Remember those days when your biggest problems were:
- That you actually had to carry your clothes downstairs and throw them into a washing machine? And then throw them 1 foot to the side into the dryer?
Imagine washing everything by hand, carrying your sopping wet clothes to the clothesline (that you had to rig up before you washed your clothes in the first place) and then praying that God would give you favor so that your clothes would be dry in 5-6 hours and not get soaked by a random torrential downpour.
- That your clothes shrunk too much while in the dryer?
Imagine taking your clothes down after an extravagant time on the clothesline, only to discover that 1) they still smell bad and 2) they stretched out another 2 inches.
- That you didn’t have enough to do on Facebook? People weren’t following you on Twitter? You didn’t have anything “cool” to write for your blog or latest FB status or tweet? That you had to actually get out of bed to get on the computer and access your FREE WiFi?
Imagine having to walk at least 20 minutes to pay to get very spotty Internet (and just for an extra kick, there’s no air conditioning and you’re sweating, but you can’t leave because you have too much to take care of in just a little hour’s time.), or because you’re in such a remote village, all you have is an Internet stick with a limited amount of memory which allows you to “maybe” have enough time to load your email that month.
- That you had to make your bed?
Imagine that you have to share a double bed with 3 others, and on top of that, it’s hot, so you’re all sweaty, stinky, and sleeping very close together to avoid touching the mosquito net, which is keeping you from getting eaten alive by malaria-ridden mosquitos at night 🙂
- That you had your own bathroom?
Imagine 8 people sharing 1 lidless toilet situated in a tiny bathroom that you can barely squeeze into, with the tiny sink located just outside the door. Oh, and the toilet “maybe” flushes…it’s hit or miss.
- That you had constant, reliable electricity?
Every month, no matter where you are, you will be guaranteed to be without electricity at some point when you really, really need it. And it even begins to be a fun adventure, creates fun team time, and can be hilariously “romantic” once the candles are lit 🙂
- That you had running water all the time, and *gasp!* even HOT water for your shower?
Imagine hopping into the freezing cold shower with water pouring from a rusty pipe overhead (but this is actually some of the best water pressure you’ve had on the Race) with an almost see-through shower curtain shielding you from the rest of the house and neighbors? Or you might find yourself in a wooden shelter, open to the sun and stars, with but a tarp for a door. Or, the showers don’t work at all, but while there’s still a bit of running water, you can opt for the bucket shower — by the end of the month, you’ve become a pro and actually realize you’ve begun to prefer it.
- That you had to choose whether to meet your friends at Starbucks or your favorite local coffee shop?
Imagine no coffee at all, or the best you can find is a 3-in-1 powdered packet, or instant coffee at the local convenience store…which really ends up not being that great. But you love it anyway, because it’s all you have 🙂
- That you had to figure out what to make for dinner or order pizza?
Imagine having to walk every day to the local market for fresh food or pick it from the garden that your hosts worked so hard to plant, then prepare and cook the food for 5 hours for your every meal over a bed of hot charcoal or a wood fire?
- That you had to fit 6 people into your 5-seater car?
Imagine cramming 22 people into an 11-seater van, and the driver still stops and tries to fit more people in so he makes more money. Oh, Africa.
I was laughing with several of my squadmates today thinking about when I’m home, how many times I will probably have to stop myself from doing something I think is “normal” but is really not, according to American standards, haha!
Hope you enjoyed this little list…hopefully I’ll be able to post some more blogs soon about our newest ministry here in Swaziland! Know that we’re doing well, living with 2 other teams here at El Shaddai, scraping paint off the walls during the day, playing with the kids in the evenings, and enjoy some beautiful mountain scenery, bonfires, stargazing, and getting some good rest.
Love you all!