Thursday's Journal Entry

It’s 12:30am here and the phone just buzzed with new email.  I’ve been disappointed because the internet has not been working all day here.  Not really a surprise.  However, It has been a disappointment from a blogging point of view.

Today was the Compassion visit with Clinton and Assana.  When it came time to meet the kids, I was told Clinton was not there. That made me very sad.  However, in her broken English, the woman told me he was running late and would arrive shortly!  Yay!  God has great timing and is in the details, because that time allowed me some one on one time with Assana.  She is the cutest!  I have a great photo of her.  (That reminds me, photos DO NOT want to load on the internet because the connection is so horrible!  I waited over an hour yesterday to load one picture to the blog.  Such a disappointment to me.  But, God has his plans.)

Anyway, Assana is SUPER shy!  She didn’t want to even touch me when I wanted to hold her hand to walk her to our chairs.  She didn’t want to look at me (kinda cultural too) and I really had to work to get her to talk.  Since she’s a twin, my guess is that she feels more comfortable with her sister around.  I gave her the backpack and we started going through the photo book and talking about our family.  She really liked the picture of herself that I put in there.  We talked about Logan, Ethan, Megan and Mason and what they like to do.  She finally asked what I did for work.  Then Clinton arrived.  He was a complete surprise to me.  For such reservation in his letters, he is a very active, joyful and compassionate 13 year old.  He smiled, talked a bit, asked me what I did for work.  We went through his backpack and I explained the photos and showed him the games and candy.  Assana was there with someone from her village and a Compassion representative, and Clinton was there with a Compassion representative.  We also had a translator there to help us out.  When we came across the UNO game that I packed in his backpack, I opened it to teach him how to play.  You should have seen the looks on their faces when I started shuffling the cards.  They were amazed.  That won me some points with the children and adults alike.  Yeah, I’m a card shark.  It was so fun.  I then had to try and teach the kids and adults how to shuffle the cards.  None of them could quite get the hang of it, so I was respected even more for my mad shuffling skills. 

We finally got to playing the game and it was a big hit.  The adults were getting quite competitive and seemed to be ganging up on me.  They would laugh when someone would throw a draw four on the pile for me.  It was a great time!!!!!  One especially tender moment for me to observe was when Clinton went to bring his chicken from our special meal together, outside to some of the boys who were looking through the windows.  I have a good picture of Clinton too.  Assana took some bracelets from her wrist and gave them to me for Megan.  How touching.  This child that has so very little was willing to part with her very own bracelets.  Reminded me of my own daughter.
After the Compassion visit we headed over to the Artisan Market where we could barter and purchase items.  I found a bead guy that did all the bartering for me.  I would look at an item, ask how much it was and he would say, “5000”.  He’d hesitate a moment and then say, “But you can have it for 4500”.  5000 was a good price to begin with so when he knocked off a couple hundred before I even opened my mouth, it was great.  This place was comfortable and really quite empty.  It was an enjoyable shopping experience and didn’t make me uncomfortable in the least. 

We ate dinner at a French restaurant in Ouagadougou and spent about 2.5 hours there.  Burkinabe are more about the time spent together than a timely meal.

We got home and had a team meeting and devotion time together and before I knew it, it was 11pm and I wasn’t even showered yet.  I tried to go online to no avail so I showered and tried again.  It still didn’t work so I decided to close up shop and head to bed.
Tomorrow we head to Tabitha Center to visit and see how they make their paper beads.  Tabitha center used to be for only widows, but they now include all women and it's located in one of the poorest areas in Ouaga.  It educates them and gives them a skill they can use to support themselves.  It’s very hard for women here to live on their own.  They are very much inferior to men. 

Well, I better get some shut eye if I’m going to be pleasant when the rooster crows tomorrow morning.