I figured I’d better write this real quick as I would like to participate in the ‘Month of Thanksgiving’ posts, starting Nov 1. Here in South Africa, we do not celebrate Thanksgiving, but as I see it, ’tis a day that should be celebrated every day of the year.
Right, so back to the trip.
When we arrived at our sleeping quarters, we hussled about trying to find our luggage from the bus and eagerly went ahead to where we were to lay down our tired heads and heavy eyes. Correct your calculations folks, it was approximately 12am at this time already. 😉
11 Hours on the bus. Then, about an hour or more in the service, then supper which only started after 10pm, then we drove to our sleeping quarters another half hour away… yeah… do the maths. It = tired.
This was a pre-school. So, guys in one classroom, girls in another. Lucky for the guys, they were about one third of our number. Picture 67 girls lined up like sardines on the floor in a kiddies classroom. It + tiredness = giggles (At least in our corner of the room).
The floor was covered with baby matresses. So each one of us got about one and a half of a matress. I made sure my feet faced the wall, lest I kicked someone, I’d have had some apologising to do in the morning.
Here then, came the best part. Oh I loved it. 😀
One of the outreach leaders came to tell us where the bathroom is and explained to us that there is only one bath, but four toilets.
WOW! What luxury. We had just been discussing our battle skills on the bus and now we are blessed beyond that. (I’m not being sarcastic, it really felt like a blessing.) 😉
(Needless to say, I was surprised that pre-schools actually have baths (with HOT water, mind you) but come to think of it, kids are kids, huh?!) 😉
We eagerly went to have a look. Opened the door, down the small, short passageway and there was the bath. It was already occupied. I looked around. The only door in this entire bathroom suite was the one through which you enter. There was no compartment blocking off the bath for any sort of privacy, nor were there any doors to close off the toilets.
One… two… three… and four! I walked past them all. And to myself, I chuckled. This will be one fun weekend.
Back to my baby matress and a half I went, sat down, pondered, and said to a friend, “Tomorrow will be hot. I don’t think I will be able to go through another hot day, (this one having been already), without at least washing myself. But… there’s *gasp* no doors!”
And… “hehehahahahehehehehahehah”… we giggled at the instinct of our feminine nature.
It was then decided that she and I will wake up at 3am, an hour of martyrdom, to go and take a bath. And we shall discipline ourselves not to snooze that extra five minutes.
Thus, alarms were set. I set two. Just for in case.
And when we were to be martyred, I thanked my Heavenly Father for instilling within me the instinct to set two alarms, for I really did miss the first one. I woke my friend. “Five more minutes,” she begged. “No!” I said, because I was absolutely sure that if we don’t go now, we won’t get a great bath time after this. And did she thank me afterwards!
We were alone in the bathroom and what pleasure. Ahhh! We could feel like new creatures again. Do take note though, we had barely gotten back in into our sleeping bags, when a number of sleepy figures threw their shadows over us as they exited to go to the bathroom.
Hope they have a good… Ah… come hither sleep.
After about four hours of sleep, in total, we were up. Whether it was 5 or 6am, I cannot remember. But off to the bus we trodded, still dreaming of five more minutes of sleep which I had no one to beg for. 😉
We had to drive about 30 minutes to go have breakfast, right back to the hall where we ate the previous evening. Breakfast was traditional African maize porridge, bread, polony (the breakfast meat), cooked eggs, and jam. And tea and coffee of course. Total luxury.
Ah, the porridge was absolutely delicious. Yikes, I can’t remember when last I tasted it like that.
After my *ahem* two cups of coffee, we headed back to the bus to drive back to the town where we were sleeping. We were to go and attend the inauguration of the town’s mayor in the local stadium.
Here we sang that even I got goosebumps, and I witnessed God’s miraculous work and intervention through the singing of the National Anthem and… we were on tv.
This and more in part 4.
(Is there still so much more to tell? When is Nov the 1st? Ok, 4 more days. I think we’ll make it. Oh… it was such a blessed trip! Maybe one or two more parts.)