Monday Morning Musings.

Goodmorning from Dakar!

Matt is one of the guys staffing the SP-this is the two of us on Halloween last year. I can't wait to see him!

Mondays are a weekend day for me, so I’m spending my lazy morning curled up on my little brown couch with a mug of hazelnut coffee and a wonderful stack of emails from friends that I dearly miss. I love quiet mornings-the hour or four before anybody else wakes up, and it’s just me, my coffee, Natalie Cole, and a giant pile of British Literature. S’wonderful.

So here’s the latest from Senegal…

Two weeks from yesterday, twenty-seven [count them!] Americans are rolling into Dakar to work with my team and I for a solid six weeks. [Any slight prayer that my team and I had of blending in in this city is getting kissed goodbye that early Sunday morning.] I could NOT be more excited! We have something like twenty-three college students and four staff landing in Dakar on May 16th-three of whom are good friends of mine. It’s been fun developing the training materials for the day and a half of training we’re doing with them before we throw them straight into the deep end of the sand-one of our seminars is literally titled “Am I being a Toubab?” [Read: “Am I Being White?] Sadly, given that they have only six weeks to acclimate to Senegalese culture, the answer to that will almost always be a resounding “yes”. I am entirely confident that it will make for some priceless stories! Stay tuned for tales of “Summer Project hazing.”

Turning Chad into a "Dook Girl" for Halloween last year. :)

In other news, this past week was a sad one to miss back home. Some GREAT friends of mine got married on Saturday-congratulations Chad and Kristy! I hate that I missed that wedding. I’ve known Chad since my junior year of college, and I feel like I may have single handedly prayed Kristy into his life. :) My little brother Ian had an a cappella concert [He’s in the Grains of Time at NC State], and he always needs me around to beat off the adoring girls that somehow think that they have a shot with him. [Ladies, here’s a fantastic tip-if you want to get my brother’s attention, entirely ignore him.] I’m sure he has at least twelve new girlfriends that I’ll have to frighten away when I get home eight weeks from today. [Easier done than said.]

Ian and I.

This week in Dakar ought to be a lot of fun-if everything works out, my team and I are taking our ghetto-fab “Team Retreat” this Friday, Saturday and Sunday. We found some bungalows to stay at for about thirty dollars a night [Ghetto. Fab.] on the beach they took me to for my birthday! It’s going to be a fantastic time of getting rid of our farmers tans [oh HEY there white stomach!] and celebrating what God’s done both in and through us this year. In light of the fact that I leave two days after the SP heads home, we have to do our retreat before the SP starts. It feels rather odd to start closing out the year now, but the reality is that our lives will change somewhat when the SP is here, and so in a way we’re saying goodbye to the first phase of ministry in Dakar. I can’t say too much about the retreat yet because everything that I’ve done is a surprise for my team, but post this weekend I’m excited to show y’all some of the things I’m using to celebrate the incredible people that God gave me to do life with for a year.

Kristen and I the night our Heels won the National Championship!

Speaking of people that God has given me to do life with, I received a hilarious email from one of my favorite people a couple of days ago that the world simply needs to see. In discussing our life plans, she said:

“We can die together (cue The Smiths… “to die by your siiiiide…”). I actually think we’ll have a blast being single middle-age women. The plan? Age 45 to 65 – be extremely hot cougars. Post age-65 – there is probably little to no hope of being attractive no matter what we do, so we’ll just let ourselves go and eat to our hearts content with senior buffet discounts. How’s THAT for epic blissful happiness? :)”

Thank you, Kristen Pope, for making me excited to be sixty-five!

Enjoy your Monday. :)

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