Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Galmi Life

Just some thoughts on this day:

I am sitting in my office, which is separate from the hospital and I can hear children screaming.

I open my desk drawer and something runs away - it was either a coakroach or a lizard.

Spiders can be really large here.

The power seems to be going off a lot more frequently and for much longer periods of time.

It was 30 degrees this morning and we thought it was a wonderfully cool day. I never thought I would find 30 degrees to be cool unfortunately the coolness does not last long. Nice way to start the day though as we meet under our African gazebo early in the morning for prayer.

This is the day that the Lord hath made, let us be glad and rejoice in it.

Blessings to everyone

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


The previous post was about the tricycle, this is about the donation of a telescope. What a great gift to bring to Galmi and we finally had the opportunity to go to "Picnic Heights" and share this with some of the other missionaries. Picnic Heights is just an elevated area a few kilometers outside of Galmi where there is a lot of large flat rocks. Missionaries like to go there to hike, look for fossils and to have a picnic. It is also a great place to see the sky. We had a great evening and people really enjoyed the telescope.


We received a major blessing when someone donated to us a tricycle to bring to Niger. This has been invaluable to Grace as she goes around this very large compound everyday in the heat. It is amazing the things she is able to haul with this bike, as you can see is some of the pictures below.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Superstore - Galmi Style

We are fortunate that two days a week our local Superstore opens to offer a "huge" variety of products to its captive clientel. You would not believe how much time you could spend browsing the hallway and shelves.

This is the front door.

On this particular day this was the cashier. No cash register, they just mark the purchases in a book and charge your account later.

And finally, I hope you are ready for it, here is the interior of our massive Superstore. These pictures pretty much cover it.

You may notice cans that say NIDO. This is whole milk powder, which apparently is unavailable in North America. That's one for Africa because it really is a good product.

Ambassador visit update

In a previous post we noted how the U.S. Ambassador, Blisa Williams, came to visit Galmi. here are a few pictures from that visit.

In case you are wondering the building we met in is the CC or guesthouse. This central area is where we gather for our Sunday evening church service. There is a hallway both east and west with guest rooms. As you can see there is a rather large library on both the east and west walls.

The Office

When I look out my office window I see a view of the construction of the new surgical ward. I also see women going to the CREN, which is our nutrition centre. This is the place that doctors send women with malnourished children. They will stay there and get training on better feeding and nutrition for their children. Typically the children are there until they are strong enough to survive outside. The women cannot afford this service so the Hospital relies on donations to keep the CREN operating. (Hint, hint) If you want to donate contact SIM and tell them you want to contribute to the Galmi Nutition/Rehab Centre - Project 097252.

It is amazing to see these women with babies strapped to their backs, carrying heavy loads on their heads and other things like pots and pans in their hands.

Of course I also hear a lot of children crying from hunger, but in the midst of all of that you would be amazed at their smiles. It is the one thing that I marvel at with these people. Life can be so hard for them yet they can hit you with just awesome smiles, especially the children.

This morning was almost like a Canadian spring morning. The air was cool and there was a brisk breeze. It felt great to have breakfast outside. Then I walk to the office, which is just outside the back of the hospital and I get hit with the "smell" that eminates from there. I can be overpowering sometimes. I also see a lot of hospital patients in the back around the hospital. A lot are just seeking shade under the office roof overhang. My heart breaks for these people when I see some of their conditions. They will set up with a blanket and have their meals outside the hospital. The whole family gathered to share in a meagre meal. They love it when you acknowledge them with a wave or a greeting.

Monday, June 6, 2011

VIP Guest today at the Galmi

Today Galmi had the US Ambassator visit the hospital and come for a small reception at the guesthouse. She was ever so gracious and pleasant. Grace, along with staff and coworkers prepared most of the morning. Saturday she baked several cakes to be ready for the reception. What a blast. What a great surprise and delightful opportunity.

Today was also a very sad goodbye to the S. family whom we hope will return in 8 months.

Life here is particulary full of hello's and goodbyes with short term associates here and then gone. It is so nice when they return for a second and third time.

The day ended with water aerobics for Grace, such a wonderful way to wind down for a busy day.

I wonder what kind of surprises are instore more tomorrow.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Work at Galmi

I have often mentioned how hard the local Nigeriens work. They may not have the most sophisticated tools or equipment but thay do have their strength and endurance. Sure the extreme heat is hard on them but when we are taking our break time siesta a lot of them will go off and work at their farms or do other things.

The other day a semi drove in with a trailer that was about 30 feet long. The side panel were about 4 feet high and it was full of gravel. They do not use a bobcat or any other piece of equipment to load this trailer or to unload the trailer. This is loaded and unloaded by men with shovels.

I am amazed that a hospital is being rebuilt this way. They do have one piece of equipment for this, however, and that is a cement mixer. The cement is hauled to the site using wheel barrows. I'd like to see someone build a hospital in a develpoed country that way.

The country is poor, the environment is tough, disease is rampant, but these people are amazing.

These men are just loading a small trailer with some gravel for a project. In this case a truck will haul the gravel to the site.

Just a couple of other pictures for you. These are the two main workers at our Aids clinic.

This is one of the main administrators in the hospital.

Don't let the fancy offices fool you, these people work very hard.

Blessings to all