So a lot has happened since the last time I wrote. You can guess from the title that I am in Bamako, the capital of Mali. On Saturday morning I was woken up at 7 by Angelika. She had come to my room to tell me that Beckie (our French teacher and my best friend here) needed to go to the hospital so I was to pack my bag and be ready to leave in fifteen minutes. Let the adventure begin. Being half asleep I almost forgot my passport, which ended up being an important item. Beckie was hit by a rolling Land Cruiser two Thursday s ago and is still suffering from headaches and vertigo so they decided she needed to go up north to see the WorldVenture doctor (Jen). Rod dropped Beckie and I off at Hopital Baptiste in Ferke about three hours later. We stayed there in a guesthouse til this morning when we left for Bamako. It was a ten hour drive with mostly the same, after a while, boring scenery but I never thought I would leave Cote d’Ivoire this year so I am definitely not complaining. Another WolrdVenture missionary and Dr. Jen drove us, and Beckie and I are very grateful since we have no idea what we are doing!
It has been fun hanging out with Beckie so much. It is incredible to me how life here is so unpredictable. Bamako is a huge city and the Niger River is huge also! It is crazy how nice the roads are here and there are even traffic lights! If there isn’t a light there is a police man (I haven’t seen one of those since I’ve been here) directing traffic. There are tons of motorcycles but they have their own shoulder on the road separate from the cars. We are staying in an SIL (Wycliffe) guesthouse on the fifth floor. I haven’t been this high since my flight. Bamako has similar city sounds to those I have heard before; cars, people yelling, music, and the call to prayer. I have actually never experience d the call to prayer before arriving in West Africa but it is something that has become a part of each day. It is interesting what becomes common place. Especially things that are normal until you go somewhere else and realize how strange they are. For example, working gas stations. In Cote d’Ivoire there are tons of abandoned gas stations. Another thing is speed limit signs, those don’t really exist in Bouake and they definitely would not be followed if there were.
I am not sure when I will be back in Bouake. Hopefully, tomorrow after Beckie has her CAT scan they will be able to say whether she can come back to Bouake or if she needs further medical help here in Mali or back in the States. Be praying for her, she also only had fifteen minutes to pack up her life in Cote d’Ivoire and she may not get to go back. Be praying also for me, a week from tomorrow I will hopefully be moving up to Korhogo in the Northern part of Cote d’Ivoire to live in a family and get plugged into church ministry up there. I am super excited to get involved in the community and understand the culture more but it will be hard to split up and leave Bouake. The other Journeyers have become my family and I will miss them. Also, it is hard to be gone for the last week together since I am in Mali.
God is amazing. I see His hands working so clearly in my life. He is changing me in a lot of ways. Some of the ways are uncomfortable, but I know that he is molding me into someone he can better use for His glory. My prayer is to be in sync with the Holy Spirit and open to the work and relationships He has for me here.
Heidi Paige <3