I can hardly believe that Ethan has turned 9. It was a big year for him. The 3 months in states that Ethan had at English speaking schools really helped build up his confidence in studying. Since there he has done much better at school here and is actually more at the top of his class. He speaks with the best accent of our family and is often correcting my pronunciation- although I still know more vocabulary than him. His best subject in school is Math and he dreads spelling the most. Each year of school since we came to Senegal his best friend has moved away at the end of the school year and this year was no different. He started learning Wolof this summer. He can now do very basic exchanges in Wolof, but is not able to do much more than that. This year they also started soccer which is another important survival skill here. He is not a natural player, but he tries hard and I am hoping with a little training he will be more comfortable joining in with others as they play. His favorite thing to do is play games. Settles of Catan, Stone Age, Risk, Monopoly, Seven Wonders, Dominion…you name it, he will play it and probably beat you as he is an amazing strategist. He is also avid book listener and can often be found disappearing into another world with is earphones in. It is hopeless to get his attention, so don’t even try. Every night before bed time he is full of questions after our Bible reading time, why is the ocean blue, how did God do this, and so on and so on. The most common words out of his mouth are, “I have a question… ” The things he misses most from America are friends and family, camping, fun kids play places, cereal, Cheetos, and rice crispy treats.
One of my favorite moments this year was when we went to a beach cabin for a few days. I had told the boys we would do a campfire as they have really wanted to do one. We got there with everything for the fire, but the wood. We showed up and saw the pile of wood that had been left out from the last family who had been there. Ethan saw it and said “Look mom God provided wood for our fire” Amen Ethan – Yes God certainly did!
This year he is looking forward to the visitors who are coming. His cousins, Jared and Isaac, and my parents are coming. He is excited to see them and to do some fun things together with them. I am looking forward to continue to see God work in his life. I am very proud of this sensitive, intelligent, and willing boy!