Monday, July 20, 2015

Home Is Where The Heat Is

Cows Grazing in TrashWe’ve spent the past week slowly acclimating back to life back in Mali.  We’ve wandered around our neighborhood greeting people, most of whom were surprised and happy to see us.  It’s been quite encouraging that so many people have remembered us and are treating us like we never left.  Thankfully enough Bambara came back to allow us to properly greet our neighbors.  As we’ve been shopping and exploring, we’ve discovered things are not quite the same in Bamako.  It’s interesting because things seem familiar, however there have been a LOT of changes we need to get used to.  One thing that certainly hasn’t changed is the heat.  We’re in triple digits during the day and lows are in the 80s at night.  This morning when we opened our front gate, we were greeted by a familiar site of cows rummaging through the trash in front of our house.

We’re currently sleeping in Cole’s old bed in his old room until the Perrins depart at the end of the week.  It’s strange to not have him with us, but we’re easing more into life as empty nesters.  Jetlag is still a major struggle.  Unfortunately, there have been several power cuts, and we’ve been waking up in the middle of the night when the power goes out, unable to get back to sleep.  Hopefully our body clocks will catch up in the next few days.

Yesterday, we attended an English Fellowship meeting and had an opportunity to begin reconnecting with the mission community.  There were a few familiar faces, but they were outnumbered by new people that we’ve yet to get to know.

We were also able to get our phones set up.  John was able to get the same phone number he had before.  +223 75-14-51-98.  From the US, you need to dial 011 first.  Feel free to call us, however the phone rates can be rather steep.  The cheapest rates we’ve seen in the States are phone cards that are 50 cents per minute.  Also remember that we’re 8 hours ahead of Pacific Time.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Safe And Sound

We have arrived back in Mali!  It was a long, challenging trip but we’re happy to have survived.  We met with several delays which caused us to be on our first plane for over 20 hours.  Thankfully the delays did not cause us to miss our connection and we landed in Mali on time on Monday afternoon at 1:30pm.  All 8 pieces of luggage made it too.  We were happy to clear customs with very little effort.  Thankfully, the customs agent searched only one piece of luggage which happened to be our most uninteresting box and deemed everything else clear of customs charges.

We were met at the airport and welcomed into our home by Jean-Patrick Perrin.  The Perrins have been living in our home for much of the time we were gone.  We are sharing the house with them until they depart for France in two weeks.  We’re looking forward to some good times of visiting with them before they leave after serving in Mali for 30 years.  They have touched many lives and will be greatly missed.

Friday, July 10, 2015

I’ll Be Back

We’ve had a WONDERFUL furlough in  Southern California for the past four months.  We’ve enjoyed visiting and sharing in several churches, great times with friends and family, and even a couple of visits with Cole before our departure.  Thank you to everyone for your generosity, time, and encouragement.  We have been truly blessed.

One of the last items on our to-do list was to see the new Terminator Genisys film before we leave.  John’s always been a Terminator fan, and he was anxious to see Arnold reprise his role in the latest film.  He really enjoyed it when we saw it on Sunday afternoon.  Now with that out of the way, we’re clear to leave for Mali. 

We leave from LAX on Saturday just before midnight.  We have a brief stop in Dublin, then continue to Addis Ababa in Ethiopia where we change planes for our final flight to Mali.  We arrive in Mali on Monday afternoon.  It’s not the most direct route – in fact, it’s like flying from from Los Angeles to Mexico via New York.  It might not make much sense, but it’s saving us $500 per ticket.  It’s over 30 hours of travel, but hopefully we’ll be able to sleep some of the way.  Thank you for your prayers.  We look forward to greeting you from Mali in a few days.