Not sure it you have read Alexander’s book or not, but I thought I would share with you about my terrible, horrible, no good, really bad day.
I was on a trip to Liberia out in a remote village. We had been forced to motorbike in to the village as the bridges were down and their car couldn’t get out. I had spent 3 days with them and it was time to begin my voyage back. I woke up early to hear rain pouring down hard and realized that it had been raining all night. I started wondering/worrying about how this would go as we were about to leave on our 2 hour motorbike trip. Two hours later the drivers arrive and go down to check and see if the bridges are passable or flooded. We load up my stuff and take off with rain pouring down. The first 2 broken bridges were passable, I starting to feel encouraged because in my mind this is a good sign, but I was wrong. The flooding was ahead of us. We drove through muddy roads. 3 times he got stuck and I had to get off, so he could get out. When I got off me feet sunk into the mud, and my shoes would get stuck. I had to pull my shoes out and wade through deep mud barefoot. We also drove through flooded parts of the road which on the upside cleaned off some mud, but also left me completely drenched. When we arrived at the air strip I was a muddy, wet mess, but we had arrived and we were on time. Then it was a waiting game for the flight to arrive. I was really cold as I was soaked and it was a chilly day. For the first time that I can remember I was dreaming of soup and and warm fire in Africa. I couldn’t wait to get to the guesthouse and have a hot shower.
It was a cloudy day, but we talked to the guys on the ground and they said the plane should be able to land because the clouds were high. The missionary who brought me out drove to get supplies as his family is trapped in the village and their food was running low. So I was there patiently waiting on my own. An hour later the plane arrived and I got up ready to leave. The plane circled around, but didn’t land. The airstrip worker tried to radio him to tell him where the clouds were open, but he couldn’t get through to the pilot. After 3 attempts the plane left. I was heartbroken, but the worker called the next airstrip and he said the pilot would come back if the weather cleared up. I was left waiting another hour. I started praying that the weather would clear up. An hour later when the flight should have returned, the weather cleared up, and I got hopeful. But the plane never came, as his load was already too heavy he was forced to return to Monrovia. My flight to Dakar was scheduled for the next day. I was now stuck with no way to Monrovia and madly trying to figure out what this meant now. A few hours later the missionary stopped by to make sure I had gotten off and surprise I was still there. He also was not successful as the reachable town only had rice, sugar and oil at the store. The store was out of everything else including salt as they were waiting on a shipment, that hadn’t arrived. We started calling people to see what could be done about my flight and exploring options as once we got back into the village our connection by phone or internet could be cut off. In the end another plane couldn’t come for 3 days. I may have thrown a slight temper tantrum that only God could hear. But there was nothing to do, but return to the village again.
I went to the bathroom before we loaded up to go. There was no running water so I lifted the lid to pour water in and flush it before leaving. When I picked up the lid there was a huge hairy tarantula hiding there just under where I was sitting seconds before. The spider was as big as my hand. I stood there shaking my head, what a day.
I climbed on the moto and back we went. 2 hours through the mud and flooded roads. The moto started making noises and my driver said to pray it would make it. We make it close to the village and the broken bridge is so flooded that the motos can’t pass. The guys push the motos and carry the supplies by hand while I waded through water up to my waist and tried desperately not to fall in. We arrived back tired, wet, muddy and unsuccessful.
Since it was cloudy all day there was no network in the village and so no way to tell Joel that I was not going to make it and that he needed to change my flight. So we ventured in to the village in hopes that we could find network. The one good thing of the day was that we were able to find internet in one spot in the village to send a message off to Joel that I was safe.
Now I would be arriving back to Senegal 3 days later which meant that I would arrive just after Joel will have left on his trip. It meant 2 more motorbike rides through the mud and muck. It meant missing my boys for more days and waiting to hear from them about their first days of school. But on the bright side it also meant a few more days with this precious family in the village and a chance to participate more in their life. I knew things would look up in the morning after a little sleep, so it was time end that day and hope that the next one would be brighter.
It was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day, but according to the book everyone has those even in Australia.
You should write your own book!
Toby Beck says
OK, so we’re not supposed to treat our missionaries like super heroes. But Andi, I kind of have to say you’re like a super hero. I was reading this whole thing thinking it was Joel on the trip and being very amazed at what he was having to go through. But then it turns out it was YOU on the trip and I was even more impressed. I know, you weren’t hoping for such a difficult trip and you just did what you had to do. But my hat is off to you! Thanks for the window into this adventure (that’s what you call it from a comfortable chair) and the reminder to keep lifting you up in prayer. Blessings, Toby