Saturday, February 23, 2013


We have visitors from the states (Steve Shank and Darrell Hostetter) who, in coordination with some YES team training, facilitated our mission's retreat this passed week.  This year, we went to Cap's Skirring, Senegal and were taught on "God's Hospitality."  I don't know about many of you, but the beach also sounded really great.

The bungalows that we stayed in.

The view from the eating area.

Headed down to the beach.

Almost there... lots of steep steps.


Fun fact... each bungalow was approximately 20USD, and if you look very closely at this picture, you can see cows on the beach.  They apparently like sunbathing too.

The pigs are coming! The pigs are coming!

Pardon me if all you feel like you hear about these days is the pig project, but the pig project is a pretty major part of what I'm doing right now.

Recently, I visited the facility in Senegal where we will be getting our improved pigs from.  I thought you'd like to see some pictures!

Here is the place!  It's called CPUS - it's a locally operated Spanish NGO.  They have a sizable poultry project, a rabbit project, the pig project, and a slaughterhouse.

They even have their own feedmill for the poultry project.  It's said that they supply all of southern Senegal with eggs.

Here's the meat rabbit project I spoke of earlier.  It brought back memories of my own meat and pet rabbit project when I was little.

This is what the inside of CPUS's pig barn looks like.

Peek-a-boo!  They all stood up to greet us.

Classic pig picture, but gives you more of an idea of how big the pigs are compared to the local breed (see previous blog posts).

Here are some of the pigs that will be coming to live with us in Catel on March 15th!  WOOT!

This pellet mixture, along with palm nut cakes is what our pigs will be eating.

Thanks for reading!  We're all excited for their arrival.  Thank you all for your emails and support!


Thursday, February 7, 2013

Meet Gibby!

Meet Gibby Mane (JIH-bee MAH-neh)!

You may recognize Gibby from a previous blog post.  He not only teaches Kiriol to the more recent foreign missionaries here, but he also teaches at Catel’s school, and leads a mission outreach to a neighboring village.  Gibby and his wife Binta (BEEN-tah), who is a very dear friend of mine, and their little herd of kids live with 3 of Gibby’s brothers and Gibby’s parents.  The Mane compound is usually filled with joy, crazyiness, and some dancing to worship songs.

Here is that lovely wife of his.

This is my little friend Sana (which means “wave”… as in “wave Hallelujah” in Kiriol).  He’s Gibby and Binta’s youngest.

Here are some of the kids in their compound.  They were great "little helpers" on the day that we were measuring out the barn foundation.

They live in this compound right here.

Gibby will dig out the foundation tomorrow, and is very excited to get started!  He is getting another guy from our church who is a bricklayer to help him build the barn.  What an example of the body of Christ!

This is what Gibby's barn looks like right now:

Gibby pounding in a marker for one of the pig pens. 

Gibby's older brother Lasana (left) is in Catel for a visit, and decided to come out back and help us.

A pile of blocks waiting to become a pig barn!  Woot woot!

Thank you to everyone for their support in the pig project.  Excitement on this side of the ocean is building, and we are super anxious to get some pigs!

Meet Lona!

Meet Lona!

Lona (LOH-nah) specifically  told me that he wanted to show you all what he is doing with his pig project.  Before we get to that though, I wanted you to meet Lona’s beautiful wife Segunda (seh-GOON-dah) and the newest little addition to their family.

This is a picture of Lona’s compound. 

Okay, now onto the barn… Here, Lona is showing you that his barn is level.  What really impressed me about Lona in this process was that though he didn’t know how to lay bricks himself or make slanted cement floors, he made sure that the bricklayer taught him how to do it for next time.  As soon as the bricklayer was done with half the job, Lona  told him to stand and supervise as Lona did the rest.  What initiative!

Lona demonstrating to me how he made his corridor.

 Lona is splitting (what will become) the rafters for the pig barn roof.

Lona is well on his way to having a pig house!  Woot woot!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Meet Celino!

The first up for the "Meet the Pig Project Guys" series is Celino.  Before we start though, I wanted to give you an idea of what pigs look like here.  The pigs we will get in March are of an improved variety; they grow better and eventually will give a larger return profit.  Local varieties have more of a hunched back, and therefore not a whole lot of meat back there!

Here is a mama pig and her baby piglets (local breed).

The pig project will be used to provide the family with income, and thus improving the diet.  Here are some of the church neighbor kids showing us what they are eating (plain broken white rice with a fish sauce).

(photo credit: Pam Jablonski)

Okay!  On to Celino (It's pronounced "cheh-LEE-noh" by the way)! Celino is a church leader here in the Mennonite church in Catel.  Not only does he go out to evangelize in a neighboring village, but he is also involved with the cashew business (some of you have heard of that as well - see for more info), and runs our local solar-powered cell phone tower.  In the "free time" that he rarely has, he builds houses (his expertise will help him skillfully build his pig house).  Celino is a very very busy man to say the least.

 Here is Celino standing on some mud bricks that he made to repair a house.

Celino's humble abode by the cell phone tower (not in the picture)

Here are some pictures of the site of Celino's project. 

Stay tuned as the series continues!  You'll get to meet Lona and Gibby as well in the future.  My hope is that these posts make you feel like you know the guys across the ocean that I've been working with and you've been praying for.

Written with much love and prayers!