Areli and Galilee recently had a growth spurt and outgrew all their shoes, so on Monday my sister-in-law Rachel and I headed downtown to shop for shoes. From my house, we walked down to a bigger road where we could catch an “angkot” (angkots are minivan-like vehicles that are used for public transportation around here.) Thankfully, there was already an angkot waiting at the intersection. We waited for a break in traffic, crossed the street, and ducked our heads to board the angkot through the hole where there would be a side door on a normal minivan. Angkots are also different from minivans in that they have one aisle in the middle and benches around the sides. The passenger limit is 12, but that doesn’t stop angkot drivers from packing as many as 20 people and all of their market produce into the same angkot. Thankfully, ours wasn’t too crowded this time.
We got into town without mishap, found shoes for the girls, and started back on the angkot again. But this time a neighborhood vegetable vendor was going home from the market at the same time as we were. She had just bought all her produce for selling out in her neighborhood, and she loaded it on our angkot so that she wouldn’t have to carry it all the way home on her bicycle. Thus her three huge bags of produce rode the angkot home alone, while she pedaled home on her bicycle. Since those bags were placed in the aisle right in front of Rachel and I, I had opportunity to note that they were actually labeled as fertilizer bags (friendly reminder to always wash my vegetables before using them!!) We started off, and I quickly realized that the bags of vegetables were going to fall over on us if we didn’t hold them up. Each bag was almost as big as me, so I didn’t like the thought of being buried under them. I held onto the bag closest to me for most of the trip, even when the driver made a rapid dash between two buses and screeched to a stop to pick up passengers. (The produce bag almost exited the angkot with me in tow on that stop!) The lady sitting across from us must have been a little confused, because she asked if it was okay to set her empty baskets on top of “my” vegetables. She must have figured I was the strangest looking vegetable seller she had ever seen!
There’s a glimpse of “normal” life for us here.
Please pray for:
1) Safety for villagers who live in the shadow of a nearby volcano. It has been more active again this past week. From our house we were able to see the big ash clouds rising up, even though we can’t see the mountain itself (it’s blocked from view by another mountain).
2) Wisdom for us in some decisions we need to make by the end of the month concerning our area of ministry after we finish language study. We may send more details on that in a week or two.
3) Praise the Lord that I (Jennifer) am feeling pretty well back to normal after having dengue fever a few weeks ago. Thanks for all your prayers!