Today we saw something new.
In my 32 years on earth and 19 of christianity I have never heard of the tradition of beating Judas on Good Friday. Today as we drove to our weekly family day location-River #2- we past what I would call a scare-a-crow stuffed full of clothes instead of straw. He was sitting in the middle of the road in a chair. The kids yelled, "Dudas! It's a Dudas". Of course that launched 100 questions on our part and found out that on Good Friday they stuff these things and call them Dudas which means Judas from the Bible. They beat it to smithereens at some specified time of the day because he betrayed Jesus. We passed a total of 3 and as we were coming home from the beach they had all been annihilated. The clothes were spread all over the road. Has anyone else ever heard of that?
Speaking of the beach. We love it. All week we look forward to it and everyone gets so excited, myself included. People ask us how we are doing here and what life is like but it is really hard to answer that. Last Friday I really had a meltdown. Thank goodness it was only an inward meltdown and no one around me knew that I was upset. It started because I get really antsy when anyone is inside our compound and we had 3 other people here besides the guard and cook. One of them was trying to take something they shouldn't and they were all waiting on me to pay them for various things. I didn't know how much so I was trying to call Andrew who I couldn't reach and the kids kept kicking a soccer ball on my new little sprouting flowers that I was excited about growing. That is not all but I am going to choose not to elaborate more than that. Andrew also had a tough week. While we are aware that we are much wealthier than anyone around us and we want to help people it gets so exhausting to have people ask you for things everywhere you go. There is a man in the area who waits at our door every day and if we go outside the gate he is there ready to ask for some money or an egg or something. You think someone is coming around talking to you because they really do want to know you but then they ask for money and you find out that they were only building up to asking for something. It will be hard for us to make real friends here because of that. There is another man who comes about once a week. He is not all there and begs without end that we would call BBC to tell them to stop talking to him through the radio. He is sure that they are telling him to hurt people and they are telling other people to hurt him. When we were buying chickens I had a lady rush me and shove a boy towards me. She then held his face from behind so that I would look at his face and said, "Look at this boy! Look at his face. He needs a chicken, buy him a chicken!" Except this boy didn't look like he was sick or that he was doing without any meals or anything so I said no and moved on. There has yet to be a time when we go anywhere that at least 5-10 people don't beg us for something. Then you also have the everyday difficulty of living. There is no dishwasher so you hand wash 7 peoples dishes. You also can only do laundry when all the stars are aligned there is electricity. You have to hope that it will stay on long enough to make it through the wash and dry cycle. If you have to hang it on the line-well it is probably going to be pointless. Like today, I washed the cover on our bed and hung it up on the line. The nail came out of the cement wall(again) and the cover went strait into the water drainage area where it is really gross with dirty food and muck. The other day the people in the compound next to us were burning trash and the smell permeated everything on the line. So anyway, it is hard here. But you know, we really feel like it is where God wants us and we would not be happy anywhere else. On the way to the beach Andrew commented on how he liked it here. And I do too. Some days I may not feel the same but overall we are at peace with this and are learning to love it-even the hard parts. I kind of like the way everything is so old school. You want furniture-build it. You want eggs-go ask the lady with the coop. You want to know how the game ends-listen to the radio. Everything has pro's and con's. Here are the photos of this weeks biggest pro's:
Beautiful Isatu at gorgeous River #2
John, Levi and Isatu
The little fishermen-no bites today. They were quicker than any of us expected.