hamstring or quad

Okay, ready?
Stupid Marge Moment in Africa #1

There’s this building right behind our house in our little compound that I believe is used for storage of some sort. It’s a simple square building with a flat roof. There’s a really strange makeshift ladder that is sometimes next to it and it also has a fireman-like pole attached to one side.

So anyways, Elijah and Bratcher have climbed up there several times to lie in the sun and relax and read and sleep and get some time to themselves. Leah went up there the other day as well. One night early this week, we made popcorn yet again and decided to sit outside and eat and look at the stars, which when the nights are clear are incredible. And in order to see the stars and moon better, we decided that we too wanted to climb up on top of this building.

Elijah helped us up using the ladder and we sat up there for a while and had a great time. The night was beautiful and the moon was full and it was great and relaxing.

The issue for me was getting down. Now, it seemed pretty simple. You just shimmy over the horizontal part of the fireman pole and slide down. There were two people on the ground spotting us, and it really wasn’t that hard to get down at all. I made it over and started sliding down and was doing great until, BAM, I hit this little spicket type thing that was sticking out of the side of the pole. Yes, I hit it with my thigh and it did not feel good. No one really told me it was there and I slammed right into it.

Moral of the story: Even in the dark, look before you slide down fireman poles for a spicket thing or you’ll end up with one beautiful bruise on the inside of your thigh for a good long time.

*Football player comes into the training room where Christi Church is working holding the front of his thigh and limping and maybe almost crying a little bit.

CC: Um, that would be your quad. Your hamstring is the back of your leg.

Christi and I laugh about this for a long long time.*


matching choirs

I think Sundays are my favorite days. They kind of always have been. I have always loved church in the morning, a relaxing afternoon most likely with a nap, and fellowship of some kind at night, with dad’s popcorn for dinner. Sundays here aren’t that different than my Sundays at home. Granted, church is longer here, but the afternoon is relaxing and really nice with our Vesper service and Kara and I had popcorn for dinner last night.

Church in Africa is different than anywhere else I’ve been. And I’m learning to love it. In the States, church is fast and then everyone leaves. In Central and South America, church is long and everyone sits down and talks after the service. In Africa, church is wonderful. Our team has been split into three different groups and we go to three different churches. So Kara, Audrey, Brandon and Michael and I go to Mochipapa church, right next to the current World Hope offices. We go to Sunday school at 9 and normally the Vice Pastor teaches the lesson. Lately we’ve been talking about Abraham and how he was wiser by faith. They also asked the question, “should the church choose spouses for the youth?” which has been an interesting discussion both in and outside of church in our group. By about 10:15, everyone has come and the church is getting full, we start a time of singing and dancing. There is a different worship leader every week and they lead us through different songs and times of prayer, as well as offering. There are two choirs, one with 6 or 7 ladies called the Queen Esther choir and one with probably 30 people in it. They provide special music throughout the time of singing. There is also a praise team with around 15 people in it that gets up and leads us in worship choruses. This is normally my favorite part because we all get up and dance. It’s so freeing to dance in church. I think that’s my favorite thing here, the dancing. They also take offering during one of the songs. After a little over an hour, the pastor gets up and preaches for about an hour. Sometimes it’s longer, like last week, when we didn’t get out of there until one, I think. And then, as we exit, everyone stands in a line and shakes everyone else’s hand. It’s so nice because you get to see and somewhat meet everyone in the church every week. Vespers in the afternoon allows us to sing some of our favorite songs, ones that we know the words to, and read scripture and pray together. It is more relaxed but still pretty powerful and really nice since the students are the ones that set it up every week.

Prayer of St. Francis of Assissi (We used this during Vespers and it’s been something I’m thinking about a lot this week)

Make me a channel of your peace.
Where there is hatred let me bring your love;
Where there is injury your pardon, Lord;
And where’s there’s doubt true faith in you.
Make me a channel of your peace.
Where there’s despair in life let me bring hope;
Where there is darkness, only light;
And where there’s sadness, ever joy.
Oh, Master grant that I may never seek
So much to be consoled as to console;
To be understood as to understand;
To be loved as to love with all my soul.
Make me a channel of your peace.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
In giving to all men that we receive;
And in dying that we’re born to eternal life.

Both the choirs and the praise team at church try to all match every week. One time, the praise team all wore red shirts. Yesterday, the Queen Esther choir had matching chitenges, shirts and hats and the other choir all wore blue polos and black skirts or pants. It was pretty sweet.


the end is not the end

Random updates:
- I’m still entering African names and other information into the system for the WHIZ staff. Yikes, I totally thought I’d be done by now, but there’s lots of names. My favorite ones so far have been Fridge and Controller. It’s pretty sweet.
- I’m still blowing my nose a lot. And as Nick says, “Aren’t we all.” Yeah, 14 people in a small house, should have expected that.
- Housemates: I probably will come back with worms. Get over it. I’ll get deworming medicine before I leave.
- Mom, I have exciting news: I am a pro speed scrabble player. I challenge you to a game when I get home. It’s so fun.
- We get really excited about chocolate and cookies and popcorn here.
- I’m on page 745.
- It’s still really warm, and I’m still getting sunburned.

Alright, on a more serious note, there’s some things about Africa that have been breaking my heart and making me think. It’s fun being here, but not always easy.

AIDS: I find myself staring AIDS in the face every day here. And that’s not really a bad thing. But I’ve realized how little I know about the entire epidemic, both here in Zambia as well as everything that surrounds AIDS in America. I’ve probably encountered AIDS more times here than I even know. We’ve visited HIV+ and AIDS patients, and I’m not ever scared, but it’s just so different than anything I’ve ever run across in the states or other countries that I’ve been to before. I’m still not sure what I’m supposed to do about it. Maybe I’m not supposed to do anything. I don’t know, and right now I’m okay with not knowing.

HOPE: Despite everything that these people have been through and continue to go through, there is still so much hope. I get too caught up in things that don’t matter when I’m living with too many material things. I lose hope quickly. I get short-sighted. But I know more now. And the question that I’ve been asking myself lately is, what am I going to do about it when I leave? What am I going to do about it 5, 10 or 20 years down the road? Africa will still be with me, in one way or another. What am I going to do about it?

*And we were soldiers then – our bodies in the sand
And like that sand through our hands – go our grandest plans
And just to see your face for one moment
I’d cross the ocean again
The end is not the end
And I’ll be by your side on the other side
I’ll be by your side on the other side

And through the cloud of death – we’d find our way back home
And though I hold your hand – all must go alone
And when you see the face of our maker
You don’t have to be ashamed
He knows the promises we made
And I’ll be by your side on the other side
I’ll be by your side on the other side*

By Your Side – House of Heroes (thanks, kid)



So, I'm officially taking a survey. Should I or should I not get dreds this weekend? It would make life real easy and I was going to cut my hair short anyway when I got home. What do you guys think?