Wow! It has been a long month or has it been two? So much has happened I think we will try to split up this update into at least two over the next week or so. Some of you may be pretty up to date on our adventures, but for those who are not, we’ll give some background.
Our last few weeks in Dakar were very interesting to say the least. One day we lost our water (not overly strange), but when it did not come back on by the next day (or the next!) things started to get complicated! Dakar has roughly the population of Chicago, and it turned out that a water pipe which services about half the city was broken. Long story short, the city was out of water for three weeks. It made for very rough conditions! People were collecting water from anywhere they could, which in some cases was NOT sanitary. We may have even been known to go on the rooftop in our swimsuits and wash our hair in the rain! This also made it very difficult to wash all those sheets and blankets that we were using before they got packed away or all those other “one last cleaning” that you do when you move. However we were very grateful for fellow missionaries who helped in so many ways by volunteering to wash things when they had water! (We just heard that they are still having problems trying to fix that same pipe, and that they have been without water for about a week again. Keep praying for Dakar!)
We also were fighting a fever those last few weeks in Dakar, it seemed just when one person got over it another would get it! We were however, very grateful to have a week at our mission guesthouse as a little mini vacation time, even if that was when Michael had the fever which hindered some of our plans!
We were in a mad dash to get some paperwork done those last weeks as well. We needed to get to the American Embassy for some of that paperwork and we will just say they are not that easy to get ahold of. However we were able to just squeeze in our appointment before we left. We received a phone call the day before our appointment asking us if we could make it that day instead, since we couldn’t really say no, we headed off, Michael with a fever and all. It seemed to take for ever and cost a lot of money and we were grumpy about it but, God was in control the whole time! We learned the next day that the Embassy had closed for the government shutdown! We are so grateful that someone had the foresight to fit in as many people that last day as possible!
Originally we were going to hire a 7 place taxi to take us down to Guinea. There was our whole family, two other missionary guys, the driver and our luggage.
The type of vehicle we were going to take. (Thankfully not the vehicle we took…and not the most loaded we saw, either.)
Thankfully the Lord provided an alternate—we were able to use the Senegal NTM van for the first day. There was plenty of room for all of us and our things. (And it had AC!) We were to leave at 5am, the alarm was set for 4:15, and we finally had relaxed enough to sleep when Nancy looked at her clock and realizes it was 5:09! Just as we were both jumping up in a panic, there was a knock on our door. One of the guys going with us was wondering where we were! Aaaand we went into a frenzy to get out the door. We were on our way by 5:30, but what a rude awakening! The two guys who accompanied us on our trip were such a help with the travel details (they did ALL the driving!) and with getting us settled once we arrived. Overall, the trip the first day went very well, we had good roads by African standards. We did have car sickness though from several people, Nancy included. We started dosing people with car sickness meds after Nancy and Micah threw up. Things got better after that—mostly Nancy and the kids slept. We got to the border with out troubles and spent 3–4 hours at the border; with SEVEN different “offices” to visit, that’s really not too bad
There was quite a line at each border stop!
We spent the night with some NTM missionaries just across the border and swapped vehicles as they had a Land Cruiser we could use for the second part of our journey. We had heard lots of horror stories about this road so we were well dosed up with meds again this day! We were NOT disappointed!
Ok, so we didn’t get any great shots of the road, but this gives you an idea.
Just over 200 miles took 8 1/2 hours!
Somehow Isaac and Micah were able to sleep through most of the trip; but even though Nancy was super drowsy her head kept bobbing and bashing around so much that there was no way she was going to get any sleep! We all kept joking about what good newsletter pictures this road was giving us! What do you think?
Micah and Isaac spent most of Day 2 like this!
We did see some wonderful scenery on our trip though. It was an adventure!
We went through some gorgeous mountain countryside.
We were very grateful we had no car troubles even though we did see several accidents as well as several taxis broken down with the passengers camped out waiting for SOMETHING to happen!
We arrived both days in good time. We had no rain—you can imagine what the roads would have been like with a tropical downpour!
Thank you for all your prayers! We can not tell you enough how thankful we are. We could see God’s hand in so many details and we are grateful that we made it to Guinea on HIS timetable and not ours!!
Stay tuned for another newsletter soon with pics on our new house and what the next year will look like for us!
Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers,
Michael & Nancy Dore
(with Titus, Emma, Micah, and Isaac!)