Oh my gosh, what a night I’ve had! I was sure this night I’d have a good solid sleep. It was such a long, tiring day, and I have a comfortable room with a fan to keep me cool. Why wouldn’t I sleep well? Guess I was in for a bit of a surprise!
Shortly after 2:00, I woke up feeling rather ill. It started out as just a slight nausea, but it got increasingly worse. I suspect I got a minor case of food poisoning. I got up to go to the bathroom, not knowing if I would throw up or poop my guts out.
While I was sitting on the toilet, I heard a slight noise. I looked up, and high on the wall in front of me was a gecko, and it its mouth was a cockroach. Well, needless to say, THAT’S a bit of a startling thing to see on your bathroom wall at the best of times, but it’s particularly hard to deal with at 2:00 in the morning when you feel like your insides are ready to turn inside out.
I closed the bathroom door and climbed back into bed. The sudden enormity of having to deal with 2 challenges in the middle of the night became a little too hard to take, so the tears began to flow. That didn’t last long though. Lying there on such a comfortable bed with breeze on my face in Africa nonetheless seemed like such a blessing, I just couldn’t waste my time in tears. On top of that, it struck me that here I’d seen people dealing with incredible struggles, and I was letting a simple think like a gecko with a cockroach in its mouth get me down? Many of those people would give almost anything to sleep in a place like this. A few pests in the bathroom would be the least of their worries.
That helped me see the situation a little differently and after that I was actually quite peaceful. I probably would have been able to sleep if it hadn’t been for the fact that my stomach was feeling increasingly worse. I began to fear that I would end up passed out on the floor, might possibly hit my head on the bathtub or concrete floor and end up with a concussion. No one would find me until morning.
Along with that thought, came the memory of the conversations and thoughts I’d had earlier about how North Americans are so reluctant to admit when they need help. This challenged me to look at myself and wonder why I was so reluctant to turn to anyone for help. Did I have too much pride to become more African and admit it when I was in need?
So, with that thought in mind, I climbed out of bed and made my way downstairs to where I knew Corrie Lynn’s room was. I only know where she and Ed were, and I felt quite comfortable by now that she would help me without wounding my pride.
I knocked on her door, and sure enough, she welcomed me in to sleep in her extra bed. She was pretty groggy, but she was quite willing to help me if I threw up.
Fortunately, I never had to throw up and throughout the night I got increasingly better. Now I’m back in my room, and though there is a bit of residual nausea, I feel pretty good. I did find evidence, however, that what I saw in the bathroom last night was not a dream. The remains of the cockroach are lying in my bathtub. I wish I’d taken a picture of my friend the gecko. That would have been a picture worth showing back home!
Today is Dad’s birthday. He would have been 71. It’s amazing how much I feel like Dad’s spirit is with me on this trip. I think about him all the time. I think he’d have been so fascinated with this trip. He would have felt quite at home with the primitive farming methods and I’m sure he would have taken great joy in the people. Dad, I wish you were here in the flesh, but I know you’re here in spirit.