Heart Beginning's

"My daughter, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways." Proverbs 23:26

"The plan of beginning outside and trying to work inward has always failed and always will fail. God's plan with you is to begin at the seat of all dificulties, the heart, and then from out of the heart will issue the principleso f righteousness; the reformation will be outward as well as inward." EGW

Monday, August 27, 2007

The White Girl is Showering!!!

Date: 8-23-07

So the whole neighborhood knew!! It was raining that morning when I got up so I skipped the shower and decided to be like everyone else and take my cold shower later in the day when it actually feels good. Unfortunately I forgot that there's also more people awake at this time of day. Take it from me 3:00 in the afternoon is not the best time to take a shower if you're in Africa and you're white!!

So I stepped into the round circle, which consisted of mats held up by sticks and up onto a couple of rocks placed for a shower floor. I began with the normal routine of throwing water on myself with a bowl. It was normal until I stood up from my crouched position. That's when I heard the giggles. Yep, the neighbor kids had spotted me. Five little heads stared back at my head and shoulders from their place in the court-yard. I probably should've waved and did a little dance but their mom saw them all staring at me and they got a good yelling. No matter how good the yelling, though, every time I'd stand up they would still be staring..and their mom yelling. The yelling I think encouraged the little piglet's from next door to see what all the commotion was about. I bet the kids sent him as a spy. The little black piglet and his 2 brothers came squealing around the mat wall. They gave a few grunts and decided that maybe they had the wrong shower circle. Personally I thought they could've used a good bath!!!

The 101 on Spit Sauce

Date: 8-20-07

1.) Wash your hands from the green tea pot with the rocks in it! VERY IMPORTANT

2.) Sit by yourself. Remember you're a guest and it's an honor to eat alone.

3.) Say Prayer

4.) Take your 3 middle fingers and dig into the boulle (a big ball of millet that has the consistency of oatmeal put in the refrigerator and taken out the next day, except scalding hot!!

5.) Place small amount in palm of hand a squish together to make a small patty. Stick it at the end of your fingers.

6.) And in you go to the spit sauce.

7.) Try not to sling spit (okra slime) on everything and everyone as your three fingers go from the bowl to your mouth.

8.) Remember you've been watched this whole time so prepare yourself for laughter as they watch you try and catch the stray okra slime that is still connected to the stew and your mouth.

9.) Remind yourself you're in Africa, it's okay to have food all over your hands, it's okay to bite down on rocks every once and awhile. Swallow and give it another go.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Not your typical Africa


I expected to be surrounded by dry grass-land, but we have gotten more rain here in the last week than I've seen in quite awhile. That would be why they call it the rainy season! One night I walked home and the water on the path was up to my knees in places. Everything is green here, Sarah says that will all change in a few months. Trees surround the hospital, Mango's, Guavas, and Banana trees are the ones that I can identify. But just a short distance from the hospital is a green plain on which you can see for miles, short squatty trees (typical of Africa) pop up here and there, surround by brown termite hills some standing 5 feet tall, and fields of rice. There are no Lions, Giraffes, and Gazelles, although I did see a couple camels on the way here. The sun goes down here at 6:30 so I usually walk home in the dark. Not having any animal's to worry about is a plus. You only have to be careful to dodge all the frogs that hop out onto the path. They act like a deer in headlights when my headlamp light hits them J It feels more like the jungle right now and is actually getting chilly in the evening and morning's, it was too cold to take my cold splash bath this morning so thankfully I was able to communicate my need of warm water to my family. I'm not sure I should've taken a warm shower, it brought the cravings of home on the run. Kinda like using the toilet at the hospital compound. But like Sonya and I have been discussing; where else and when else could we ever have gotten this experience? You don't exactly come by it every day.

Migration of the Flying Termites

Date: 8-13-07

One memorable occasion thus far was when I came back from the hospital after dark last night. I went to brush my teeth next to a tree with my head lamp turned on. and got attacked by a migration of flying termites!!!! AHHHHH.. The head lamp came off very fast, and I moved away from that area very rapidly especially since they where trying to crawl up my scrubs. What totally threw me was the way all 6 kids came running when the saw the bugs. They started saying mange mange..which means to eat they started grabbing termites and stuffing them in their closed fists. They were yelling, screaming, and dancing up and down. This afternoon at dinner they brought them out still moving in a bowl. Thankfully they know I'm vegetarian so they didn't offer me any of them! Bon Appetite!

Songs of Home

Date: 8-12-07

I'm truly am thankful to be living with my new family in their hut, because I will learn French much faster and I will develop a relationship with the people that I never could've done otherwise. That is why Sarah and James put us with them, although there is room in the house at the hospital compound. I sat in the hospital office Friday night and cried for quite a while after seeing the couches, and toilet in the house. My desire for comfort and something familiar was almost overwhelming.it takes effort and the willingness to change to live with the Pierre and his family. That's when God reminded me that I wanted to grow, He reminded me that His strength is made perfect in weakness, He reminded me that He came to this earth for 30 years from Heaven.and I'm only here 10 months. It turned dark while I sat in the empty office of the hospital.during this time God gave me strength to smile, to get up and walk to my hutte. When I got there his family was all sitting around the lantern I joined them, we laughed and laughed as they tried to teach me words, and than they sang. Songs that I knew the tune to, and that's when I cried with them. They understood in their own way, the motioned to their faces about my tears, and all I could say was mon familia and hold Esthe who was sitting closest to me. The next morning all the kids left with me for Church. If they weren't holding my hands then one was holding me water bottle and the other my bible. During the sermon Ann one of the youngest crawled up on my lap and snuggled in.that's when I realized it was all gonna be OK.

Outdoor Showers, Little Holes, and Nalgene Traps

Date: 8-11-07

The interesting part of arriving at the hospital is that nothing ended up being like expected.. Sonya and I found out that we were going to be immersed into the African culture in a very real way. One of the Loma Linda Medical Students, Joe, who speaks French helped me carry my boxes to the Hospital's Cashier's Mud Hut home.there I met his family of 6 children and deposited my boxes in my new home. A Mud Hut which I share with two of the oldest girls. I'm afraid that I had envisioned something different than this, my shower, toilet, bed, concrete floor, American food, and English had disappeared. I crawled onto my cot after sitting around a lantern with my new family and tried to decide what emotion's I was feeling. Before I could decide though I received of gift of Cockroaches, thankfully I was surround by a mosquito net so I felt safe until I heard a buzzing and one hit my stomach.he'd gotten caught in my net. I grabbed my flashlight.and found him sitting at the top of my net. Should I grab him and throw him out? Nope, that would be disgusting! The next option my Nalgene, so his demise came to be a water death! I did not sleep at all that first night.I held onto my flashlight tightly all night, and every time I heard on crawling on the wall next to me or one flying by I turned on the light. The next night I realized it was ridicules and asked God to protect me.sound kinda silly.but I'm not to big on those little critters.maybe they'll grow on me, just like the hole I use for a bathroom and the large basket I take shower's in.

The Unknown

Date: 8-8-07

Well I'm here in Africa, we got in at 9:00 last night. Sonya's luggage didn't come in, so we spent the night here in Ndjamena at a house owned by the evangelicals. It is beautiful and so are the people. We went to the market this morning and got food, the cell phone for the internet, and beds.which we carried on our heads J It has been raining here so the roads are very muddy, the house we are in is surrounded by cement walls, wire fencing, and glass shards. There is a guard at the gate that lets us in and out. We will leave for Bere' tomorrow morning, Sarah told Sonya and I that where we are staying has changed. Because of all the people who are coming to the hospital there are not permanent rooms for us there. One of us will be staying with the Cashier's family who works at the hospital and the other one of us will be staying with another employee from the hospital and his family. They both have an extra mud hut they we can stay in. We will pay $50.00 a month that will cover the use of the mud hut and the family will also cook our food. Sarah said that it won't take us long to learn French that way! I'm not sure about the food but hopefully it'll all turn out O.K.

There are many unknowns but I know that God will give me the strength, wisdom, and courage to face them.