Wednesday, June 3, 2009
At many point throughout this day I have asked myself...why did you ever want to go to Africa? Not that I am not enjoying it I just don't know why anyone would really choose to come here...other than God leading them. This has been the craziest day...I woke up drenched in sweat (we even had the air on most of the night) and I forgot where I was for a minute..I thought maybe our a/c broke at home. Then I remembered oh yah you wanted to go to Africa for the summer. By the time I washed my face and brushed my teeth I needed another shower. Breakfast was okay...pancakes (which I don't really like) and mango. I have already eaten three meals with something I don't like and haven't complained once. The heat is exhausting I get so tired of wiping my face that I am considering chopping all my hair off...or getting it braided like the Africans. Also the heat is so draining it makes you loose your appetite. We are staying in the IMB's compound called Mission Baptiste. This is on the safest road in Niger and one of the safest places. It is on the same road as all the embassy's. We are walled in and we have guards that walk the premises and stay at the entrance. To bad we will only be here till Tuesday then off to the bush.
Today we had a real Africa lunch, rice with some sauce that had meat and veggies in it. It was actually really good...I just picked around a few of the veggies. It is hard to eat you are never hungry but you just force it down along with the 70 bottles of water because nobody wants to get sick. After lunch we got a nap during the hottest part of the day then we learned some of the basics. We learned NEVER EVER go in the river...it is full of diseases and you WILL catch one if you go in. Second rule NEVER let them braid your hair unless the missionaries (Kanessa and Brandy) approve because some people will use it for witch craft. Third pray with your partner every day...spiritual warfare is really bad and if you aren't united it will be really hard to work together. After this we got to go to the market...we went with Greg and Laura's house helper Zoleka and her friend. It was so amazing...being white we were like celebrities everyone wanted to talk to us and have us come in because they think we are rich. Which to them we are...an average person here lives on 300 a year. The market smelled awful and I got really overwhelmed with all the people but had fun. It was so hard because nobody spoke English there...I got really frustrated not being able to communicate what I was thinking. They gave us 500 which would be 1 America dollar and we had to spend it. Finally I just grabbed a bracelet and bought it because I was getting stressed trying to pick something...this is what most of the team did. The saddest thing about the market was the fact that they all live like this all the time. I get to go home to the comforts of America in 2 months and they don't. It really made me sad but VERY grateful for all that I have. We all cooked dinner and then after that we had a time of de-briefing and talking about our experiences at the market. I held Greg and Laura's little 5 month old Maggie and she fell asleep (it really made me miss my little Maggie). After that we were about to go to bed and we heard the winds start and got excited so Hailey, Dani and I went out to stand it the rain. It felt so amazing...it was cold and just wonderful. I think standing there in the rain was the moment I really got excited about being here.
I am having an amazing time! It is really overwhelming and I feel like if I don't write every single thing down i will forget something. I miss you all so much...way more than i thought I would. (Not that I didn't think I would miss everyone but I can go away for periods of time and be fine but I think being away from everything I have ever known and having no access to anyone is really hard.) I think some of the team has it worse than I do so I am just staying strong and knowing that i am here for a reason. I love you all so much!! I don't know when I will be able to update again but hopefully at least once before I go out to the bush. Please keep praying for me and my team...we need it!!
p.s. Kanessa and Brandy said there are no snakes...but there are lizards EVERYWHERE!! They are so crazy and the scare me!!! haha