When we are not traveling to our village works, a normal week for us includes a trip to Dakar, the capital of Senegal. We usually go in on Tuesday, stay the night and then come back home on Wednesday. We intentionally do this over the boys long day at school, which is Tuesday, so that we have less non school time away from them. We go in because a portion of our ministry is in Dakar, so there is constantly a lot for us to do there. Our time there is often planned down to the minute with with meetings and other tasks especially if we have been a way for a while on a trip.
Here is what a typical trip to Dakar looks like for us…
- We wake up early and often leave at 7 or earlier.
- The drive in is about 90 minutes, but that all depends on traffic. When we first moved here it would take 2 to 4 hours to get there, however now with the toll road we can do it much faster.
- Once we are in the city, Joel and I usually part ways as when we divide and conquer we can get a lot more done.
- Joel days consist of meetings with leadership from our mission, meeting with different pastors from churches, meeting with host families who are currently hosting our personnel, and paper work and logistics for all the houses we have rented out for those in their first 2 years of ministry.
- My day consists of sitting in on people’s language sessions. Some of these are done at a local church we rent during the week, but others of these are at people’s houses, so I usually bounce from one location to another. I try to get to each persons session once a month, to make sure that they are staying encouraged and on track with what they are doing in their sessions.
- Then we usually meet over dinner with one of the couples or singles who we are mentoring. During these meetings we touch base with how they are doing on a whole and what God is teaching them. We also have we also have different orientations we do with them at different times over their first 2 years.
- We usually spend the night at our Guesthouse in town and are up early the next day.
- The second day is filled with much of the same, with the exception that we usually try to leave by 4pm, otherwise we can spend hours in traffic just to get out of the city.
Some Random Thoughts about Dakar
- Dakar is built on a peninsula and so that means that traffic can be terrible. We sometimes can predict traffic trends, but mostly it is a guessing game.
- I am so thankful for the 6 months we lived in Dakar as we are familiar with all the forms of transportation there and often end up busing our way around as it is much cheaper.
- I am thankful that we no longer live in Dakar as the two days a week we do spend in city is enough of that traffic for me.
- Because we handle finding and furnishing apartments for people when they first arrive, Joel has 5 apartments currently rented in his name.
- Usually we order a bowl meal for lunch which cost $1 a person and consists of rice, fish and a few veggies.
- On the way home we stop at one of the many fruit vendors along the road to bring back whatever is in season, right now it is yummy watermelons.
Although we are not huge fans of Dakar itself, we really do enjoy our time meeting with people there. We love mentoring folks through the process of adjusting and entering into a new life. We see the valued in being able to support people through that difficult time and we often form a close relationships with them as well through that process. As people finish that phase of ministry and transition to the next phase, we are excited and sad as we watch them go.
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