Day 17, Wednesday, March 21

We didn’t sleep well again last night.  Someone was blaring African tribal music for a few hours.  (The night before, some goats had been pawing at the outside of our walls all night keeping us awake.)  They have a wind-up recording device that they’ve used to record everyone singing after church on Sundays, and somebody likes to play it entirely too loud in the hut across from us.  I know that everything always seems worse when I’m tired, and that’s definitely magnified here.  Right now all sorts of little things are bothering me, like the annoying bee that’s flying around us, the numerous ants crawling all over, and the fact that I can never stay clean here.

Just after I wrote that this morning, I read Hebrews 12:1-13.  The main parts that stuck out were “run with perseverance the race marked out for us.  Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith,” and, “Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful man, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.  In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood,” and, “Endure hardship as discipline.  God is treating you as sons.  For what son is not disciplined by his father?”  Finally, “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful.  Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness & peace for those who have been trained by it.  Therefore strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees.”

The rest of the day was pretty good.  In the morning I washed clothes at the bore hole.  Apparently, I wash in a funny way, ‘cause this time a group of about ten women were in a semicircle around me, not just children.  They would talk and laugh, and by the end, one of them was helping me ‘cause I wasn’t doing it “right.” 🙂

During all of this a man or two went by who could speak English and would address me.  This is very normal around here for people to greet you and introduce themselves, so I thought nothing of it when a very tall man introduced himself.  First he asked normal questions like if I was from America & why I was here.  By this time I thought it would be wise to mention the fact that I was here with my husband.  He ended up saying I should leave and go with him, and I obviously said I would do no such thing.  He said it in a teasing way, but was definitely not joking about the matter.  The main part that made me uncomfortable with the situation was that none of the women could speak English, and so that didn’t know why I was upset.  They had seen him try to touch my hair, but they laughed at it. (Maybe they were embarrassed, I’m not sure.)  I stood up and moved to the other side of the women until he left.

When I told Bryan and Elnana about it, Elnana was appropriately concerned and went to see who the man was, but when someone asked me about it at lunch, everyone else laughed.  Brad explained that this is pretty normal in Africa, not that it makes it right.  He said his daughters had to deal with it all the time.  I knew stuff like that happened to unmarried women, but I did not expect it as a married woman.

In the afternoon we took a nap and a break from data-gathering.

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Published in: on May 20, 2007 at 7:53 pm  Leave a Comment  

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