The week of Sep 19th ended up being VERY busy for us. Each day was different and we never quite knew what to expect. Our host parents were leading a missions week for the young adults from some of the churches in our area, and the week before it started they asked us to be part of it. Here is a bit of what our week looked like.
Monday: Michael got up and left at 6:30 a.m., he wanted to leave at 6, but our battery was dead so he had to jump it first… He was taking groups into the village where they would be staying for the week. This was about 1½ hours away. Knowing our week was going to be crazy, Nancy helped the kids double up on what homework she could. When Michael came home, he started preparing for his 3 hour chunk he was to fill on Wednesday morning, in French.
Tuesday: Michael and the kids doubled up on more school, while Nancy took the kids’ hour of French and we did normal water day* laundry, filling the barrels, dishes etc. Once the kids finished school we headed downtown to some food to help feed the group that was out in the village. Once we got home, Michael again worked on his notes for his speaking time until the early morning hours.
Wednesday: We left home around 6:30 a.m. and got to the village around 8 a.m. We got a grand welcome! Everyone was still finishing up breakfast and getting ready for the day, so our friend took us to introduce us to the village chief. They were pretty impressed by the little Susu we knew and overall very happy with our visit. Going back to our group, we were followed by 10-15 kids, we can draw a crowd! Finally about 9:30 everyone was gathered together started singing. Some of the guys were getting the generator started so we could use a projector. Finally it was Michael’s turn! We watched and discussed the Awayo video. He gave them a challenge from the Word (2 Peter 3.15-16), gave our testimony and had a time for questions. This lasted until 1 p.m. It was good to see people tracking with what we were saying! By this time, lunch was ready so they fed us rice and sauce and encouraged us to start back as traffic here in town can be awful! We got home around 5 and crashed!
Thursday: The kids again did whatever school they needed to finish for the week. Once they were done, we headed out to do grocery shopping. Nancy also took the kids’ hour of French. Laundry, dishes, filling water barrels was also done since we had water.
Friday: Those still here from our church were trying to get into the community more, so they decided to help clean the school grounds next door. (School starts in early October.) The school also can be rented for wedding receptions on the weekends, which means lots of trash. We spent a good chunk of the morning weeding and cutting back the plants and bushes that had grown over the break. There is also a water runoff from the neighborhood that runs through the property. It was clogged by garbage and rocks so many of us spent time digging that out so the water would flow better. We finished around 1 p.m. That afternoon we made a double batch of pizza to give some as a special treat to the kids who had been left behind that week. They were pretty excited!
Saturday: Michael again left around 6 a.m. to go help bring back all the young adults and luggage. He got home around noon. After a rest, we headed downtown to pick up something from a friend. Since culturally you don’t just “grab and go”, this was a 3-4 hour trip.
Sunday: Pretty normal, church started at 9 and went straight through to 1pm without a break. We tried to take the rest of the day calmly, spending quality time with the kids.
Monday: We were back next door at the school. Since the young adults were back our group was bigger, which was good! A group attacked the 13 classrooms. They had cobwebs in the windows almost as thick as screen, dust was thick as there are no screens or window panes. Another group went after the trash heap. Trash is always a big problem here. This pile had not been placed well for some time and was overflowing into the courtyard. Before we started to push it back we found 2 avocado trees that were growing in the pile and a cucumber plant with 2 cucumbers on it! The group also salvaged a large pile of wood from the trash, which is still used for cooking by most. They worked until almost 4 p.m.! Nancy was slightly frustrated as both days we were working whenever she would find a tool and start working someone would come and take the tool from her.
Thankfully, the rest of the week was back to a more normal schedule! As tiring as it all was, it made leaps towards making us a bit more normal to those who may not see us except in church! And cemented friendships by giving us adventures to share!
* We get water on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, so we try to get a lot done on those days.