This is Africa

It has been a week. It has been one of those weeks. It has been one of those Africa weeks. The kind where nothing goes the way you thought it would, everything takes twice as long as it should, everyone needs something from you, power outages put a stop to your work, and unexpected situations demand your immediate attention. I knew it had been too calm around here lately. Too peaceful. Too relaxing. I thought I was gonna get to coast right on out of here and it would be smooth sailing until the end. I obviously forgot that I lived in Africa. And perhaps my thought that it would be smooth contributed to the extra annoyance that I felt towards these unforeseen situations. Perhaps the idea that I am sooo close to being in America where these types of things really don’t happen also contributed to my feelings of frustration with Africa.

Here is a fun little example from this past week:

Two days ago Heather took the truck to language and called me at the end of language, while I was in the middle of preparing dinner, to tell me that the neighborhood kids let the air out of all 4 tires. I was so angry I could hardly speak. I love those kids, but in that moment I could have killed them. This has happened before, but then it was only two tires and Ben was still here for me to call for help (Ben and Candi are away on a little vacay). This time we were without an additional vehicle to get to the truck and without a man to help us and without tools to take care of the job. Just two pitiful little girls all alone in Africa. (Can you tell I’m trying to make this sound as heartwrenching as possible?) We had a big workday first thing the next morning, so there was nothing to do but go take care of the problem right then. I was able to grab one of our guards and found the handy dandy foot pump at Ben’s house and we headed towards the road to catch a bajaj to go to the scene of the crime. The kids claim that the caps were off the valves and when they all climbed in the back of the truck to play all four tires just went flat. The air went right out of them. Yeah right. It turned out not as bad as I expected and within about an hour and a half and a whole lot of foot pumping from the guard – and just a little from us – we were back in business.

I will spare you any other details, but just trust me when I say the past week or so has just been African. In so many ways. The good news is we are not stuck in mud, the vehicle is still running, the power is back on, tomorrow is Thanksgiving and we will be celebrating with some of our local friends.

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