It has now been eight weeks since I arrived here in Cote d’Ivoire, and may I just ask- what has happened with the time?! I feel as though I just got here, but also that I have been here for ages. It is quite the conundrum, one I think we all run into at times. I am thinking though, that as I share with you about these last eight weeks, we can figure out what happened with the time together. 🙂
I’ll start of by saying that these eight weeks can best be described as a flying roller coaster. I have experienced a multitude of new things, gained a wealth of knowledge about so many different topics, felt a spectrum of emotions, and things continue to keep coming and adding to my already full time here.
During my week in a trial host family, now five weeks ago, I was better able to understand what daily Ivorian life is like in a family. My family was so kind, and the six kids were such fun to be with. They were all so patient with me as I learned simple things like how to cook a sauce or even the correct way to make eggs here. But there were struggles as well. I was only about five words away from having zero French at that point, so communication was almost nonexistent. It was definitely an encouragement to work even harder at my French studies when I returned to the dorm after that week. 🙂
Two weeks later, during our fifth week here, the team and I traveled 4-5 hours north to Ferke, Korhogo, and Torogo. There we visited many missionaries, and were able to hear their stories and the passion they have for serving here. We also visited a lot of the ministries up North including Jigiya which is serving the unreached Jula people group, the Nyarafolo Bible Translation Center, the Baptist hospital and dispensary, and several others. That week was so full of encouragement as we got to see some of what the Lord is doing here in Cote d’Ivoire.
All the weeks in between and after were filled with French classes; cultural seminars; visits to the market, the tailor, and many other people; and this Friday night we had a fun evening camping out around a fire on the top of a rock quarry.
My body has experienced quite a bit of Cote d’Ivoire at this point, and my brain is saturated in all I have been learning. Each of the things I have done and learned have felt like great accomplishments because even simple things become major when placed in a brand new context and done in a new language. 🙂
That fact may be what has influenced my ever changing emotions. (Even this is new to me ;)) I have felt great joy, awestruck wonder, and deep satisfaction, as well as frustration and worry.
I feel as though I have experienced the world in the past eight weeks, not just Cote d’Ivoire! That is what has happened with my time, I suppose. It has gone into my wildly diverse and full experiences. 🙂
And much more is still to come! Come Wednesday, November 16th, I will be moving up North to Korhogo to begin life with my host family. I can’t wait to share with you the new and different experiences I will be having there!