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8th grade banquet

There’s a post on the Parkers’ blog that has some pictures of the 8th grade banquet @ Hillcrest School. You can see Janelle in the dress that we delivered to her. They all look fantastic!

And there is also a  post with pictures from the 8th grade discipleship party, and Janelle is also in the group picture for that event, too.

Click on the pictures for larger images!

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Driving in Jos

By now if you talked w/ anyone on our mission trip, you’ve heard descrptions of the  “Nigerian driving experience,” but until you’ve been there, it’s a bit hard to imagine! I found this video on the site of one of the missionaries we met @ SLC in Miango. It looks like it’s been sped up for effect, but it *does* give you a very good impression of what the streets in Jos are like! Also, it appears to me that the video starts in the compound where Jim, Salome and Janelle live, and the very beginning and the end of the video are of the road we walked along to get to their house from Crescent House, where we stayed while we were in Jos. Enjoy!

Yes, it’s been awhile since there’s been a new post…after all, the Camano Chapel Nigeria Mission Team arrived back home on January 18, 2008. I don’t know all the other team members, but I continue to (re)visit the pictures and words here, and often find myself scanning through the links for the missionaries, seeing if they’ve posted recent news and/or pix. And the visits to the blog continue to increase, and I *know* they’re NOT all just because of me! I continue to search for additional tidbits of information about missionary life in Nigeria. Be sure to check out the new(er) section of Nigeria Mission links (right column on the page) for organizations we visited and/or learned  about while we were there…they are (still) occasionally updated as I find more during my “Nigeria surfing!” And there is also the “More Missionaries” section with links to information about other missionaries we met who were not part of the SLC.

Several team members have been in direct contact w/ our new Nigeria missionary friends, both by phone and by email, and we share those among our group by email and when we see each other. We worry about them, we pray for them, and miss them!

We left a part of ourselves in Nigeria, but we also brought part of Nigeria home with us in our hearts and minds.

Dear friends,
The team has set a date of Sunday, Febraury 10th, at 6:30 PM to
share their stories and pictures of their recent trip to Nigeria, Africa
with their friends, their family, and their church. This will be a
DESSERT POTLUCK, so we invite you to bring your favorite dessert to
share with everyone. We will be in the Wayland Sanctuary at Camano
Chapel
starting at 6:30 PM. The team and I hope that you can attend so
that we can properly thank you for standing with us with your prayers.

See you Februday 10th!

Breakfast in AmsterdamWe arrived in Amsterdam around 6:30am after an all-night flight from Abuja. Thankfully, the Shipol Airport has gone “smokeless” since 01/01/08, so the airport air quality is *much* better! We had a longer layover here on our way home, so Paul, who has spent time in Amsterdam, offered to be our “tour guide” to visit the Anne Frank House.
Narrow Amsterdam street

A 20-minute train ride took us into central Amsterdam, where we ventured out onto the streets in search of someplace to find breakfast this early in the chilly (45 degree…brrrr!!) morning darkness. Since Amsterdam is quite a bit farther north that even Camano Island, daylight doesn’t really begin until almost 8:45am. It finally go light after breakfast as we walked the Anne Frank House so we could enjoy the streets, buildings and canals along the way. . Bikes were parked and ridden everywhere along the narrow streets…more people are out traveling on bikes than in cars.Amsterdam cargo bike

Touring Anne Frank House was an amazing and thoughtful experience, with diary excerpts, other printed accounts, pictures and even video clips of the Occupation in Amsterdam canalHolland. Photography isn’t allowed inside the house, so there are just outside pictures of our short visit in Amsterdam.

The chance to get out of the airport into the fresh (cold!) air before having to sit on the plane again for 10 more hours was appreciated by everyone, even if it was chilly (ok…frigid!)  after the 80+ degree weather we’ve been experiencing the past 3 weeks. After the train ride back to the airport, the coffee drinkers in our group delightedly swarmed to the Starbucks we spotted earlier on our way out of the airport. It’s the only one in Holland, at least so far, and it was a welcome taste of home!

One more l-o-n-g plane ride to go before we’re home to our families and all the hugs waiting for us there…woohoo!!!

Amsterdam 7 Amstedam 5 Amsterdam 4

Our l-o-n-g journey home began around 10am today when we departed CHH in Jos. Our luggage was loaded into one van, along w/ Jim, Angela, and the driver, and we loaded up into the larger SIM van, along w/ Salome and Janelle. Even though we did have a larger van for this drive, we still had more people than seats, so Micheal spent the trip sitting on his backpack, or stretched out on the floor between the seats! The luggage van headed for Abuja, and we’ll catch up with them at the airport for our departure.

As we headed out of Jos, we noticed men working along the road, digging a ditch w/ hand tools (pickaxes and shovels). They were laying bright yellow and blue tubing 3-4″ in diameter in the ditch off of large spools. While we couldn’t figure out what the tubing was for, we continued to pass by men hand-digging the ditch for 25+ miles outside of Jos.

Salome’s FatherAlong the way to Abuja we sidetracked toward Kaduna to visit Salome’s father and brother. As we neared the village, we passed by the school Salome attended growing up, and another school where she later taught. Salome’s father is now in his 90s, and is still doing relatively well. He was a farmer, and has a wide variety of trees planted around the houses that he enjoys. He doesn’t speak any English but he listens to several radio programs in Hausa every day from the BBC, VOA and other broadcasters. We were amused that he asked us about the latest politics in the US. Banana tree @ Salome’s father’s houseSince we haven’t seen or heard much news from the US in 3 weeks, he knew more about the latest news than we did!

The Crouch Extended FamilyTraditionally, a husband would pay a dowry to his wife’s family when they are married, but in Jim’s case, his father-in-law asked him to build a house for them to stay in when they come to visit. Salome’sWhen they built the new house, they also built Salome’s father a new house, with both of them attached together. Salome’s brother and his family live in another house right there, too. We relaxed and ate lunch in the comfortable coolness of Jim & Salome’s house. Salome’s sister-in-law had made some warm rice to go with our usual PBJ, egg-salad, and tuna sandwiches (see other posts about these sandwiches!).Salome & Jim’s House @ Kaduna

After lunch we walked down the dusty road to visit the rest of the village, including more of Salome’s and Angela’s relatives. We were warmly welcomed by everyone, whether or not we understood each other. And once the chocolate and stickers appeared, we were surrounded by all the children!

Salome’s villageKids @ Salome’s villageAfter leaving Salome’s village, we still had a long, hot drive ahead of us to Abuja. We stopped for dinner at the Sheraton Hotel, since we didn’t really know of any other restaurants in Abuja. It was strange to pull into the parking lot at a big hotel chain, and while it was very similar to any other Sheraton, it still had a “Nigerian” atmosphere, including service speed in “Nigeria time!” As dusk fell, we drove the last stretch to the airport, amidst the densest smoke/smog/dust we had experienced during our trip. And while we might have felt crowded in our larg(er) Toyota van, we laughed when we saw one of the smaller Toyota vans pass with what looked like 20 people crammed into it!

After hugs all around (several times!), we headed into the airport checkin area w/ our luggage. We had a couple of extra suitcases on the way home, but only only one extra box this time. And while there were quite a few lines to stand in…security, bag pre-weigh-in, check-in, immigration, gate security and boarding…they all went smoothly (even if slowly).  Our flight home makes a stop in Kano as we fly north out of Nigeria, and as a last little “life in Nigeria” episode, we sat in the airplane for 45 minutes after boarding to wait  for extra fuel to be located and added after someone figured out that there was not enough fuel available in Kano to fill up the tanks before we continued on our way to Amsterdam.

I don’t think any of us are looking forward to the long plane rides home, but we are happy that we will be seeing our families soon!

Pix from Nigeria (14)

Here are some pix from Gidan Bege & Meshiah.

Rich, Carrie & Kathleen @ Gidan Bege Sarah, Buck & Paul @ Gidan Bege Sewing Room @ Gidan Bege  English & Hausa verses @ Gidan BegeWomen sewing @ Gidan Bege Kitchen @ Gidan Bege a BIG pot of rice @ Gidan Bege Outside the prosthetic shop @ Gidan Bege Making prosthetics @ Gidan Bege Workbench in the prosthetic shop @ Gidan Bege Young girl @ Meshiah Happy kids @ Meshiah Music @ Meshiah (1) Music @ Meshiah (2) Music @ Meshiah (3)