Everything in Africa is hard!  I don’t want to sound like I’m complaining, but I want you to know just how hard things are here so that you would know a little better how to pray.  I think I caught strep throat a couple days ago, so I haven’t been feeling too good and I can hardly talk and sleeping is rough.  Thankfully one of the new missionaries here is a doctor and she was able to get me some penicillin, but I still haven’t really started to feel any better yet.

We have gone for three days with no water coming out of the faucets.  It is a little frustrating because we spend our day doing so many things and being around children and they are so dirty (bless their hearts) and so you are dirty and sweaty all the time.  When you come in for the night you want nothing more than a shower and there is none to be had – only a jerry can and plastic tub.  And no, you can’t flush the toilet without water, so this is the routine – pour water into the plastic tub, wash up, dump the dirty water into the back of the toilet and repeat that with every washing and then when you “have” to flush the toilet you can.

And the electricity is out more than it is on.  Thankfully the hotel we are at will run their really big generator (which is right outside our room by the way) and we can charge batteries and stuff from about 6pm-midnight and then again for a couple hours in the morning.  The lighting in our room is very dim, so even when the lights are on it is so frustrating trying to “see” – like when you need to dig through your bag to find something you just get so frustrated because it’s not bright enough.  And the electrical outlet endures these power surges so it buzzes and crackles and then you have to monkey with the cord in order for the power to come through smoothly.

Oh and let us not forget the mosquitos and the mosquito net.  Thankfully we have gotten this routine down pretty well, but still!  You get so tired of getting up at night to use the bathroom (because you’ve drank so much water all day) and having to slip under the net and then slip back into the net and then re-tuck the net into the mattress so that the mosquitos don’t fly up and under the net.  Apparently they are really attracted to our carbon monoxide and especially to the smell of feet!  So I always try to wash my feet before bed and I wear heavy socks.  I’ ve been bit quite a bit, but not at night – which is when the “bad” malaria mosquitos tend to bite.

And there’s driving here.  You just can’t imagine worse roads.  Our bodies are constantly being jostled and bumped and jarred.  I can’t imagine how the vehicles survive here.  You HAVE to have 4wd or you just won’t be able to really go anywhere.  Once the rainy season is ended they will repair the roads, but there is not sense doing it before then because the rain will just wash out the repairs.  There are only one or two paved roads here.  The rest are all dirt and they are full of pot holes at best and creeks at worst.  It’s really just hard to describe to be honest with you.

This is what the people here have to deal with everyday and even more.  Sometimes the town will run out of gasoline.  Sometimes the UN or other NGOs will come into town and buy up all the food and supplies to take to Sudan or the Congo and then it creates inflation and food shortages.  It just goes on and on.  I have so much respect for the people here, especially the missionaries who have a choice to leave and they don’t.  I have been humbled by their dedication to these people!  May God bless them!

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