Heather and I made trip #2 to the grass hut this weekend. It was actually trip #1 for Heather, but we decided to face the inconvenience of countryside living together this time. The trip was short and sweet (I learned how long two days and nights can seem last time I visited the grass house and didn’t sleep at all. You can relive that situation with me by checking out my December 2012 blog), but honestly it is just more comfortable for all involved for us to only stay a short time.
We showed up Sunday night in time for them to start making dinner and we attempted to help a bit. Our job was to pick the trash out of the dried lentils – a slightly boring and tedious job, but very doable even by incompetent Americans. When we weren’t helping with dinner, we were subject to making small talk with our friend’s father, who as the host was required to make small talk with us. I couldn’t understand half of what he was saying, so I was grateful for any job that allowed me to quit talking and start working. Really guests are not supposed to help do work at all, as they told us over and over, but we wanted to learn and we didn’t want to make small talk, so it seemed like the best option for us. If her parents told us once that night, they told us a hundred times (in their language), “Don’t be bored.” When you are a guest in someone’s home, you are supposed to be happy and chattering and if they do not think you are happy enough they will command you to be happy…..over and over and over again. Heather and I tried to look happy and pleasant the entire time, but we still got told that multiple times. I’m pretty sure they mainly say it out of nervous habit, but we might have gotten a little tired of hearing it : )
After a dinner of lentils, injera, soured bread, and fresh cow cheese around 9:30 pm, Heather and I made ourselves cozy in the one bed in the house. Well, we got in the bed, but there was no making it cozy. Just like when I slept there before, that bed – and what I really mean is those dried corn stalks – was solid as a rock. We did come prepared with ear plugs for the pesky rooster though, so I was able to sleep some that night. I must have rolled from side to side 50 times as I slept as long as I could on one side till my hip bone hurt, then rolled to my back till my back hurt, then rolled to the other side till my arm fell asleep – like that back and forth all night. For this reason people, I do not go camping. I do not enjoy sleeping in hard places! But I did sleep, unlike Heather, who said she must have stayed awake all night long. At promptly 3:00 am, (I looked at my watch) the rooster started his incessant crowing. Even with earplugs in, it sounded as if he were 10 feet away. Oh, wait, that’s because he was 10 feet away. If you’ve forgotten, animals sleep in the house in the countryside, so we were sharing the house with donkeys, cattle, and yes, roosters. How in the world they sleep through that racket, I will never know! Between the hard bed, the rooster, and my fear of having to pee in the middle of the night (the “bathroom” …. I mean the hole in the ground, was outside, where the hyenas also like to be at night), it is a miracle I slept, but I did! Praise the Lord!
We didn’t last long after breakfast the next morning and were eagerly looking forward to our showers and bed once we made it back. It was an experience…it always is.