How does one describe first impressions? I am always tentative to make any broad generalizations or comparisons to the other African countries or Cure hospitals visited. Each is unique. What seems to be the same is the big welcome and smiling faces of CURE staff. It is a delight to see the new facilities and tremendous progress...for me it always comes back to people. So perhaps this will be my approach in blogging my experiences over the next month.Perhaps through word pictures you will enter into the people scenery of Niamey, Niger.
Yesterday upon my arrival, as I waited in line the woman who checked my documents was so kind to me. The young man who helped collect my bags was so enthusiastic even when I said I had no local currency! When another young man inspected my luggage with CURE labels he finally said, fini....meaning I could go meet Leron Lehman who was probably wondering what had happened to me!! What sweet greetings when I arrived at the hospital....my fractured French was received joyfully! The nurses, Drs. Gary and Jean Francois were such a delight to meet. I cannot wait to hear their stories! The guest house residents are a father and son team. Don and Alex have helped me feel most welcome. I hope that I can return the kindness. Of course, I expect that I may not have all the skills that could benefit the nursing staff but with Christ's strength what He purposes will be accomplished. It is a blessing to be here safe and sound which is saying a lot these traveling days! The guest house accommodations are much nicer than expected. The Lord had gone ahead and will make a way for His will to be done as CURE Children's Hospital of Niger officially opens. Can't wait to meet clinic patients and their caregivers...also the Spiritual Director, kitchen staff...guess I'd better get some sleep...now I am awake as it is usual time to get up!