Ok, I'm gonna be honest with you last week, and into this week I had been feeling pretty empty. I love being around people, I love the social jobs I had back in the Fish, but I also so enjoyed living alone for the last 2 years. I have always been a person that needs time alone just as much as I need to be social. There are little joys of home that after more than a month of not having them you begin to realize how wonderful they really are. The alone time is one of them for me. Here in Pemba I'm living in a house with seven other people and in a community with houses and people always around. It has been an interesting aspect since there is no glass on the windows, just screen and this means that no matter where you are someone can hear and/or see you at all times. If you go anywhere outside of the compound you have to have at least one other person with you wherever you go and therefore even going for a walk alone is out of the question. I say this to explain one little area in which was making it a bit hard for me. It took a few weeks but loosing all independence finally hit me hard. Even though my birthday last week was in fact wonderful it was also so busy that I was unable to even talk to my parents, and then once I made it back to Pemba Saturday night it took me till Wednesday of this last week to be able to check my emails. Internet here is a complicated process. All that to say that to explain that I really had lost my energy, joy, and patience for a little over a full week. However this story has a happy ending. Something snapped in me Wednesday and I woke up with my joy back! That morning I said to my roommate Lisa, "Lisa, I'm back!"
It is a good thing too, because I left again for outreach on Thursday. Going out to
the bush takes a lot of energy and it is important to go into it with a good attitude or else you
really are miserable. Thursday we arrived at the village of planned and by the end of the
many people that came on this particular village visit we totaled 55. Mozambiquan Bible
School students, Mission School students, visitors, Heidi and Roland and their people, the
cook crew, the translators, and a group of dentists. That evening went well because I had my
joy back. I felt at home grabbed a little girl and began dancing with her and others while
African music played drawing a crowd from all over the village.
Friday morning I awoke in the midst of our tent city to loud children shortly after
4am. Heidi brought Starbucks to share with everyone this morning and of course we were all
overjoyed. Those of you who know me might cringe at this next comment but I will also
admit I have been drinking instant coffee for the last couple of weeks. Yes its true, instant
coffee with lots of sugar and milk. So to have a taste of real coffee was quite a wonderful
I stayed at our little tent village and helped with the dentistry team while a group
went with Heidi to go dedicate a children's home. I passed out a napkin and paper cup to
each patient with a smile, and then held their hands saying peace in Makuah over and over
trying to insure them that they were going to be ok. Then I would move to hold their head
after the anesthetics set in and it was teeth pulling time. The dentist crew was wonderful. They
were all so happy and loving toward each patient and it all went quite smoothly.
The dentists packed up once no one else mustered the courage to come near, and rice and beans awaited for lunch. After lunch it is again so hot everyone just lays low for a while. Lisa, Desi and I sat in the cement hut church for it was a little bit cooler and read or laid on grass mats for a quick nap. Not long into our relaxation Lisa was interrupted with a large rock hitting her directly on the head from some kid who ran by and threw it into the church. The kids in this village were no typical bad children. They really were maniacs. Natalie was walking to the car a bit later with a few water bottles and was literally mobbed by children as they stole the water from her hand. These kids do not stop asking, do not stop pestering, and even once they have they only want more or then steal from each other. It was a mad house. To explain my point even further, last night Johan's tent was sliced open with a razor blade and out of his tent was stolen his camera, his head lamp, money, and even his shoes. Antoinette's tent also was cut into and her camera was stolen. Serious bad kids. There where about 3 out of more than 50 running around that I could see were genuinely good kids. That evening we went to a different village nearby to show the Jesus film and pray. That night 4 men were completely healed from back pain and mobility was granted back to all of them. Yeah, I have a good God! He loves us and wants the best for us.
The next morning there was no sleeping past 4am because of what sounded like a
fire truck siren right next to my tent. But no it was children with flutes participating in a
circumcision ceremony at the house right next to us. Apparently it is a village tradition but
really why did it have to be at 4am? The rest of the day was packing up, waiting around for
no one knows what and then piling on the camion for the trip home. We more than doubled
our time for no particular reason and more than 5 stops. Ha! Welcome to Africa! We have all
day to get home why not take it?
Tonight was something special though! There is a cafe here that is run by some of
the older Iris kids to help them develop skills needed for the future. The cafe just this last
week finished a wood fire pizza oven and now serves pizza, smoothies, soda, semossas, ice
coffee, and banana bread. But as I was saying tonight was special. They had for the first
time ever open mice night. 5 different groups from the Mission school signed up as well as 5
groups of Iris kids. I walked over to the cafe and located down in the garden along the
bamboo fence was a huge baobab tree with the African animals carved into the base and a
string of lights hanging from above, which was the backdrop for the stage. A cement patio
made a half circle around the tree, littered with tables and chairs. Marshal Mclean played in
the background as people ate their pizza, laughed and talked waiting for the show to begin.
The whole night was great. So many talented people got up shared one or two songs, did a
dance, or read a portion of the book they were writing. At this point I felt as if I was living
both the life of Montana and the life of Mozambique at the same time. The only thing that
would make it better would be to have you with me. But I lay my head on my pillow and my spirit visits you as I dream. While my body lays in a bed protected by a mosquito net, and a soft breeze occasionally makes its way through the window to relieve the heat for a second .