09 May 2009

Potato Peelin' Pals

Safana is one of our most favorite people here in Niger... she's not just a friend to all of us, she's family.

She works in our house, making bread, cooking meals, ironing, cleaning and watching the children, and has worked with our family since we first came to Niger. Our younger kids know her better than they know family back in the States and her daily arrival is a celebration.

The kids love to work with her in the kitchen and a favorite activity is peeling potatoes. We do this once or twice most weeks - although I've actually seen packages of frozen french fries in a few of the more expensive stores, I don't think I could actually make myself buy them. I also know I was complaining about a recent batch that I had to peel, but this 5 kg looks pretty good.

Notice Elsie has a green PLASTIC knife...

...not one with a real blade on it. They don't graduate to those until they are Jonathan's age.

Safana is a gem and we always miss her when we get ready to head home for our home assignment, as she truly has become a part of our family life here in Niger. The first time we returned to the States, our kids were devastated. Not only were they going to miss her, but they were terribly concerned that they wouldn't have anything to eat if Madame Safana wasn't with us. Yep, they forgot that it was Mama that cooked meals every night and ony remembered Safana's lunches.

Although Safana is like family, she is not a true "sister," and while working, we often have times to talk and share. We try to take advantage of those opportunities that the Lord gives us. Please pray for her and her family; she and her children are considering returning to Togo permanently when we leave this summer.

It also cracks me up to listen to conversations between her and the kids. Our olders are always delighted to share things that are happening at school and with their friends. The youngers speak in English while she answers in French... and they somehow manage to understand each other.

This is Elsie's "trying-not-to-smile-because-I-just-don't-want-to" face. Hilarious!

And yes. That is DIRT all over her face... most likely from handling the potatoes. I try not to think about that too much, because when you live in the desert, it doesn't take too much imagination to figure out what they mix with the sand to make soil for the gardens. She absolutely delights in the time she gets to spend with Safana, in the kitchen, hanging up laundry and helping to take out the trash ~ among other things.



  2. Happy Mother's day, we wish you the best of all blessings and we have made a little something for you:


    God bless you,


  3. This is really precious! Gave me memories of my childhood and our house-help (which was always male because my mom thought a woman wouldn't do things HER way!!) I love how you explained that Elsie has a PLASTIC knife. You know how to head those criticisms off at the pass!!

    Nice post and Happy Mothers' Day to you, Richelle!

  4. Hello there!

    My name is Sarah Beth and I’m an MK in Peru, SA. : ) I was browsing for missionary blogs when I came across yours! I have a blog for MKs and I was wondering if you would mind if I put your blog on my sidebar? That way other MKs could see what god is doing in your field through your ministry.

    My blog is: http://theotherside-mks.blogspot.com


    Smiling for Jesus,

    Sarah Beth


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