January: my CCMI mentor, Nancy, and I at the end of a full month of MTW cross-cultural training in Brussels, Belgium
February: my bags and I, all ready to board in Pittsburgh for my one-way flight to West Africa
March: finally meeting up with my dear friend Katie, whom I hadn’t seen since college graduation, in West Africa!
April: getting formally introduced along with other newly arrived colleagues at SIL’s annual branch conference
May: a typical Sunday afternoon in Sicap Mbao spent with my pastors’ family after the morning service: “helping” with lunch prep, writing down new Wolof words, and getting my hair styled by my young friend Jean-Michel
June: taking part in a national church’s large annual Pentecost celebration in Djilas with colleagues and dear friends
July: my first birthday celebration in West Africa! What a gift to celebrate in country with Katie, who was born the same day as me, by taking an awesome trip to Toubacouta
August: Wolof learning begins in earnest! An afternoon spent with colleagues Clare and Eva at Malika, reading the Wolof New Testament and a book of praise songs and chatting with our friends there
September: a glimpse of beauty in the city in the middle of hot season: one of several glorious sunrises that I enjoyed from the rooftop of the colleague’s apartment that I was apartment-sitting
October: Me with teammates Kara and Donnie on a trip to visit friends in the village of Gobak
November: Learning my way around a new town in the north of the country — a new landscape, culture, and routine — for the sake of Wolof immersion
December: My Ndiayène host siblings and I (aka Yacine Ndiaye) on the evening of my tagatoo, when I thanked their family for a great six weeks as a member of their home
And what better way to cap off 2014 than with the wild giraffes in Kenya? I was blessed to take a get-away trip and spend the holidays with friends while discovering a different part of Africa.
2014 has been filled with God’s faithfulness in the midst of much change! Here’s to the year ahead and more opportunities to follow where He leads.