Sunday, January 22, 2012
Today had some unusual activity. I got hit in the chest by a rat! As I was putting things away in the cabinet, there was a rat hiding in there and when I pulled out something to rearrange, it jumped out and hit me in the center of the chest. I barely saw it, but I definitely felt the solid thud and I let out a yelp. But we did not see it land or where it went. I was starting to really wonder what had happened, but then I saw that it had been eating an avocado in the cabinet and there were fresh droppings. I didn’t imagine anything. It was a rat.
We took our “new dog” for a very long walk today. We enjoyed going around and sharing gifts with our neighbors. We also got our compost pile started along with sorting through some of our luggage.
I was able to get an internet connection barely long enough to get some business emails sent off regarding the container.
I am using my old and a bit dysfunctional, Dell Netbook again. I am doing this because my new laptop is totally dysfunctional now. It will barely power on when it powers off and then starts the process over again and again until the battery is removed. There is a lot of very important information on that computer. I hope we can recover it sometime soon. If there are anymore important emails or other to-do’s they will be unknown until I get a reminder from someone or that gets fixed. I don’t even know where to start with it right now. Doug is having a few issues with his new computer also! He never was able to get online with it since we arrived. It may be the internet connection. I hope it is that and not the operating system, or something that we picked up on the wireless in Ethiopia or anywhere else.
Here are some of the answered prayers that happened along our way on this trip.
The two “questionable” items that we brought along were allowed to travel with us without any problems.
When we got to Washington DC, we were allowed one carry-on each at 15 pounds each. We had 6 and three were over weight. The agent weighed each and put a ticket on each that was overweight and wrote the weight on them. She made us take two pounds out of the heaviest and put in any other bag. They she had us go on.
At the gate, the gate agents were taking many people’s carry-on bags. We were expecting that they would take our three extra and overweight bags. When our turn arrived, I showed him our tickets and he asked if we had any bags. I said yes and he looked at our pile, and he said go on. So we did! We were very thankful. We did not get charged extra nor was anything taken from us.
When we got to immigration, the lady asked me a question but I did not understand her, she then said something else, then I understood her to ask me where we were from. I told her the USA and she told us to go through. Later Doug informed me that she was asking about our immunizations, but since I didn’t quite hear her she finally changed the question. So we had no issues regarding that either. We only had a copy of our residency permit. We were told by two people afterwards, that they usually require the original before they will let us in the country. We didn’t know the director had the original with him just out side the exit area. We knew he was there, but didn’t know we needed it. The immigration person accepted the copy without question even though it is a different size. Then at customs the man let us through after talking a bit of politics with us when he found out where we were from. There were no issues with anything that we brought. It looked like at least one bag was inspected at one airport, but nothing beyond that. I got patted down twice (once in Kansas City and again at the DC airport.) Six months ago when we were came here we transferred at Ethiopia just like this time. That time we had to go through TWO security checks, one in each terminal. We were hoping to avoid answering any questions about some of our unusual carry on items. When we got there this time, they bypassed both security points with us. We were so thankful that we didn’t have to explain our items. We did in the US, but it went well. We were unsure if the language barrier might be an issue at this check point. We never had to deal with it.
There were a few of the answered prayers that we had along the way. We also had no problems with carrying cash or getting it exchanged safely. We were also able to get our errands done very quickly Thursday night so we could leave very early Friday morning and be in Kibidula about 1:30 pm. It was a 9 ½ hour drive.
After we got to Kibidula we realized that we had some important emails that had to be dealt with immediately. We could not get internet at the house, and just then another missionary stopped in for a quick hello. He told us to take his truck out a certain path and we should get signal enough to send our emails. We had just enough time to do so (with a quick trip back to the house to get the other computer since mine had crashed and I didn’t have the documents in this old computer. Doug drove back quickly and got his computer and we transferred some files over and I emailed out what we believe was requested along with some corrections.
God’s timing was perfect. We had to be somewhere at 7 pm and we barely got done in time.
Then we received another email asking for something that I had completed on my other computer. Doug had the file but it was only about 80% complete on his. The final copy I had not emailed to him. Now we could only work with what we had and estimate the remainder. It was regarding the weights of each item in the container. I believe the original documents we left at my mom’s in the “burn trash.” We thought all the paperwork had been requested from us, and that never was (the only reason we had it was because another missionary had done it.) We emailed out what we had with the remaining estimations. We hope that it will be acceptable to them. We did have the total weight so we had an idea on how much to estimate on the final items in total.
It has been a very adventurous several days. I hope this computer will keep working and Doug’s will start working better. I hope that we can recover my “new” laptop. I didn’t even drop that one. This one that has a few issues has been dropped two or three times. It has an excuse. But the new one, I have been very careful with it. Lord willing and much prayer and answered prayer, we will get it fixed or at least recover all the important information off of it. We might be able to purchase a new one in Dar es Salaam. I don’t know what the cost will be, but I believe someone told me that the prices have started to come down just like they have in the US. Please pray for us to have wisdom on how to approach this new challenge.
Another prayer request is that we can get rid of the rats. We didn’t get the cats because one of the missionaries stayed (which is great!) So we don’t have a rat patrol, only steel wool and a trap. We have many more rat traps coming on the container.
Please pray that the container and all of the contents arrive safely. The entire trip and theft are an issue, but especially once it is being moved on the road there is a huge hazard of it crashing. We saw several containers that had “rolled off” or tipped over during their travels on the road, and especially through the mountain passes. We really do not want that to happen. So we ask for you to join us in prayer regarding that.
On our way through the National Park area we again saw many beautiful wild animals including the following: wildebeest, giraffe, zebra, impala, baboon, and another large antelope type animal which I do not remember the name. It was larger than the zebra, though. We also saw cape buffalo. Jason was so kind as to slow down and even stop several times so we could see the animals better. There were many very close to the road. We saw a giraffe and other animals cross the road. At one time we saw a very large group of baboons on the road, also.
The people with whom we have been working here are wonderful. They have made us feel very welcome. We know this is where we are supposed to be right now, and that is a very peaceful thing. God is so amazingly wonderful.
Being disconnected from all the rush of instant communication isn’t so bad. I think it has a real calming effect.
Joshua is doing a good job so far of his “new dog owner” responsibilities. I haven’t seen a more cheerful pooper scooper in all my days. I hope it lasts. He does enjoy having a companion, and so does Lassie.
When we were here last time we either were misinformed or misunderstood about the water sources. All of campus (that has water) is supplied by springs and not all the same spring. I believe there are at least three (if I understand correctly this time.)
The spring that fills a large water tank that then fills the tanks to several houses including ours is the one that I am hearing the most about. With a lighter rainy season last year and almost drought this year, the spring is very low. It is so low at times that the ram pump will not function. This means that the tanks don’t get filled. This is should not be an issue during rainy season. If we have this issue now, then we will be in serious challenges during dry season. We have not had any significant rain here since we have arrived. We have heard thunder and seen lightening, but no rain, or very light and little.
So we are not on a well (and none of Kibidula is.) We are dependant on the springs.
We are rationing our water usage. If things don’t change, this will also greatly impact our ability to have any garden in the dry season (which lasts about 6 months.)
So I wanted to correct my mistake, because we have told people that we were on a well and that it was solar powered. We were wrong on both cases. I don’t know how we got so messed up, but we did. This I hope will set some of the record straight.
So here are the current local most urgent prayer requests:
Good serious rains for the rest of the rainy season (or some solution);
For us to resolve the computer issue and recover the important documents and information;
To resolve the rat issues; and
For us to learn VERY well the language during language school so we can be very effective when we start our “real work.”
Monday morning update. It did rain some last night and this morning. We continue to need more though! We praise the Lord for that which he did send us. The rat got the bait off the trap but did not trigger it. I also had my first try at making dog food. I hope the dog will eat it. Today we will do some more cleaning, more rat hole plugging, more unpacking, some visiting, and study Swahili. At least that is the plan.