A Trip to Remember!
Happy almost March! Our February has been both a very good and stressful month. We started it out by heading to the old NTM mission center to have meetings with the NTM missionaries here in Guinea. The trip takes about 5 hours of driving time, but that time can vary depending on traffic and bathroom breaks. (We’ll just say that a three year old who really has to go to the bathroom but refuses to go in the only available places makes for an interesting trip.) Going we were out decently early and city traffic was not that bad until we reached a certain intersection where we would normally turn to exit the city. A police officer directing traffic told us to not go that way if we did not want our car to get damaged! Seems there were some demonstrations going on and we needed to follow the line of cars avoiding the trouble. (We later found out people were unhappy because of a lack of electricity.) Conakry is a peninsula and with one main road giving access to the rest of the country any disruption to the normal flow of traffic adds quite a bit of time. Our detour was mostly a one track unpaved lane that wound its way behind houses and through a market, kinda tricky at times when two directions of traffic are trying to get through!
Finally we were back on our way, and made it to the town just a few miles from our destination. We had just noticed the streets were empty and the market was closed as well, when an officer ordered us to enter a gated courtyard where we could see several other travelers had parked. After a few minutes they found a man who rode with us and directed us on back roads to the other side of town and we were able to finish our trip! (We later found out the demonstrations went on for several days. People were upset about a recent murder that had taken place.)
Our week of meeting was a good break from French and city life! The kids had a blast getting to know other English speaking kids, playing on the playground, and exploring some river rapids. Emma found a friend for life with another girl only a few months different in age who also has three brothers! She even had her first sleepover at the end of the week!
Fun at the Rapids
Even though our numbers were small, about 25 with kids, we were all happy to spend some time together!
We went one evening into the village to greet our friends from our time there almost 10 years ago, what fun! We also were invited to spend the night (after the conference) with missionaries who work in the village where Michael’s family served for several years. We only had a short time there, but many people were excited to see him and his wife and kids!
On our return trip we tried to top off at the local gas station (they are few and far between), but we were told they were out of diesel! We thought nothing of it, figuring we would simply fill up at the next station. However, there was no fuel at the next one either — or the next… We were starting to get a little nervous at this point, as our gas gauge does not work and we knew we had traveled quite a bit. Quite literally in the middle of nowhere, we started to hear the chug. Michael was quick to change over to the reserve tanks which we thought had fuel, but (surprise!) they were also empty.
Out of the city!
Trying to make the best of it, we tromped out to make a bathroom break. We then found a tree with shade and got out some towels to sit on. Nancy and the kids started a movie on the iPad while Michael stood by the road, trying to flag down a taxi. After only 30 minutes or so a taxi finally stopped; but instead of taking Michael to the next town (as we hoped he would), he actually had some diesel he was going to sell along the way! Even though he could have easily charged us high prices he charged us cost for what he had with him! Nancy gave several bananas to the 10 or so people crammed into the taxi as a peace offering for making them wait in the hot sun; they seemed very happy! Once on our way again we finally found fuel a couple stations later and were able to fill up our tanks! (At this station we learned there was a country wide shortage!) As we were sitting there, the taxi who had helped us went honking and waving by!
There and Back Again
When we returned home, tired and hot we needed to start unpacking. Nancy started with the food and noticed that our freezer was not very cold. Calling Michael in we realized it was not working at all and that the motor was fried! Thankfully it appeared to have happened only a day or so before we got back, so most things were still frozen.
Michael contacted his parents (in the US) to see if we could go borrow their freezer (still here) while we wait for a part to fix ours. So when they agreed, off he went back upcountry to get it. Knowing there could be a fuel shortage he took extra with him. The trip went well and was a success! We have refrigeration again. Overall we did not lose much food, but we did eat a LOT more meat and cheese than normal for a few days. Salami, cheese and crackers were a big hit, as well as quesadillas!
Since we have returned home the city power has been mostly absent. So that makes getting our freezer cold difficult as we can only have it on during sunlight hours! We also have become the charging hub for the phones and computers of our friends and neighbors during the day. Our host dad also has been doing his office work in our living room!
- Pray that the city power problems will be fixed.
- Pray that the part for our freezer will make its way quickly from the US.
- Pray that we would trust God through all the stresses.
- Pray that we would have profitable language sessions.
- Praise that we never were in any real danger during our trips.
- Praise that God provided answers to our issues.
- Praise that we were able to find a park here in town that we can go to as a family for a few hours break.
- Praise that we had a wonderful time with our fellow missionaries and families.
Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers,
Michael & Nancy Dore
(with Titus, Emma, Micah, and Isaac!)