From August 3-10 we went to the city for a week of vacation to celebrate our anniversary. Overall the week was pleasant and restful, only after following a few days of stress which God used to bless us in the end. We chose a hotel with self catering apartments on the beach so that we would still be able to cook our own meals while enjoying the ocean that we rarely see at home.
The first day that we arrived we found out that we had to supply our own cash power which is basically like phone credit but for electricity. This was a little frustrating, but we went out and bought our cash power while getting groceries with the team and all was well...until we got back to the hotel that is. Upon entering our cash power into the meter we discovered that the meter was broken and since the power can't be transferred from meter to meter our money would either go to waste or the meter had to fixed. We opted for the meter being fixed. So for the first few hours we had no electricity until they decided to wire our meter to another meter to use the left over cash power on that meter until our meter was fixed the next day. We readily agreed to this arrangement which in the end provided us with just enough cash power for the week.
The next day however we woke up and discovered that our computer cord had been fried by the power outages and flipping of breakers the previous day and throughout the night. Unfortunately, while we love our Mac laptop, finding Apple products in Gambia is like finding a needle in a haystack that may or may not even be in the haystack. We did find one man who said he could get a cord in a couple of days, but then we found another man who thought he could fix the cord. So we left the cord and agreed to come back the next day. This took about half the day which also added to our frustration, but it was turned around into a blessing considering we were in the city where we were able to easily check about power cords and return in a day where as if we had been in Brikama the travel would have been even more difficult and stressful. We were also happy to arrive back at the hotel and find that the satellite TV had been fixed and we were able to enjoy some different shows that we have never seen or at least not in about a year along with some of our favorite movies that were playing.
So once again the next day we set out and discovered that our cord could not be fixed, but it could be spliced to another power cord until my parents arrive with a new cord. We also discovered that the man that would "repair" our cord had an Apple cord but it was 24 V instead of 16 V which would have fried our computer. With this knowledge we decided that rather than wait another day for the other place to get an Apple cord which may also be 24 V we would trust these men who actually knew what they were doing to provide a temporary fix. This was a success and the rest of the week went quite smoothly!
The rest of the week we were able to enjoy swimming in the ocean, see a sea turtle be set free that had been caught in a fishing net, just relaxing and of course celebrating our two year anniversary in West Africa! We decided that the hotel we went to wouldn't be our first choice for another vacation, but it served it's purpose and God was faithful!
Here are some pictures from our time in the city:
kitchen/dining room area
View from our balcony
enjoying the ocean
Apparently every Sunday during the off season until Ramadan there is a beach party where thousands of Gambians go to swim, eat, dance and just have a big celebration. We were unaware of this initially when we went swimming on Sunday, but Sunday evening after going out for dinner we decided to walk back to our hotel along the beach and this is part of what we saw. The picture doesn't do it any justice compared with how many people were really there. It was really nice to see this though since Gambians don't get too many opportunities to enjoy the beach.
-My parents will be leaving on Monday the 16th and arriving on the 17th. We would like prayer for safe and easy travels and just a blessed time with them here.
-Our teammate Lori leave on Sunday the 15th to return to the States. Please pray for all of her travels as well
-For rain! We need a lot of rain this month or there will be problems and it is actually very dry!
-We had a wonderful vacation overall
-We have met a new friend who is a Peace Corp worker, but lives in the Methodist Mission here as well
-We will once again be able to enjoy time with family!