Friday, April 12, 2013

Container Day

I am so VERY behind on blogging.  Something seems to have changed with the format and for some reason, I have been having trouble uploading my pictures to the blog and sometimes it takes me over an hour to do a simple post. And sometimes, I do a post and then it is all wonky bizarre.   I really am NOT computer savy!!  So I am trying to catch up on posts before the baby arrives!

This post is actually from waaaay back in January when the container arrived.  People often ask how we get things here in Togo and this is how we get most of our things.  While there is constantly more becoming available in Lome (the capital city of Togo) some things still have to be shipped over, like furniture, good electronics (like a fridge/freezer/washer dryer) and alot of the hospital's medical supplies.

The container is packed in the U.S. then is put on gargo ship that makes the 6 week journey across the Atlantic Ocean here to the coast of West Africa.  Then the container is placed on a truck and makes the 5-6 hour trip here to the compound.  That is the process simplilfied!  It is ALOT of work for whoever is in charge of the container.  Thankfully, we weren't!  We were able to get some space on a container that one of the other missionaries was sending which was a HUGE blessing.
The kids were so excited to see the container finally arrive!
Most of the things we sent were items like clothing for the kids, a few toys, homeschool materials, some canned food, toiletries, and some baby items.  Nothing real extravagant, but things that would make life here a little easier.

It took the poor driver at least 30 minutes to get the truck backed up to the dock.
 I think he was new!

The container was delayed in the port quite a few times.  The kids were so excited for it to arrive and were so patient when the date kept getting changed.  One morning, we all got up early, dressed and ate breakfast beacause the container was supposed to pull onto the compound at 8AM.  The girls were sitting on the front carport watching and waiting.....when I received the phone call that the truck had not even left the port yet!  They were disappointed, but so understanding.

Then, the next day, we again were outside waiting, when we got another phone call saying the truck had broken down about an hour away.  Well, there is no AAA here, so you just have to wait!

Aunt Betty explaining the whole unloading process to the girls.
Finally, one evening around 6pm we hear the truck come onto the compound!  The kids just cheered with excitement and could hardly sleep knowing that it was finally here and that first thing in the morning we would open it start unloading!
Our list of the boxes.  Everything has to be numbered and itemized for customs.
The exciting moment when they open the container and everyone sees their stuff.
 It's the simple things out here that bring the most joy.
The big thing we sent for the kids was their bikes.  All the other missionaries knew the bikes were coming and were looking for them and it was so sweet to see how excited they all were for the kids!  Lots of cheers went up when the bikes were unloaded.
One thing I had sent was a waffle maker.  You can find cereal in Lome, but you have to pay as much as $7 or $8  for a box so we thought it would be a nice treat for the kids to be able to have waffles for breakfast.
The unloading goes on........and on........
Opening our boxes once we got them home.
I really think the kids were the most excited about the books we sent over.  There is no library here, of course, so we planned ahead and sent books.  And every day......we READ lots!
It was quite the exciting day for us.  And quite the process!  It is an all day affair as it takes several hours to unload and distribute boxes to all the missionaries or to the hospital.  Then you have to get them home, unload, unpack, and put everything away!  All that during the HOTTEST month of the year.  It was exhausting, but we sure were glad to get some things from home to help it feel a little bit more like home here.

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My family

My family