Beautiful Things

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Korhogo To Stay

Our first few days in Korhogo have been filled with discovering this city and plenty of walking! It's the beginning of the dry season here, so it's pretty dusty and hot! Our good friend, Nema, took us around and introduced the six of us to the local pastors, merchants, and ministries. We saw our churches and will be introduced to the congregation this sunday. We're pretty much on our own to get to know Korhogo on our own until Monday, when our orientation with our families begin and then next Wednesday afternoon, we'll head on home with them!

My first impression of life in Korhogo: I think I'm going to love it!

and here's why:

1. The market is INTENSE! It's a maze of wooden stalls filled with fresh vegetables, piles of spices, dried fish, goat hooves, towers of eggs, potatoes, and pagnes (patterned fabric) in ever color. Stairs lead up and down in every direction to more stalls with more treasures of shoes or tea kettles. You could find just about anything in this place. All of it is covered by giant, steeped, tin roofs with "Maggi" advertisements all over it (Maggi is a seasoning cube used for everything here). I look forward to exploring in there often.

2. The barrage. It's a dam built around a small lake in the Koko Quartier. As you walk across this long cement walkway, there is the lake on one side, and on the other is plots and plots of the brightest green gardens I have yet to see! In this dust place the bright green leaves feel like Eden.

3. It's day 3 here and people are remembering us. Not that this is a difficult task when there are suddening 6 white kids walking around. But the coolest thing is walking from IBB (Institute Biblique Bethel, our temporary home this week) to the market and the ladies calling out to greet us from across the street. Or, stopping to buy fresh bread and being asked if we're staying or just passing through- "Oui, nous restons pour plusiers jours!".

4. I have seen my church pastors, from the Delafosse church, everyday this week. It's always in a random place, like in the middle of the market, or riding their motos past on a side road. They always call out to us and are so friendly, I'm really looking forward to the Delafosse church being homebase. Speaking of the church... The church building is right across the road from the mosque. I think this is great! When we're constantly hearing the call to prayer, it reminds me to pray for my new neighbors.

5. CJ, Alyssa, and I just walked around all morning and explored. This is something I could do forever! I loved just walking around the city and finding little markets tucked away and hidden inside the city. When we got tired we stopped at a cafe and had an omelette et pain- which is eggs in a bagette. It was DELICIOUS! The perfect thing to get us back on our feet.

So, I'm finally where I'll be "to stay" the next 9 months! What a thought! I'm so thankful for time- time to know people, time to learn, time to really communicate. There's enough time to be known. It's hard work being a stranger, but what a wonderful thing to be known. It's a difficult thing, to leave all the people that know you and venture into this "great unknown". But, in a way, we share it all- all the joys and struggles, all the unknowns.

It all starts on Sunday. We'll be introduced to our congregations and we'll meet our families. Then bright and early Monday morning, we'll begin 3 days of orientation with our pastors and families to talk about why we're here.

CJ and I, sitting on the Barrage with Mount Korhogo behind us

The kids of IBB- they were entertaining me while I tried to post this!


Anonymous said...

korhogo sounds promising! great potential for being part of that community. do wish i could explore the markets with you.
from y.m.

Naomi said...

Mom, I was walking around yesterday thinking, "mom would love this". Come visit your daughter!!!!

Booma Karen said...

Yes, y.m., get on over there.

Anonymous said...

I would personally love to meet you, Naomi's mom. I loved the picture you painted for her. You both are such wonderful artists and so creative for the little I know you and could tell. Angelika from Bouaké

Anonymous said...

I am a native from Korhogo now living in the US for the past 15 years. I loved your writing about my beloved city of birth. I miss Korhogo and the times of my youth spent there sooooooooooo much. I came accross your site just by google-ing

I hope you learned some french while ther.