I’ll start out with a few more pictures of my time in Pakawelleh.
Our time in Pakawelleh really flew by and we had a great week with the team there. I loved being there with the kids and getting to know Alice, Matilda and Annie and also I was really just getting to know Joni and Nikelle, too! Although since I had known them for four days already, I felt like we were already old friends! The challenge came on Thursday morning when we were supposed to hike out. We flew on Monday, but our pilot went on home leave on Wednesday and our interim pilot had not yet arrived. So, we had planned on hiking out to a nearby village and having either a car or motorbikes pick us up…it just depended on the condition of the “roads.” It was supposed to be about a 3 hour hike. Well we had amazing weather the whole time we were there, hot, but sunny and beautiful. Thursday morning we woke up to a downpour. We were going to leave around 7am, but waited until 8am to see if it would let up. No such luck, folks. In fact it was probably raining harder. I woke up Thursday morning feeling kind of sick, but I knew I had a hike and a very long car ride in front of me, so I tried to just ignore it. The hike was…treacherous. We were wading through eel infested waters. Just kidding. Sorry, we just watched Princess Bride and I couldn’t help the reference. We were wading through thigh high water and there are boa constrictors around those parts, and in my opinion, that’s worse. But praise the Lord, we didn’t come across any. The path was steep at times and it was slippery and then we had to cross these little log bridges. It was kind of crazy, but also really fun in a way, too. I would have enjoyed it even more had I not been feeling so sick. Oh I almost forgot! We rode in a canoe too! It was all quite the VBS experience. Once we reached our salvation in the form a white Toyota Land Cruiser I crashed. It was such a bumpy ride, but I kept nodding off and then I would be jerked awake. We were so disgusting too. We were all soaked to the bone and smelled really special as well. It took us 6 hours to get back to Monrovia and let me tell you what, a hot shower has NEVER felt so good in my life. Go a week without running water and then hike out of a jungle in a rainstorm and the staff house will feel like the Plaza! Plus, Bev had a hot meal ready for us. Again, pork chops, creamy mashed potatoes and corn never tasted so good. It literally was melt in your mouth good.
This was the weekend for parties, no joke. We kicked it off on Friday night with a Lord of the Rings movie night at the staff house. It was Nikelle’s first time watching it…I think it would be kind of confusing to start off with The Two Towers, but she was a trooper and watched the whole thing. By then I wasn’t feeling so great, so I left halfway through and escaped to my room. But I have really enjoyed hanging out and getting to know the staff. The next day, Kendell and Bev’s son, Felix had his 9th birthday, so we had a little party for him. Bev made him the cutest helicopter cake!
Check it out! The helicopter is a big rice krispie treat! I think Felix loved the cake and Danielle bought a bunch of noise makers and party favors that everyone had lots of fun playing with. Right after Felix’s party we had afarewell party for Bill and Megan. I woke up Sunday morning feeling really crappy. Like really really really bad. So I pretty much just stayed in bed and then eventually migrated out to the couch when I couldn’t stand my four walls anymore. I watched Nadal and Djokovic at Wimbledon with Nikelle, Justin and Jeremy and enjoyed the funny commentary on the colorful attire of the fans. I will spare you all the nasty details, but I hadn’t been able to keep anything down and had only eaten 3 crackers in 24 hours and was becoming extremely dehydrated. I had tested negative on a malaria test earlier in the week, but I ended up having it. So Bill and Erin came back and started an IV (which was so great, haha, they were treating me and rigging up a little makeshift hospital in my room) and then got me started on all sorts of meds. Sunday and Monday morning were really rough, but by the time I had two doses of Coartem in me, I was feeling so much better. Today I even came into the office for devotions. I went home and rested for a while after, but I’m walking around and I’m eating and drinking again, so that is all very good news.
Next week Nikelle and I will head back out into the bush for another week of VBS follow up. I’ll write more as I am able!