Let me introduce you to my new world.
We’ll start off with the people. They are, after all, the most important things as I create a life here! Pictured is my Journey Corps team. They make up most of who I know, for now. 🙂 From left to right is
Timothee who is the director of the program and our excellent and very patient French teacher;
Nanougou, our team pastor and the one who works directly with our host families;
Rahel, a journeyer from Germany;
Krista, a second year journeyer from the US and a teammate who encourages us with a complete understanding of what we are going through;
Shane, another journeyer from the US;
And Gozie and Sherri, the team leaders in charge of member care
We are also living with several other people in the dorm who are becoming sweet family here.
And now that I’ve mentioned it, let me introduce you to my home for the next six weeks*. I live in a dorm called Beth Eden in Village Baptiste located just outside the city of Bouake.Village Baptiste is the headquarters for Journey Corps, as well as the campus for a medical school. Here’s a quick peak at my own little area of it. 🙂After I’ve moved in with my host family, every few weeks I will come back here for debriefings and seminars. It’s my home base for the year.
Life at Beth Eden is sweet. Each morning we get up and get ready, then have a chore or two to do. I’m already sweeping like a proper African girl. 🙂 Then we have worship or Biblestudy depending on the day. When we finish we go straight into French lessons. Let me tell you, French is hard! We do that for about an hour and a half. You may not think that is very long, but I can barely keep my brain from exploding by the end of it! 😉 That may explain why after our French lesson, a culture lesson, and lunch, I sleep like a baby during our afternoon rest period. (Here in Cote d’Ivoire during the hottest hours of the day, just about everyone takes a break.) Then we have practical French practice which can include visiting people, going into the city of Bouake, or just conversation practice over an African tea. We finish off the day with the Journey Corps team sharing testimonies, dinner, and free time.
I know, the day does not seem very busy. I would be doing at least twice as much if I were back home in the states- you probably are too. But I’m usually falling asleep as I get ready for bed! It took me a while to recognize and admit this, but I am a baby here. I am having to learn everything, and I mean absolutely everything except maybe walking, from the very beginning here. How to eat (never with your left hand!), how to speak (obviously in French, but knowing what you can say to whom and how you can say it), how to visit people and greet them (there is a whole greeting process), how to do household chores (laundry by hand!), and so many other things! So, since I am learning like a baby, I have been sleeping like a baby and the days seem jam-packed! 🙂
Is anyone ready to come meet my new world in person now?? 🙂 I’d love to have you! Maybe just give me a few months (6-8 would probably be sufficient 😉 ) so that I can be integrated and communicating well enough to host you and show you true Ivoirian life. 🙂
*I know I said I would be at Beth Eden for the next six weeks, but I will actually be with an Ivoirian host family next week! This time will allow each of us Journeyers to understand better what typical Ivoirian life in a family is like. After one week we will return to Beth Eden for five more weeks, allowing us to ask questions and work through our experience before we move permanently into an Ivoirian family.