Yankari Game Reserve

31 03 2009

Our 9 day spring break just ended.

We took a 2 day adventure to Bauchi City and Yankari Wildlife Park. We were very thankful to fit in with our neighbors who drove us because the driving is so chaotic. Ruth grew up here and is very comfortable weaving, passing, being passsed, 3 cars to a 2 lane road, using the horn regularly to say ‘here I come’, and being ready for the unpredictable. And to top it off the vehicle had no seatbelts. I pray a lot on these journeys!

Leaving Jos Plateau made for a very hot trip. We thought we were hot here, but as we descended out of Jos it got even hotter and stayed hot throughout the night. We spent the night in Bauchi City in a large guest house (the same one we stayed in last year). It is considered a good place to stay with comfortable rooms, a pool, and they will prepare food for guests. It is so different than U.S. standards… it would not be a place you would choose to go for vacation at home because we are very spoiled!

The next morning we visited Yankari Park and natural warm springs. Baboons greeted us in the parking lot hoping for food. We took a jeep ride along a creek looking for animals. The jeep ride was an adventure in itself, reminding me of the Indiana Jones ride at Disneyland; up and over rocks and ruts, sideways and very bumpy. We saw a lot of cool animals ending with the highlight of a huge herd (at least fifty) of elephants! Our driver took us very close to them which scared Cypress. They are amazing creatures to see in their own environment.

After a picnic lunch and keeping the baboons at bay we descended steep stairs to the beautiful warm springs for three hours of swimming. The beauty and cleanliness of the water is a huge treat. It was crowded with Nigerian college students which made for some interesting interactions. They are fascinated buy ‘baturi’ (white people) and also with our comfort in swimming. Most Nigerians do not know how to swim; they just play in the water. Watching the kids swim underwater and float was entertaining for them. Some wanted pictures with us since we are such a novelty, but our men said ‘no way’.

On our way back into Bauchi we encountered a parade of horses and dressed up riders blocking the road through the city. The traffic backed up behind them and we followed along at snails pace until we could break free. It was interesting at first, but animals here are very thin and not treated as nicely as at home. We have an animal sensitive family and it is hard to process what we see in a culture with very different ideas about animals. Women and children also can be treated less than ideal, but that is not as blatant unless you are working in the villages. That’s all for now….thanks for checking in on us!

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Safari Pix!

31 03 2009




Spring Break!

23 03 2009

Spring Break started on Friday for the students, although there were parent-teacher conferences so it was a work day for the rest of us. Now it’s quiet on campus, with no classes or activities, and all the hostels emptied out for the week. Officially all the teachers have spring break, too, but most of us are using some of the time to “catch up” and get ready for the remaining nine weeks of classes after the break. Classes resume next Tuesday on the 31st, so we have a bit more than a week to enjoy the slower pace, sleep in and maybe even take a nap (or two) during the heat of the afternoon!

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Pix March 16-21

23 03 2009




March 8-15

16 03 2009

This week we added 2 animals to our family. First we took in Foxy, an adult daschund who’s owner returned to Ireland. Missionary dogs seem to get passed around as people move or take a furlough. Foxy is very different from our 80+ pound Dempsey whom the Nicholas’ family took in while we are here. She attached herself to Kimberly and follows her everywhere, from room to room, and even out jogging! She was amazed how far a tiny dog could run (2+ miles!).We are all hoping she learns to follow the rest of the family soon.

Next, Cypress and Isabell are in charge of the one baby rabbit (Ralph) who survived our neighbor rabbit’s recent litter. They are so excited to have the complete responsibility of caring for this very cute rabbit. We hope the excitement continues as he grows into a big rabbit.

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Pix March 8-15

16 03 2009




March 1-7

8 03 2009

It is HOT here in Nigeria (90’s)…and we heard yesterday that the forecast for Stanwood/Camano Island was for the possibility of snow! It is not even cooling down much at night. It may sound wonderful after months of cold and rain, but it can be hard to go to bed hot and wake up hot.  Lately the power has been going out later in the evening (between 10-11pm), and since the moon has been bright enough to light the campus, the generator has not been turned on to save on fuel (it uses about 1/4 drum of diesel each six hours it runs). We are very thankful for the three fans in our house that at least keep the air moving, at least when we have power!

For the next 2 days we are dogsitting a 4 year old daschund who needs a home. Foxy (her already given name) was originally rescued after the family she belonged to lost their home to burning in the November crisis. She has been to several homes and now the missionary who has her is returning to Ireland. After 4 hours we have decided we like her. If she is as sweet as she appears and does well with the kids we will be her new owners. She is already enjoying our couch!

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