On August 28, we flew from the coastal city to a smaller town in the interior. We spent the night at the best hotel in town. Unfortunately their best rooms were taken, so we got a “business class” room–meaning no air conditioning and the bathroom down the hall instead of in the room. At least it did have a queen-sized bed (which all four of us shared) and a fan mounted on the wall to keep us cool, so we got some sleep. The next morning we shopped for vegetables at the open market, loaded our boat, and headed upriver. Due to a leaking boat and motor trouble, our trip up was long and eventful. We would have preferred the trip to be boring, but we were thankful to finally make it “home” to our house in the jungle.
In the week and a half since then, we’ve been trying to get settled in and get used to life far from “civilization.” Here are a few of the things we’re adjusting to:
–Early to bed, early to rise: Our village is hours away from the nearest public utilities. We’re blessed to have a generator, which we usually run for a couple hours in the evenings. But once the generator is turned off, we all go to bed so we can get an early start the next morning. Nights here are pitch black and filled with jungle sounds. Sometimes it can seem like being on a completely different planet.
–Monkey wars: The nearest “grocery stores” are 3 hours away by boat, so we grow some vegetables and fruits around the house. Any of you who’ve ever fought with rabbits over a garden may understand something of what we face to keep our produce for ourselves, except that rabbits can’t swing in from the treetops to snatch away bananas, cassava, and pineapple tops. Yep, the monkeys have discovered our bounty, and nothing seems to deter them from helping themselves.
–Language: This is a huge one for me (Jennifer.) While most people in the village can understand some of the national language, many of them aren’t comfortable speaking it even on a basic conversation level. And even the national language words that they do use often have different meanings here than elsewhere. If I’m going to be able to build friendships here and eventually talk about spiritual things with these people, I HAVE to learn their heart language. For the last few days, one of our neighbors has been coming in the afternoons to help me start learning Hobongan. Right now I’m just learning basic words for things like numbers, colors, body parts, and household items. Even that is exhausting work. Pray for me to have perseverance as the language learning process is long, exhausting, and sometimes painful.
Thanks for all your prayers and support.