February 20 (Sierra Leone, Day 10)
Last night wasn’t terrible. The temperature dropped a few degrees (into, probably, the low- to mid-80s) and they hooked up a generator so that we could have a ceiling fan from about 7pm to 2am. I woke up around 3am and slept restlessly because of the heat, but I did sleep well from about 10:30pm until 3am, and slept on and off from about 3am to 8am. So, all in all, not a bad night.
My malaria pills have made for some very vivid and bizarre—almost comical—dreams. I’ve woken up a few times the past two nights laughing out loud. It’s actually kind of good entertainment! Almost like having TV in my head. I actually look forward to seeing what I dream about at night!
No shower in at least three days now, but I have a plan for that. I’ve found that the water in the kitchenette in the lobby runs moderately well, and I’ve found a bucket I can fill, so I might be able to get the job done that way.
Rick and I actually had a very pleasant morning. We found what I think is probably the coolest part of the house (relatively speaking, of course) and had coffee and white bread for breakfast, along with a long, meandering conversation about our brides and kids, good books, marathoning (he’s run ten to my one) and potential future ministry opportunities in Sierra Leone and China. It passed the time well and lifted my spirits. He has been an excellent travel companion.
We teach for the first time in Bo this evening, from 4pm to 8pm. So, I’m going to read Scripture this afternoon, read some John Owen (Communion with the Triune God, which I haven’t read in 3 years), drink lots of water, try to stay relatively cool, and try out my “bucket shower” idea.
The turnout tonight in Bo was far less than in Freetown—about what we originally expected to see in Freetown, actually: about 14-16 people. Most of them are pastors and elders, though, so this could have a powerful impact just as well. We worshiped together in the Sierra Leone style: No instruments, no PowerPoint or hymnals, just singing and the most complicated clapping patterns I’ve ever heard! Absolutely wonderful! We ended our worship by singing, over and over and over again: “Papa, we say to you, ‘tankee!’ Papa, we say to you, ‘tankee!’ (“Father, we say to you, ‘Thank you'”).
The teaching time went very well, and we are looking forward to serving these people. I’m in bed now, and I’m writing by the light of a flickering single light bulb hanging (rather, dangling) from the ceiling. It gets dim when anything else in the house is turned on, and then gets brighter again. Almost like writing by candlelight, I suppose! Also: The “bucket shower” idea worked to perfection! I even found a small cup to use so that I didn’t have to dump the whole bucket at once! Luxury!
Four more nights in Bo. Two more before I get to talk to Leslie again. Seven more until I see her.