Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Spider Saga continues, and other stories

It was back the very next night. The very same spider, that is. It was bigger than I remembered, too. I think it was waiting for me. This time I was seriously concerned. I had no acceptable killing implements. I couldn’t just ignore it. Was this to be a nightly thing? I left the bathroom to consider my options and ended up doing what any logical female would do: I called my boyfriend. Never mind the fact that he was 5000 miles away. Despite the advice to “just kill it” I decided to wait it out and hope another family member would stumble upon the spider. A few minutes later, I heard the definite sounds of arachnid assassination coming from the bathroom. Later I found out it was Joan. How did she slay it? By “pouring hot water on it.” The way she said it, it was the most obvious thing in the world. And that is how I shamelessly and remorselessly made an eight year old kill a spider for me.
(Ok, so before you think I’m completely ridiculous, I DIDN’T call Erik for the sole purpose of seeking spider advice. Seriously. I promise. Although I may or may not have asked him to come take care of it for me.)
I am having a great time with the Bible study- something I don’t think I’ve mentioned yet. There are twenty or so students that I meet with weekly. I had wanted to have smaller groups, but logistically it would just be too tough to work out. This term (the second out of three) is the busiest for the students, what with district exams and competitions. So, we’re going through I Peter. I’ve been learning a lot, and have been challenged a lot by the people studying it with me. As expected, I did most of the talking the first time. I would love to move away from the whole teacher/student thing, and hopefully that can happen some more as we get more comfortable with each other. I am really excited about this, have been getting lots of positive feedback, and hope that it keeps going well.
On my walk through town today, I was struck by how many scenes of everyday life here are so tragic. I saw a little boy, maybe seven, holding a half empty bottle of alcohol. Kids playing beside overflowing bins of rotting garbage and algae filled ditches. Men spending their days in bars while, just outside, women sell old, worn out pairs of shoes on the roadside to earn some money. I’ve only been here for a month, and it’s easy to just glance at these things and see them as “just the way it is here.” That’s not right. At the same time, I don’t want to look at these things and see tragedies; I want to see people. I want to love people like Jesus loves them- the little boy in the ditch and the drunk in the bar alike. I am praying for fresh perspective and a renewed heart each day, and hope that you might pray for me, too.
The group from Modesto has just arrived (“the Rick’s” as they are referred to by Connie), and it’s been fun having friends here. And thank you, Mom, for the unexpected box of deliciousness!! I was also sent several boxes of macaroni and cheese, one of which I made for the family last night. It was a pretty big hit. Everybody just mixed it right in with their beans and matoke, though, instead of eating it as a separate dish. So, it's been good to have some familiarity around. Tomorrow is the halfway mark of my trip...


  1. Good for Joan! If there's one thing I can't's spiders!!! Please tell Joab, Connie, and the kids hi for me...if they still remember me. (Just remind them that I'm one of the BIG I so wish I could have gone this year with the "Rick's"! It would have been so awesome to have seen you in, what I'm imagining is becoming, your home away from home.
    Glad you got a little taste of home with the mac n' cheese. I've actually been having a craving for beans, matoke and somosas! I guess I'll have to wait another couple years to sample them again!

  2. I can't believe you didn't think to pour boiling water on it! And to think I've been using my shoe all these years. Something tells me Erik would have been to the rescue if at all possible. I hope the rest of your adventure is blessed (without spiders) ~