Sunday, April 26, 2009

Dox boys, sand and water: Day 1

Sorry for the long delay in posts.  We have been busy this last week hosting two guys from our home church, Doxology.   We spent the first day letting them adjust to the time difference (7 hours ahead of Oregon) and getting them up to speed on the project as well as some of the cultural info we could pass on.  Evan and Brad showed up and jumped right into the middle of things. 
The project they came to help with was putting in some water pipes in a village where Dox is involved in a water project.  
Scotty with the elders of the community where we were putting in the water pipe.  
When we arrived we were pleasantly surprized that the village had already dug the trench for the water pipe.  Had they not done this there is no way we would have been able to put both pipes in time.
A local shepard moving his cattle.  While working on the pipe we regularly had to wait for the cattle to finish drinking so we could turn off the water to cut into the existing water main to add a "T" for the new pipes.
Some of the local kids.  They are super sweet and cute and got a big kick out of us tubobs.  Check the mohawk on the little guy in the
Another view of the elders and the trench.  They were really excited about taking ownership of the work needing to be done on the project, which was good and bad...does the expression "too many chiefs..." mean anything to you?
These cuties are shepards in training.  They were in charge of about 50 goats.  Someday they will move up to the ranks to handle 100+ cows.  
Leveling the trench so the water will flow properly.  Many of the kids and adults came out to help us with the work.
In the heat of the day we all ducked out of the sun.  Here's mohawk baby again with his Mama, and the skinniest horse I have EVER seen.  Oh, and yeah, we are sitting on a termite hill, why not?
One of the men of the village offered us his house to sit out of the sun in.  It was a huge honor to be invited into their private space.  His sons kept us company, the were very entertaining.
Heat does funny things to the human brain.  Fiona gave us these chiller things that you are supposed to wear around you neck to help keep you cooler.  The guys thought it would be more effective if they dressed up like Rambo, why not?
As the finishing touches were put on the pipe for the first day a crowd began to form around the new shiny spicket.
So rewarding to watch the villagers as they turned on the spicket.  The guys had been working so hard that they wanted to play in the water a little.  Shortly after this picture was taken the water jugs started showing up.  It was wonderful to see their joy.
A perfect end to the first day in Keur Soce.  After this we all headed back to our rooms to rest up to start the whole process over again the next day.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Silly boys

Djibi got a cell phone last week and he is VERY excited about it... excited he made his cell phone its own chair.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Another gente.

Crystal and Herma had the priveledge to go to another gente or baby baptism.  The baby is traditinally one week old.  Mostly women attend these celebrations.  Everyone brings gifts, like a baby shower and the recipient takes careful record of who gave what because it is expected that when the giver of the gift has their own gente they are supposed to give a more expensive gift than they received.
Nia (in red) and Sedu (in gold) both work for Herma.  Sedu is the one that just had the baby and is the person of honor.  They think lighter skin is beautiful, so for special occasions they will lighten their skin with chemicals and/or make up.
Herma with one of the ladies.  They LOVE having their picture taken.
Some of the ladies.  I love all the colors and the outfits, they are so eleborate.  This is also a time when the ladies put on their finest makeup and jewelry.  Appearance is VERY important to the Senegalese.
Crys and Djibi after the gente.  Djibi is wearing a traditional outfit also.  He is very proud of it and it looks good on him too.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


We found the Easter egg!!! Thanks Fiona.  We spend a nice Easter evening with some of the boys from the shop.  We had some good games, food and sharing time.  It was simple, but genuine, so it was a real treat.

The boys here are super into "gangsta".  Kemo loves the signs: "peace", "West Side", and even an "I love you".
Seriously, they love the gangsta, check the stance.
Scotty and Herma in a serious game of "cat and mice", pretty sure Herma made it up.
I don't even know what this sign means, but the boys LOVE IT!
The crew: some are from the shop and some are their friends, believers and non, all gathered together to celebrate Easter.  They didn't really get our American twist on Easter with the eggs, but they liked it none the less.

Happy Easter everyone.

Monday, April 13, 2009

just life

Here are just some random pictures from Malika and Dakar:
Just hanging out on the balcony, cooking.  People don't have mortgages here, so they build as they have money and live in it as it is.  I am sure a building inspector in the States would just freak out if we tried to do this, eh?
Even though Dakar is only 25 km from Herma's it still is an ALL day trip.  Seriously, the drive is over an hour each was just because of traffic.  We sometimes stop and get lunch in Dakar, this is Chepu Yup (Rice and meat), I like the one Nia makes better, but this will do for now.  Jenn, I need to get you this recipe too, eh?
The new guy, Thoma.  He is super sweet and cute.  He has been here for only a few weeks and it looks as if he will stay.  He is from Mauritania (sp?), to the north of Senegal, so he speaks just about as much Wolof as we do, cool! (They speak Serer in Mauritania).
Just getting some laundry done.  No dryers here, because let's face it, that is just a waste of electricy and literally the clothes dry here in minutes.  
The infamous: car rapides.  This was one of our favorite forms of transportation because you really got in the middle of the experience.  So much color and smell and noise around you when you ride in these.  Note: don't ride these at night or with luggage, just too much.
Speaking of too much, driving to Dakar is too much.  It physically hurts my head.  Hey, remember when Scotty rode all the way back from Dakar in the trunk of Fiona's car, and we all forgot about him until he started talking...from the trunk.  Pretty sure we broke some rules there.

Monday, April 06, 2009

more of Pete & Jenn, and Fiona & Alison

Pete and Scotty working on making djembes in the shop.One of my favorite things we did while Pete and Jenn were here was spending time on our roof watching the sunsets and talking.
Another great sunset in paradise.
Senegaleses traffic, yes that is a man walking between the cars trying to sell stuff.
Pete working on his drum skills.
Because sunglasses on dogs are ALWAYS funny.
Distributing Jake's 600+ pairs of sandals in Keur Soce.
Boubou retelling the story of how Jake's students donated shoes for the Keur Soce kids.
It's kind of like a graduation ceremony, you know, shake hands and get your pair of shoes?
Getting dinner at the hotel after driving WAY TOO LONG.
Pete on Main St., Keur Soce.
A guy carrying stuff on his head, probably grass to fix his roof.
Keur Soce at sunset.
Pete bringing the message in Djourbel.
After church we had lunch with Jgon, here he is showing us pictures of his first son, only a few months old.

Senegalese eat REALLY late lunches, this one was at 3:30p, so while we all would have loved to eat the entire plate ourselves, we had to share.  
Back at home, Scotty putting the finishing touches on Pete's new djembe.
Djbib teaching Pete some new beats.  Djibi also makes drums and he gave Scotty 2 thumbs up on the drum he made for Pete (the green one).
Naturally, we had to play in Herma's pool.  We did that game where you stand on someone's shoulders and they launch you, this is Scotty launching Crystal...
...and Jenn launching Pete.
Last meal for Pete and Jenn in Senegal was, of course, at a German's home: our friend Barbara.  
We counted and with 8 people sitting at the table we had 5 nationalities present, pretty cool, eh? (Dutch, British, German, Canadian, American, but I am pretty sure Herma counts as 2 because, she's really Senegalese).

Walking home from Barbara's.  Somehow Herma manages to make even walking in the sand look good, can't say the same for the rest of us.

K, it's time for you to go home now.  Poor Pete and Jenn had to be at the airport at 1a to catch their 3a flight back to the states, least they look good on this end.

Miss you guys, can't wait to see you in Sept.