Friday, October 14, 2011

Africa Part 4

Wow. This is taking me a really long time! Life has been crazy lately, with school and internship. I've also had 2 seizures in the past month-ish so that's been interesting.

But none of that matters tonight. I am back in Burkina tonight, reflecting on this crazy trip that seems so surreal now...

I ended the last blog with the morning we left Gaou, where we built the 'church.' Amazing night. Anyways, we left that morning and drove the 6 hours back to Ouga. On the way back, we stopped at a crocodile farm and sat on some crocs. It was cool :) We also fed them chickens. Neat experience.
The crocs were literally jumping of the ground. I can't explain the sound and sight of it. Crazy!
So, we got back to the guest house, caught up with the two sick girls, took showers in a real indoor shower, went to the bathroom in real toilets and got 'dressed up' for a dinner out that night. This was one of the hardest nights of the trip. We went to a restaurant, a fancy one, served better food then I've eaten in America, just after leaving those children and adults who eat maybe once a day and drink disgusting and disease infested water. How could there be a restaurant in this mess!? That's not fair. And why do we get to do this all the time? To take to go boxes and half the time not eat it later. To just leave it on our plates for them to throw away. So many go without food, why do we get to waste it? All that aside, here is a picture from that night. The restaurant was really neat, the floor was sand, so you could take your shoes off. The food was great. Just not fair.
The next day we spent resting. I woke up at 6 out of habit (and the roosters were up) went back to bed for a bit, til about 9. Took a nap at like 10:30 until lunch time. We went to the market this day where I bought the majority of stuff that I bought. Mostly gifts for people back home. It was crazy how many merchants there were. Ashlyn and I did the dishes that night, we tried to help Sam when he would let us.
The next day was Compassion day. This day was awesome. Several of the people in our group got to meet their Compassion kids. If you don't know what Compassion is, go here: It's an amazing organization, truly following God's word and changing lives.
Balkuy is where we visited the site. It was a church and a school. The kids don't go to school every day, or church. And there were kids there who weren't yet sponsored. When we arrived, we were a little late (which doesn't really matter because it's Burkina). The kids were lined up to sing for us. So completely precious. We went through and shook all of their hands. 100 something kids I think. They were so precious.
The teachers had like 4 classrooms with about 40 kids in each. It was so cool how the school worked. They taught in Moret (local language) and French so the kids could pick up on French if they knew Moret, which most did. The teachers were so enthusiastic. Clapping, singing, smiling the entire time they were teaching. They didn't discipline the kids or ask for the kids attention. They just taught their lessons about the Bible and God, manners, social skills, it was amazing. So different from American schools. They also played, a lot, which was great to see. It was amazing sitting in on the class and connecting with the kids, without even being able to speak their language.
We helped feed the kids lunch. On the floor is where they ate. Bowls of rice with one piece of meat in
The kids were so precious. We had to eat our lunch, which was almost like theirs but we had soda, bottles of water and banana bread, with kids watching us. The unsponsored kids. It was so hard to eat and not give them any or just not throw up. So hard. The kids were just so sweet though. I didn't want to leave.
We went out again this night, after the team members with kids got to go out with their kids to a park. We went to an ice cream/burger place. It was so delicious but also just so surreal. It's just crazy in the middle of Burkina, in the middle of starving kids and dirty, diseased water people are drinking to sit in a diner. And see Burkinabe with cell phones and laptops. Craziness.
The next day, some people went to the zoo. I chose to stay at the guest house, pack and pray. I had lots of thinking to do. A few other older team members stayed at the house. But as promised to a few people, I got pictures from people who did go to the zoo of elephants and giraffes :)

Sam made his amazing doughnuts that morning. They were so good. I think I ate three....we packed. We threw a bunch of stuff in a container to leave for the missionaries. Then, we debriefed as a team. This was hard. I think we all ended up crying. It was just scary and difficult talking about the trip, about the people we had met, the children. And we were leaving it all. How were we going to talk about it? It doesn't do it justice, these blogs and talking about it. It is just nothing like actually being there. The first missionaries to Burkina packed their things in a coffin. They knew it was a lifelong trip and they would not make it back. It was that dangerous. And I was scared to come for 10 days!? The faith of others amazes me. I want a faith like that. LikeLarry, to live there for 7years, raise his child there, take his wife. Move away from everything, get malaria 2 times a year, on average. Crazy!
It was a humbling experience. Incredible. Crazy. Painful. Tough. Hot. Exhausting. Exhilarating. Intense. I realized how weak I can be, how strong my God is. I became angry at the American church. Angry at myself. Frustrated with God at times.Why were these people living like this? I still don't have all of the answers. I am still trying to process.
Coming back to real life was really hard. I wasn't ready for it and it started so quickly. I often just want to quit and go back to Burkina. But it was truly tough being there.
I have much more to say but will leave it at this for now. This concludes the information about the trip. I want to do one more blog on just pictures. I'll save that for another night. Thanks for reading.
--nothing without Him,