Once a week I go on an outing with my language helper, last week was rather eventful.  Our destination was a cafe/restaurant, first we took a Klondo, a car that will drive a specific direction and each person pays about $.20 for a ride, after that we took a bus.  Now on the bus there are usually a lot of people, and it is difficult to walk up to the cashier (a man sitting inside a little cage sort of thing, taking everyone’s payments, and handing out tickets), so there is a system, money is passed from person to person until it gets to the cashier, and then the ticket must be returned to to the person who bought it.  I have ridden on buses many times now, but I have never been the one to pass the money, this day I passed the money AND I successfully told the cashier where they were going, I was laughed at a few times trying to figure out what people were saying, but I could also tell they appreciated me trying, so I went ahead and laughed with them.  Steps, they may be small but each step is getting us somewhere.  When we got to the bus stop, we realized we didn’t go as far as we thought we were going to go, so then a woman offered to take us in her taxi ride to her stop, that was nice!!  So then we walked from there to the coffee shop.  It was sort of a nice place and a little expensive, but it was nice to be out with my language helper, she has really become a friend and I truly enjoy her, she is a gift from God!  We didn’t feel like coffee, so we ordered smoothies, (which are expensive here but such a treat) and french fries which came with like 4 sauces… yum!!  We just sat together and enjoyed each other’s company without talking, but then began talking, all in french of course and yet these times are really fun and beneficial because we talk about things we wouldn’t necessarily talk about in our session, we discuss life and difficulties, and I try to explain what word I’m thinking of which can be complicated and difficult, but generally these conversations are really good bring me along in my relationship with “P” and in my french as well.

After our time at the restaurant, I payed and we walked down the street to the ‘American Food Store’… my first time there!!  There were some things that I definitely had interest in like the hormel chilli, and macaroni and cheese ( not good for you, but so yummy!!), but what I noticed was that most of the stuff in there I wouldn’t normally buy even in the states, because most of it has high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils and monosodium glutamate (MSG)… I know this may be a snotty comment, but thanks America for sending your crap over here, but we don’t need it.  I left the store feeling grateful for this country and for the fresh things we can get, and even though cooking can be a little more complicated and difficult it is fresh, from scratch and pretty delicious, AND not full of junk!  So on I go to figure out how to make my own BBQ sauce, seeing how the 8 different kinds in the American food store all had High Fructose Corn Syrup.

After leaving we waited for a Klondo, but soon realized it wasn’t coming, after which saw a bus we could take.  It was almost empty when we got on, we though we would have to  take another bus after this one, but the man next to us said that this bus also passed near by where we live, so that was a nice surprise.  As we sat there, more and more and more people piled on, the entire bus was literally like a package of sardines and yet somehow more and more people were getting on, pretty soon people were almost sitting on my lap.  The man next to us got off and a woman sat down, next thing I know a young man is asking for money for a ticket for the bus, he’s asking every person, it was sort of odd… when he got to me, he sort of jabbed my arm and put his hand out.  The women next to me began to argue with him in wolof, I didn’t understand a word, but what I did understand was that she was fighting with him on my behalf, and it almost got physical and was LOUD, remember people were sardined on the bus and here they are yelling at each other in wolof…. wow these are experiences I will remember.  We needed to get off at the next stop and I looked at her and thanked her and thanked her for defending me, she gave me a good ‘your welcome nod’.  The other guy who was asking for money also got off and we were a little worried, but it was fine.  On to home we went.  Good experiences, there is always new experiences to be had and new things to learn.


Last Sunday after church there was a meeting with the women in our church, I have been attending these meetings every month, this time I was asked to do a demonstration on how to bake something, so I chose peanut butter chocolate chip cookies.  I shared in french how to make these cookies, they ended up being a hit.  It was a little intimidating but really fun!  I am enjoying getting to know the women in my church and I look forward to continuing.

My cookie demonstration for our women's group at church

My cookie demonstration for our women’s group at church