Thanks to Kathy for writing up the events of our next to last day in Yabus. The local missiounaries were often heard exclaiming "TIA" when things went sideways. The TIA stood for "This is Africa" and seems to capture the phenomenon that, because of the scarcity of resources, the local's lack of concern or focus on the concept of time, the need for flexibility and creative Macgyver problem solving, one needs to accept the difficulty, resolve (if possible) and move on. Without that learned attitude one would surely not last long in this place. The subject Wednesday seemed to contain a particularly intense number of TIA moments, culminating in what seemed at the time to be the perfect storm. Here's Kathy's well written re-cap. Thanks Kathy!
Our last Wednesday in Yabus was scheduled for a celebration dinner for the start of a new school year at the secondary school. It was a perfect day, given that it was near the end of our team’s stay in Yabus and we would be joined by 3 men from SIM headquarters.
As it happened, the date had been floated as a possibility for a pastors’ conference as well, but that hadn’t been confirmed. However, on Wednesday afternoon three distinguished pastors arrived with their suitcases. Their arrival prompted much discrete scurrying around to prepare a tuckel (hut) for the pastors without them knowing we weren’t prepared. Beds were moved and made, towels provided, etc. while the pastors were given a tour of the compound.
Earlier in the day the water pump at the river stopped working. It was fixed by the evening but without solar power the compound had to make do with the water already in tanks, a nifty trick given the extra water required for all of the extra people. The extra people also drained the power for the satellite so the internet was not available, dismaying to those of us hooked on staying in touch with home.
In the late afternoon we heard that a mom in a village 45 kilometers away was in labor two months early. Val and others drove over very rough roads to assist the mom. A small but healthy baby girl was delivered before the men arrived. Val named the baby Glory. [backstory: Val told us that as the truck was tediously bumping along the rocky, difficult road he had called out in Prayer, pleading God to protect the mother and child and to Him would be given all the glory. So when they had arrived and the baby had already been safely delivered the name of the child was a no brainer!] Mom and baby Glory were transported to the GOAL clinic in Yabus via our compound giving the rest of us a chance to admire the beautiful baby girl.
Meanwhile party preparations continued. The compound cooks did not want to cook for the school and the school cooks had quit the previous day, so the brand new school cooks were pressed into service along with Victoria and Camberra to make dinner for 50+. The menu called for goat stew, but there wasn’t enough goat meat left from the previous evening. A man was sent to buy a goat, which walked with the man into camp at 6:15. Steven slaughtered and butchered the goat, and dinner was served fashionably late at 8:30. The guests arrived by 7:30 so Victoria started the evening by leading everyone in a fun song, then the students sang beautiful African praise songs until dinner was ready. The area outside of the student dining room was decorated by Camberra, and event was lit by a few flashlights. Backpacks, caps, pens, team soccer balls and jerseys were given out. A good time was had by all.
In Yabus, expecting the unexpected is the norm, but it was a crazy day even by Yabus standards.
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