I have to admit to you that I felt rather guilty after reading some of the comments from the last post. Everyone was so grateful for their air conditioner and their toilet and it made me feel like such a self professing martyr. I never want that to be the case. Life in Africa has its hardships...of course. And spending a lot of time in the village also has its struggles. But, there are also some really amazing things about living in a place where there is instant community with people that have the same heartbeat. Whether Jake and I are hanging out with missionaries during a praise and worship service, or catching dinner with local business people, we always feel like we are in good company and have a common bond with anyone who chooses to live here.
Today was such a wonderful, neccessary, normal day that I could've closed my eyes and ears and imagined that I was hanging out in Wild, Wonderful West Virginia. We had a cup of coffee and some cereal this morning (the little things make a difference...you wouldn't believe how American it is to eat cold cereal.) And then headed off in the Land Rover (with Sunda in a carseat,which never happens here because we're always riding in big trucks with no seatbelts.) We headed off down the road to visit our friends at Sons of Thunder, which was a huge blessing. We got to chat with Sal and Renee, visit with our Zambian friends on the farm (including Linah B., which was obviously Sunda's highlight), hang out with the kids, and greet Jeff and Lisa, who were fresh off the plane from some time at home. It felt great to be there just visiting, and even better to remember that we will always be close to those people as long as we are doing ministry in this area...which is so close!
After a few hours of visiting, we changed clothes and got ready for a dino-themed birthday party! Our friends and co-laborers Arthur and Leizl threw a beautiful birthday party for their boys, Hugian and Louie. It was completely dinosaur themed (they have some family in the States that sends all of the materials), and absolutely amazing for the kids and adults alike. Leizl runs her own school here in Zambia and is a true teacher at heart. She organized a million games and activities for the kids and it was a blast to jump on the trampoline with Sunda and watch her hunt for "dino eggs." Otherwise, the kids were all busy and happy as "the big kids" sat in the gorgeous garden and sipped punch and ate lemon meringue pie. Bliss!
At the party, we were able to connect with our wonderful friends, the Combrinks, whom we haven't seen in several weeks due to a chicken pox outbreak at their house and busyness all around. After hanging out at the party and helping to clean up, Jake and I headed out to a local restaurant with Dave and Bundy and their 3 boys. The glorious part about going out to eat with three spirited boys is that they kept Sunda busy the whole time! She was in heaven, eating up their undivided attention, while Jake and I caught up with the Combrinks and enjoyed our meal.
We just recently arrived back at the base, put the sleeping Sunda into her bed, and have rounded out the evening by watching the Olympics. See? Not such a hardship after all!