My last day out in the village for a while. Sun is setting behind the mango tree, and the breeze is unbelievable. It has been that way most evenings as of late. I have been here for a long time now, actually, the longest I have stayed here without returning for supplies. Incidentally, I am broke.* I have been out of money for the last four or five days, just living on what I have here at the house/ hut. (It is still more than the rest of the people out here.) But I have no bread, or any fruit from the weekly market currently due to a lack of funds. I used my last bit of cash to buy medicine for the chief’s son. I cannot wait to eat something other than noodles, but I will eat well tomorrow when I leave the bush and get back into town.
I must say that this time out here has been different than any other. It has produced in me a different attitude about being here, a much more quiet attitude. My spirit has been calmer here than normal. Maybe it is all of the events with the kidney stone incident, current civil conditions here, and a healthy dose of spiritual reflection. I do not know.
Here in the village, life seems timeless. Little, black bodies bob up and down in the fields towards the horizon, just as they did yesterday, just as they will tomorrow. The sun comes up at the same time and sets at the same time every day. It has not rained a single time for months, and the temperature is always the same. My friends are complaining back in the states of snow and ice, and I am realizing I live in an endless summer. Some may think that sounds great. As for me, summer is my least favorite season.
I have spent much time in study and the Word these weeks. It has been real good too. I have accomplished much in language study, listened to a dozen of those astronomy lectures, done a study on the book of Jude, started a refresher on basic biblical doctrines, and have made my way through most of the Gospels and the Pentateuch. It is amazing how much you can get done when all the noise of distraction is pulled out of your life. I have no idea what has happened in the rest of the world, and surprisingly, I am okay with this fact. The world is still here, I know that much. I have no temptations to steal my time here. (It is not to say I have no temptations, as I have discovered they abound at every turn.) However, here there is no television or internet to waste time with, no markets or places to leech up hours of my day. It is just me, my back porch, and the same group of villagers passing by day after day.
I started helping my neighbor in the fields this past week. It nearly killed me. Minutes in this equator sun are like hours of sun in America. I did not realize how draining it was until I was finished for the day. I had a headache for the next three days! We watered an acre field of eggplants with a plant feeder… each one, individually. Of course there are no water hoses here, so we had to draw water out of a well, bucket by bucket, and water the plants by hand. (A chore that must be tackled every day during the dry season.) Then we weeded the ground with a hand hoe. I was bent over for hours doing this. There is no mechanical assistance. The fields are plowed with a pair of oxen pulling a steel plow.
Despite the work, I think my neighbor and I are actually becoming friends… real friends. A fact, of which I am indeed proud.
The sun has made its way behind the distant palm trees to the west. Time to go inside and fix my last pot of noodles for a while. It is that thought alone that will help me get them down.
*A side note here: I was simply out of cash on hand in the village, please do not think I am suffering over here without any provisions. I have more than enough financial support!
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