Over the river and through the woods

The “river” I crossed.

Oxen plowing

I didn’t get in my 3 mile run today, but I definitely got in my 3 mile walk, hike, nature trail, and adventure. Today’s tasks led me over the river, through the woods, across the mud, up the mountain, down the middle of the dry river bed, and across many a field. I saw a whole lot of countryside today…on foot…and I pretty much enjoyed it.

Today’s task was to deworm the goats that have been distributed to the 12 women currently in our program. Each woman has 2 goats and many of those goats have kids. The call was sent out for them to gather at a couple of specific locations – and by a call was sent out, I mean a kid was dispatched to run across the countryside and let each house know where they were supposed to go. Amazingly, this method works….most of the time.

For our second gathering spot of the day, we had to literally cross the river – without a bridge- and hike halfway up the mountain to the location. Once we had finished there one of our ladies asked us to come pray for her husband who is either crazy or demon possessed…we aren’t sure which. I had been to her house before and I knew it wasn’t “close” like she said, but rather another 20 minutes up the mountain, but we felt that we should go, so we did. Her husband has been sick for 4 years and in that time they have often offered goat blood sacrifices to the devil and/or spirits or gods…so what might have begun as a sickness has quite potentially now become something else. It is so weird that that almost seems normal.

After that, it was back down the mountain and across a few fields past barefoot kids plowing with their oxen to find one of the women who hadn’t shown up at her specified location. And then back across the river on foot and over the muddy roads in the truck hoping to get out of that joint before the rains came. It really is too soon in the rainy season to call and say that I’ve gotten the truck stuck.

Despite the value of all of today’s walking, I was still force fed two cups of overly sweet hot tea and at one house was even reprimanded and told that in this culture when an old person tells you to drink tea, you don’t tell him that you don’t want it, you say “okay.” So, I said “okay” and I drank it…. as if I had a choice.

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