We were thrilled that our return trip to Niamey went well. Thanks for all the prayers!
This time the trip took just over 11 hours, far better than the 13 hours it took to get to Maradi. Currently, there is a section of the road, if you can call it that, which is indescribably bad. Huge trucks, buses, vans and cars – mostly all overloaded – have just worn this part of the main “highway” so that the top speed you can go is maybe 10 mph in many places (but some attempt a higher speed). The good news is that we saw road survey crews out and the beginning evidence of some road construction. The rainy season will need to end before serious work can begin. The other good news is that Ibrahim is a really good driver (we kept saying “tres bon chauffeur”) and he keeps the vehicle Remember Niger purchased a few years ago in tip-top shape. I can’t imagine, given the road conditions, that the the vehicle will last many more years. We have decided to start praying for a new vehicle. (smiley face)
Some of our last day in Maradi was spent with the EERN education committee. Remember Niger’s mission and vision parallels theirs – expanding quality educational opportunities in Niger. So, it is important that we understand their priorities and frame our own efforts around their needs. We’ve said before how these volunteer trips center around building relationships and this is why. Most of our time is spent with Ibrahim and Isti who are both on the Education Committee. Ibrahim is the “Permanent Secretary” for the denomination as a whole, which I gather means he keeps the wheels turning on just about everything. They are both really great – they both laugh a lot and Isti’s laugh is really contagious. I usually have no idea what he is saying (in French) but I still end up laughing! At the same time, they are always thinking of ways EERN and Remember
Niger can improve what we are doing. Conversations often turn to new ideas or new concerns. I’m really impressed by the skills they each bring to their respective positions.
The photo is of the EERN Education Committee. From left to right they are: Rachel
(Treasurer), Daouda, Yacoubou, Ibrahim (President) and Isti (Secretary)
–Kara and Cathy