This fall I spent 4 weeks at the CURE Children's Hospital of Niger. It was a very exciting time. It was a challenging time. I loved being in Niger very much. You might be wondering....how is Niger different from the other places that I have visited for CURE International?
First of all Niger is in West Africa....all the other places I have been have been in East Africa...Uganda, Kenya and Ethiopia. Niger is not a former British Colony like Kenya and Uganda....nor is it a country like Ethiopia that was influenced greatly by Italy. No, Niger is a former French colony. It is a country where French is the language of education and business. What a blessing to have learned French while I lived in Montreal, Quebec, Canada! Although I hadn't used French for many years, the Lord helped me to communicate in this beautiful language. When I explained to my new Swiss friends that my Quebequois French was often scorned by Parisians as sounding like a 'farmer'....they said that in Niger Quebequois French was called the 'pure french' unaffected by other European countries. They went on to say that when French is poorly spoken they say....'Ils parlent comme une vache espanole'...meaning they speak French like a Spanish cow! Hope I didn't sound like that! The Lord was so good to help me communicate to the nurses and the staff in my simple French. I was even asked to pray in French a few times. I learned to read my French Bible and appreciated the richness of the language. Some familiar verses took on deeper and fuller meaning to me! How grateful I am for God's gift of language.....and understanding.