Today was remarkably productive and we made it back to camp in time for half of us to shower before the dinner bell rang.
We had breakfast in our bellies and the translators on site by 7 o’clock. We set out with the plan to take the old man crew to a set of houses that were separate but connected. At some point in the last week or two, the lady who was to live in one of them passed away and the neighbor became the caretaker for her children and family. So, the two houses became one but still counted as two in our grand countdown. However, when we pulled up, someone decided that it would be best for us all to stay there and tackle the whole thing rather than for us to split. The 10 of us got both of them finished and were back at the compound by 11 o’clock this morning. You would have thought we’d been doing this together for years. Everything but the generator operated like a well-oiled machine (we made do). Thankfully, it was in the ideal location. Tucked back in a corner past a few houses and the local cinema was the mostly shady little nook. We whipped through the both of them in right at 3 and a half hours. We had two separate key/picture ceremonies, packed our things, and were on our way.
After lunch, we actually went back to the splitting idea and both groups went back to the same “neighborhood” that we have been all week. First off, the young guns had to go finish up a couple of key/picture ceremonies that we missed out on yesterday before we could continue on to the next one. We aren’t sure if the fact that it is Monday made the difference but both crews had way way way more company today. The other crew was tucked away in a tiny little hole and claim they had a classroom full of pre-teens running around while they were working. Our area was actually a large plot of land on a big slab with just enough shade to tease us most of the afternoon. But both crews were able to plow through those houses, perform the ceremonies (with no interpreter, have you) , and get on our way. I will admit that the old dogs beat us young guns again this afternoon and had to come help us (or at least supervise) finish off the porch. We have now been sitting around the camp for 3 hours enjoying the now perfect conditions.
Highlight of the day: Lunch and dinner were just terrific today- for a number of reasons. At lunch, the preacher who we are doing all of the work for, insisted to Roody that we take some of the fish that they caught yesterday and let the cooks fix it for us. I don’t like fish. I’ll admit that from the get-go. This meal still had scales and fins when it was served to us. It was absolutely delicious! We were all just floored by how amazing it was! That may have had something to do with our exhaustion level but it was easily the best thing we have had the whole trip. We thought temporarily that we would get to witness a modern-day feeding of the multitude. Only, instead of 4,000 it was 10 hungry men. And instead of a few fish and a few loaves of bread, it was 9 chunks of fish and some homemade potato chips. The fish did manage to make it all the way around the table but there definitely was not 7 baskets leftover (maybe we ate all 7 of those too). Then dinner rolled around and we had the infamous “octo-dogs.” They really are kind of a nifty idea but they just slice a regular hot dog into a few slivers but leave it whole on one end. When they are fried, they curl up and look like octopuses (or octopi). They didn’t taste quite like a regular hot dog but, then again, nothing around here tastes quite the same as back home.
The prayer concerns remain the same. They are obviously paying off so far as none of us have given out at any point. If we can just survive along and coast through the 1-3:30 hours, the rest of the day is pretty tolerable- being that we are used to unusually hot and humid conditions. The shade spots have been perfectly placed so far, so we thank you for continuing to pray for us in that. God has been so gracious to us as we all knew He would be. We have a special project in mind for Thursday that we are not totally sure about just yet. There are things in motion right now but we’ll save the details for later on as they come out.
We are all dropping like flies around here already and it is only 8:30. We should be plenty rested by the morning.