We have come through our first week as a nation unto itself and not much has changed. I think that is a good thing for now. Internet access on the other hand has gotten much worse. I have about one hour a day of good internet and that is at 6 a.m. Welcome to the third world.
On Friday, the first of the new money arrived in the Yei banks. I haven’t seen it yet and I am even trying to spend the old as fast as I can before I leave. I don’t want to return from my visit in the USA during the month of August and find that my money is not good for anything. I bought a few pieces of handmade furniture for my new base in Aweil. Everything is made from mahogany or teak wood in the deep south because that is what grows here. In Aweil there are very few trees and all things are plastic. Yuck!!
I moved last week into a dorm style house, individual rooms that are a bit smaller than the office space I had been living in since September. But, I now have an inside shower for the first time in over two years!!! Praise Jesus!! I still have to haul water and take the ever famous bucket bath but I can’t say how wonderful it is to bathe in private, not having to be aware of people walking by on the path or that someone is next in line and waiting their turn outside the curtain. I am blessed, I am blessed!
I looked back on my life these last two years and have been so thankful for all that I have. There are so many people really suffering because of the poverty here. Most live in mud huts with grass roofs, which harbor poisonous spiders and the occasional snake. They also leak in the rainy season. Try sweeping a dirt floor. Most people sleep on a grass mat on the floor with no pillow and many with no blanket. I have a bed and mosquito net. Most people have maybe three sets of clothes. I have plenty. Most people get their water from a local pond or stream, which has been used in every way by other people and animals. I have a borehole close by. Most people have to cook every meal over an open fire, meaning they have to collect firewood every day. I have a propane stove and cooks on the compound. Most people walk everywhere. I now have a motorbike. I have so much to be thankful for and I am ever so grateful for all that I have. God has been so good to me.
This month has been the early harvest season and boy have we been harvesting. For the first time in my life I am harvesting the things I have planted. I planted ground nuts and now have picked them and eaten them. I helped plant maize corn and now I just wander into the cornfield, pick me one right of the stalk, shuck it, go to the fire pit and roast it, and eat it!! It is by far my favorite snack. Yesterday, one of the young girls and I went walking in a gentle drizzle and picked our corn and stood in this soft rain roasting our corn. It felt so wonderful. These are the days I simply love here. Everything is green and beautiful.
Friday night was our usual Friday Night Furnace prayer and worship service. The children love this night and this week it was a full harvest moon, all nice and orange. We danced and sang and beat the African drums and prayed with all our hearts. As we were closing up the church we noticed a small boy who didn’t belong to us. He came across the small creek because he heard us singing. He just wanted to be with us. Two of our older boys walked him home and his mom is a night nurse at the local hospital. His dad was in the village. We told him he is welcome every Friday night. We are praying that people will start to join us and so this is our first “outsider” and we are glad that the harvest has begun.