Friday, November 16, 2007

The Whole Story

November ??? (I don't know the date anymore)

I'm finally feeling well enough to write again...and what the stories to tell! I guess I'll just start from the beginning. Here is my missionaries log:

Friday, November 2

0530 - Rise and shine for....a day off from work! Plans underway for a trip to Kelo with Liz and Sonya to pick up mail, do some shopping, explore, etc. Moderate stomach cramps noted, nothing unusual, pain meds. taken.

0700 - Met up with Liz and Sonya at the house after picking up my beautiful reed mat made by one of the TB patients. Sunscreen applied and bags packed...we're on our way.

0800 - Found 2 motos near the market willing to take us to Kelo. One is in pieces on the ground, but the driver is adamant that it is safe after he puts it back together. Negotiations are underway as to price.

0830 - With the wind flying into my face, I'm plastered against my driver and the box strapped on behind me that we brought to put mail in. We just left Bere, with me yelling back at Liz and Sonya that I can't remember the name for post office in French. They didn't have time to answer. I'm on the broken moto...oh well, I always like a little excitement.

0900 - We've arrived at the river. Instead of taking the ferry, my driver headed for the little dugout canoes. I sat on the end of the canoe and watched the muddy water swirl up to within an inch of the top as we slowly were paddled across, the moto barely fitting in the center. I see Liz and Sonya arrive on the other side with the other driver and wave quickly as we speed off again.

0930 - The back wheel of the moto broke. Thankfully we were going slow through a herd of cows, horns brushing my shoulders as we passed. We've walked half a mile to a small village with some men who think they can fix it. I've been given a chair in the shade with 30 kids in a circle staring at me.

0945 - The moto was fixed for about 10 ft. until the wheel started fishtailing again and we realized that the brake wasn't working now. I clutched the moto tightly as we started to increase speed down the dirt road at a bumpy rate until the driver turned the key and we gradually coasted to a stop. I am back to sitting on my chair under a mango tree as they take the wheel back off.

1000 - I'm stranded alone now with the broken moto. The driver handed me his keys, told me "Tu attente asi!" and jumped on a truck going back towards Bere with the wheel under his arm for repair. Liz and Sonya still haven't shown up...I wonder what happened to them.

1040 - Liz and Sonya just passed on two different motos? I don't know what happened to make them an hour behind me. I waved wildly at them. Sonya saw me, smiled, waved back...and continued on.

1130 - Still stranded, I'm conserving water, little sips at a time. Stomach pains are getting worse so I took more meds. I think all my experiences earlier in life have been preparing me for Africa. All the times I've gotten lost hiking, stranded with my car in the middle of the night, etc. It is all a battle of the mind. I could go into a panic over the fact that I'm in a 3rd-world country all alone on a road, barely able to communicate in French (which 3/4 of the country can't speak), running out of water with just a couple granola bars for who knows how long...Or I can just say, as I've learned with all my other experiences, "What an adventure!" and make the best of it.

1230 - Sweat is dripping down my back. Men are trying to hit birds out of the tree with a slingshot. A man across the street is pumping a sewing machine with his foot as he creates a Tchadian dress. School just got out in the village. I now have 74 kids in a circle around me, watching every move I make...I've been here long enough to count them. The two teachers have come to practice their limited English with me. It will help pass the time.

1330 - Hallelujah! My driver has returned with the repaired wheel! They have put it on and we are back on our way to Kelo! Thank you God! Now I'm just praying with every bump that it stays together. I won't even complain about the close quarters, my nose in the drivers ear, and my chin getting bruised from hitting his shoulder with each pothole...and these stomach cramps that just don't seem to be going away.

1400 - Almost to Kelo, we just played chicken with another moto. I felt the woman's skirt whip my legs as we passed.

1420 - We're in Kelo! ....except now my driver doesn't understand that I need to go to the post office.

Stay tuned for the rest of the story....


  1. Hi Sarah:

    I just read your most current post and want you to know We have been praying from you and will continue. That is some experience and I pray it gets better.

    Love and Prayers from Great Aunt Rosalee in Michigan USA

  2. What an adventure you're having, enough to last a hundred lifetimes. We are all thinking of you and glad you are on the mend. We may not talk to you very often, but we do think about you alot and hope you stay safe.

    We love you.

    Uncle David, Aunt Teresa, Krystal, Amy and Ben

  3. You just can't go anywhere without an adventure, can you? I hope you are having a great weekend!

    Love Mrs. McGill

  4. Where there is Sarah, there is sure to be an adventure! God Bless
    Darlene and John

  5. Sarah, what your doing sounds awesome. I can't imagine how exciting it must be to do what your doing. glad to hear that my last email helped. I'll keep you in my prayers. God Bless.

  6. Hey Sarah,
    I hope you are feeling much better- we have all been praying for you-
    and include you in much of our gossip;) Today I went mt biking with my family- it was amazing... Thanksgiving is just around the corner and Daniel and I are practicing to see just how fast we can ride our bikes down the hill without dying;) I only hurt my back a little this time- Love ya as always- you know who...

  7. Sarah now your adventures are like TV shows in which you drop us in suspense "to be continued" Well sounds fun anyways I am glad you are better.

  8. Oh, Sarah! What an experience you are having! I am praying for you. How blessed the people are to have you there. Sounds like you are learning a lot about life. Experience helps shape who we are. I am so proud of you. Know that I am praying for you and love you! I hope you feel better soon!!!!! Jeremy and I are going to Kim's for Thanksgiving. My life problems now seem trivial after reading all your blogs... Cousin Joni

  9. Hey Sarah, sounds crazy :) I'm glad you got the mnms though :) Life here continues as normal. Becky panicked over Thanksgiving and dropped a class...we all yelled at her when she got back and she ran around and got back in :P And she's at another point where she's not sure if she and Matt will continue or not...Lisa tells her to leave him, and I tell just not do anything rash :P Lisa's still worried about what she'll do after she graduates...and I'm still fighting with the hospital over scheduling...and wishing I had more time to be with all my friends :) I pray for you every morning.