I have 12 – 15 different practice sessions, probably 10 hour worth of time, that might surprise them.
He took us home and home where Ken and I talked till 9:30 PM, its good to get to know the man. Got up at 6 this morning and walked over to the same breakfast place we used on Saturday. Bread, jam, omelet and tea / coffee, 5000cfa /$10 to the two of us. Got back to the center just in time to be picked up for church. The director took us to his home church that started at 8AM. Probably 1500 people there, with maybe 100 in different singing and instrument groups. Maybe 5 large groups and they were all very good. The first hour plus was dedicated to music, then they have the dance to the front for making donations. They know how to worship with dance, song and music. I’m thinking its probably what David looked like as he danced before the Lord. Then there was a half dozen speakers giving different information, events and announcements before the main preacher got up. It all wrapped up about 10:30. Outside there was maybe 600 or 700 motorcycles parked. Our host said that in the city every household has at least 1 motorcycle and many have cars as well. BF is much better off economically that what we see in Chad.
He took us to his home to meet his family, a wonderful wife and two daughters, 15 & 11. The older daughter is learning English and we had a nice conversation in English. They asked if what they see on TV about all the violence in America is really true. Yes, its true but in such a small percentage of people, nothing like what it seems on TV. We tried to explain how media inflates things to get better ratings and earn more money. Not sure if we got it across. They gave us a nice snack of peanuts, sesame seed candy, Coke and Fanta. Then he drove us home. Someone will pick us up at 7:30 tomorrow morning and take us to the Wycliffe Center for an 8AM prayer time, class starts at 8:30AM
I’ll continue reporting more tomorrow.
Thanks for praying:
That the balance of the motorcycles arrive.
That all the students arrive
That we can communicate well, all that is truly important.
That no one else gets sick. (I Jim, have a lot of pain in my lower intestine right now) hummm…