Thursday, October 3, 2013

Lessons Learned

I hardly noticed the group of young boys who had gathered at the door
to the boys dorms. 10 or so wide-eyed, dark faces peered in with huge
grins on their faces. They watched and giggled as I struggled with the
mosquito nets. This was the last of many nets I was asked to hang, and
what had started as a “simple” task had turned out to be one of the
most exhausting things I’d done in my month here in Yako. When Mike
asked me to hang the mosquito nets in the boys and girls dorms, I
quickly obliged.  “Yes! Absolutely! Not a problem at all. Done and
don.” I believe were my exact words. I figured, how hard can hanging a
couple of mosquito nets be? The answer? Extremely hard. “A few” nets
turned out to be well over 20, and they needed some doctoring up. You
see, the bunk beds were smaller than the nets, which created a
drooping problem with the nets. Basically, if you were trying to sleep
on either the top or bottom bunk, you would be suffocated by your all
too helpful mosquito net. So, after much careful consideration, I
found a solution: run some string around the room, and voila! Problem
solved! Again, easier than it sounds. So, here I was, last bunk bed,
last mosquito net, with quite the audience. They were laughing at the
“nasada” (white person) covered in sweat, mumbling death threats to
the uncooperative string. The lesson I learned while this task was
underway: EVERYTHING in Africa takes more energy, patience and time.
It was probably the heat (it was a scorcher today) and the lack of
ventilation in the dorms that zapped my patience and energy, but I
swear, even the slightest task here seems to be a LOT of work!!
People, don’t take air conditioning for granted! I literally sat on a
bench outside willing the breeze to blow, convincing myself that there
indeed WAS a breeze cooling off my pathetic overheated body. In the
end, the boys ended up helping me and bringing me some water. Bless
their sweet, laughing hearts. They took pity on me.

1 comment:

Sarah said...

That's the hardest to explain to people that EVERYTHING is work. Getting out of bed is work. Which is why the discipline of REST is that much more important. Love you.

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