We left our apartment in Lyon yesterday at 3:50 am in order to walk to the train station, catch the little tram that took us to the Lyon airport, fly to Paris and then fly to Niamey. It was a very smooth and uneventful trip, just the getting up at 3:20 in the morning that tired us!
It was a really clear day flying, and we saw some beautiful landscapes from our plane window. Look at the irrigation circles in the middle of the Sahara dessert !
When we arrived in Niamey, the pilot announced that due to heavy air traffic, we would have to circle around for 10 minutes or so before landing.
The "heavy traffic" as we saw later, was one other, smaller airplane that had just landed. Hehe.
As we were waiting in line at the border police, I saw a friendly face wave to us and hold up a sign said that said "Joel et Melissa" -- it was our trustworthy and efficient #16, always there to help with our bags and welcome us. He has helped my parents each time they have flown in and out, as well as my siblings when they all came that one Christmas. He just kept smiling and smiling and said, "I am so happy that you are so happy to be together!" It was so sweet! #16 and Moussa, the faithful, taxi-man, and Mom and Dad -- quite the welcoming committee! It's worth coming here just to meet them!
In the evening, we had a lovely time catching up, and had a wonderful Christmas together, ending with a phenomenal new story that Lindsay had written as her Christmas gift to Mom and Dad. She really needs to publish these stories and have Melanie illustrate them! :) Deep, meaningful, powerful, and so so good.
This morning we walked to church.
It was super windy, lots of dust everywhere, and Mom and I had to hold down our pagne (wrap around skirt) so that it didn't blow open and show our legs! It was a very cold morning here. 78 degrees during church! This is one of Mom's babies -- he was ready for the cold weather!
Always so much fun stuff to see! He has a LOT of stuff that he is carrying on his head. I think it is kitchen stuff to sell.
On our way home, Mom saw her carrot guy. Never pass up an opportunity to buy fresh veggies on the side of the road!
After church, the guys went to a wedding party for one of the students Dad knows. The bride wasn't there, but that was to be expected. She was partying with her side of the family, and he was partying with his side. The guys enjoyed some rice, meat (goat, they thought), and other specialties that Joel seemed to really enjoy.
While the guys were partying, Mom and I were busy cutting fabric, sewing, and making new little table centerpieces. I love love love love doing projects like this with my Mom, and am treasuring all of these moments. She even treated me to an African coke!
It has been a wonderful way to end 2017, and I am looking forward to our big party tonight and the start of a great new year!
Happy New Year 2018!!!!