Dave and I love to go camping. During the first several years of our marriage, we traveled all over with our tent, our whisperlite single burner stove, our 20 degree bags, thermarests, and a ton of other gear that we had fun collecting and using.
Not so since Sam. When I was pregnant with him, Dave dragged me and our friend Sarah to a state park in VA. After that, it’s been a two night trip to Arkansas when Sam was about 10 months old. That’s it.
This week, all of that changed. And we couldn’t be more thrilled. We’re back in business, baby!
Camping with kids is really different from camping as a couple, but it’s really fun too. Dave and I left Niamey with Sam, Nata, Krystal and our friends Beth and Steve and their son Tim. Beth and Steve hooked us up with the location, but don’t ask me to get there again, because I couldn’t tell you. They had a friend of theirs, a Nigerien, guide us to the spot. Beth and Steve stayed in one of the two huts in the little fenced in yard, but we preferred to make good use of our (and Danika’s) tents. It was so much fun that we plan on doing it again really soon before the weather gets unbearably hot again.
One of the best things about traveling is meeting new people. We had a really sweet moment with the Pastor’s son, who proudly greeted me in English on Sunday. That afternoon he went with us on a little walk. We ate berries off of bushes, admired Baobab trees, and pointed out the goats and cows to Sam as they wandered a little ways off. Dave and this boy, whose name in Gourmanche means “Samuel” had a sweet conversation comparing the names of things in French, English, and Gourma.
We arrived home after two nights and three days dirty, tired, and very happy. Camping in the bush is a little different from a state or national park. The stars are brighter, the locals friendlier, and the camp stores a little more few and far between (or non existant). We kept saying to eachother, “Man, this is the life.” Roughing it couldn’t be more fun, especially with such great company.