Thursday, June 15, 2017

Moore Sings "We Are The Light of the World"

Listen to Moore sing his new favorite worship song!

Trivia Question Answer from Mihsills' Update (Newsletter) for April/May/June 2017

Which famous soccer player from Côte d'Ivoire has scored 13 million hits on Google?

Answer: Didier Drogba

Drogba scores many more hits on Google than even the president of Côte d'Ivoire!

Photo credit: wikipedia

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Answer to Trivia Question from Mihsills' Aug/Sept 2016 Newsletter Update

Côte d'Ivoire wants to make attiéké its national food! Attiéké is made of cassava and is often served with a sauce. The consistency is a little bit like couscous. To read more, check out this article from BBC:

Saturday, July 23, 2016

47 Simple Steps on How to Get a Visa for South Africa When You Are an Indian Citizen with an American Permanent Resident Card Living in Côte d'Ivoire

After Bobby’s adventure with the South African Embassy here in Côte d’Ivoire, we were inspired to write this attempt at a humorous recounting of his visa saga. Please know that we write this tongue-in-cheek, knowing that God had this under control the whole time! So here it is…

47 Simple Steps on How to Get a visa for South Africa When You Are an Indian Citizen with an American Permanent Resident Card Living in Cote d’Ivoire

1.     Like anyone would, google the embassy website and download the visa application.

2.     Become confused by the application’s directions on the embassy website and attempt to locate the embassy the next time you are in the big city (Abidjan).

[Next time you are in the big city where the embassy is reportedly located…]

3.     Before going out, look up the street address of the embassy listed on the website.

4.     Find that the street name on which the embassy is located (according to the website), does not actually exist on any city maps.

5.     Call your Congolese friend who is a pastor and lives in Abidjan to find out if he knows where the South African embassy is. When he refers you to your Nigerian pastor friend, call him next to see if he knows where it is.

6.     When your Nigerian pastor friend gives you directions that the embassy is near the Ivorian president’s residence, drive around the residence while trying to look out for the embassy, but trying not to look suspicious to onlookers.

7.     When you can’t find the embassy near the president’s residence, ask random people on the side of the road, using the street name which you found on the embassy website but which you cannot find on any maps.

8.     When no one in that area has heard of that street, drive to the U.S. Embassy because embassies are sometimes in the same area, right?

9.     Ask more random people on the side of the road while trying not to look suspicious in front of the U.S. Embassy.

10. When the random people from the side of the road give you directions to a completely different part of the city, decide to take a break and attempt to look the embassy phone number up on their website using your phone.

11. Call both numbers listed on the South African Embassy website.  Repeat. Wait patiently while no one answers.

12. Drive across town to do another errand while waiting for someone at the embassy to pick up the phone. (Wait some more while no one picks up.)

13. While your spouse is inside a place of business running the errand, use your phone to google the embassy website again. Use your sleuthing skills to realize that the street name on the embassy website is missing one letter and that is why you cannot find it on any maps and why none of the random people on the street had any idea what street you were asking for.

14. Laugh in a half-mentally-unstable-half-this-is-ridiculous manner in order to maintain the sanity you have remaining and to avoid yelling and being a bad example to your three-year-old kid in the back seat.

15. Take a brief moment to relish in the fact that it was because of the typo on the website, and not your poor French pronunciation, that caused people on the street to look at you as if you were a few crayons short of a full box.

16. When finishing the errand, realize that the consular’s office of the embassy where you can inquire and drop off applications will close in 15 minutes and even if you knew where it was located, you wouldn’t get there in time.

17. Try not to lose your religion.

18. Give up for the day and decide to do it the next time you are in the big city.

[A few days later…]

19. When your Nigerian pastor friend asks if you found the embassy, say no and have him realize that where you went was the president’s offices and not the president’s home residence.

20. Say “yes, please” when your Nigerian pastor friend offers to go with you to search for the embassy on your next trip to the big city.

[On next trip to big city…]

21. Make arrangements to meet your Nigerian pastor friend.

22. Get stuck in traffic and be 45 minutes late to pick up your Nigerian pastor friend.

23. Pick him up and get stuck in more traffic.

24. Arrive at the South African Embassy (YES…FOUND IT!) four minutes after the consular office closes and try to be patient while the front desk worker tells you the office closed four minutes ago while simultaneously chasing your 3-year-old who is running and screaming on the lawn of the embassy because he is so glad to be out of the car he just sat in for 3+ hours.

25. Ask the front office worker if you at least have the correct application.

26. Find out that the visa application you downloaded from the South African Embassy website is not the application the South African Embassy requests for visas.

27. Get the correct application from the front office worker.

28. Decide to complete the application on your next visit to the big city.

[On your next (now third) trip to the big city…]

29. Collect what you believe is all the paperwork you need according the list given to you by the front office worker at the embassy.

30. Arrive at the embassy and find out they will not accept your application because you have the wrong size of passport photos, your Ivorian residence card (which you have translated into English yourself even though everyone working at the South African Embassy speaks both French and English) has to be translated by a certified translator from the list provided by the embassy (although the embassy never provided said list prior to this visit and your card has approximately 3 words on it: Bobby, male, and Indian), you don’t have a letter from your employer saying you are allowed to leave the country (uh, why would you need this?) and you don’t have an invitation letter from a resident of South Africa inviting you to come visit.

31. Ask the woman at the embassy how you can get an invitation letter from a resident of South Africa when you do not actually know any South African residents.

32. Try to remain calm when the woman at the embassy tells you to get an invitation letter from the owner of the retreat center where you will be staying in South Africa although the owner does not know you from Adam.

33. Leave the embassy and track down a certified translator to translate your Ivorian residence card.

34. Find the translator and have her translate that “genre”=”gender” and “Indien”=”Idian” on your residence card.

35. Correct said translator by telling her she left the “n” out of “Indian” when she translated it.

36. Receive blank stare from translator because she writes in English but does not understand much spoken English.

37. Listen to sigh of relief from translator when you explain her misspelling in French because she finds you speak French. Continue the conversation in French at her request.

38. Pay 15.000 francs ($30 U.S.) for “certified” translation by the non-English-speaking English translator.

39.  Go home to collect other three items you need before another attempt to submit your application.

[At Home…]

40. Request and receive needed invitation letter (profusely thanking the South African resident who wrote it who has never met you) and letter from employer. Take a passport photo of the correct size.

[On your next (fourth) trip to the big city…]

41. Go to the embassy and have this conversation with the embassy worker:
Embassy Worker: “How did you get this letter from your employer?”
Bobby: “They sent it from the U.S. Our colleagues brought it with them
when they came from the U.S.”
Embassy worker: “How come your employer did not specify in the
letter that you are a missionary living in Yamoussoukro?”
Bobby: “I was told I needed permission to leave the country but not
that specific information.”
Embassy Worker: “Hmmm…Okay. Come next Tuesday.”

42.  SUBMIT APPLICATION AT LAST! Do happy dance.

43. Pray for the visa to be granted.

[On your fifth trip to embassy…]

44. Return to embassy three days before your scheduled departure to South Africa and find that you HAVE BEEN GRANTED THE VISA!

45. Praise God.

46. Call your wife to tell her the good news.

47. Start packing!

Friday, July 22, 2016

Trivia Answer from June/July 2016 Newsletter

According to the CIA World Facebook, 35% of children ages 5-14 years old in Côte d'Ivoire are involved in child labor. (This is from a 2006 estimate.)

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

A Simple Gesture

Sammy and Yao sharing toys

Our 3-year-old, while trying to learn three languages, has gotten really good at gesturing. When he can’t communicate in French, he points and makes noises. (He also pretends to be a train, running and whistling while he pulls his “tender,” but that’s another story.) So, a couple of months ago when we visited a village about 45 minutes away from our home and he met a young boy who is deaf, they connected immediately. Neither of them needed words to communicate. They could use gestures and noises and got along great.

We’ve been going to this village often because it’s one of two sites of the start of the Children of Promise sponsorship program and each time, Sammy loves playing with Yao. Some other kids find it strange that Yao can’t speak French or Baoulé, an African language common in this village, but Sammy can’t communicate well in either of those languages, either, so he finds gesturing and noise-making a normal means of communication with his new-found friend.

We found out that deaf children can’t attend regular schools here and there’s only one deaf school in the whole country, meaning education is inaccessible to most deaf children who live in villages.

We’ve been praying for Yao during Sammy’s nighttime prayers. The first night we prayed for him, Sammy stopped the prayer and said, “Yao. He can’t hear. Mom….he’s my best friend.” Now, Sammy’s 3 years old, so his best friend changes weekly, if not daily. But his words still touched my heart. More than that, his gestures touched this mama’s heart.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Spring 2016 (Feb-May) Newsletter Trivia Answer

The flag of Côte d'Ivoire bears the same colors as the flag of which European country?
IRELAND! The flag of Ireland is green, white and orange (left to right) and the Ivorian flag is orange, white and green (left to right).

Moore Sings "We Are The Light of the World"

Listen to Moore sing his new favorite worship song!