Wednesday, July 17, 2013

200 km for a Slumber Party

200 km for a slumber party

July 14-15

At 6 pm on Saturday evening, one of our Sudanese colleagues, Joyce, came over to our house to tell us she found a ride with a UN vehicle for the next morning to take her to Mabaan county to visit our late Principal’s wife and family. I had already been hoping for a chance to go see Lydia and her children during the break between semesters so I asked if there might be room for me to go along. Joyce told me to go ahead and pack an overnight bag and be ready by 8 am. By 9:45 we were both in a land cruiser heading to Mabaan.

We arrived in Bunj town around 4 pm and tried to find transportation to Dangaji, the village where Lydia and her family lives, but no vehicles would drive there because the rains had flooded the road. So at 5 pm, not wanting to waste anymore daylight, Joyce and I decided to walk, though we knew it would take almost 2 hours. By 7 pm we arrived and surprised Lydia and the kids. We hadn’t been able to get a hold of them by phone so they were quite surprised to see us. I had brought balloons and letters and cards from Isaac, Evan and Josh to the younger children so I gave those out. Joyce and I walked around the village greeting relatives of the late Philip Eisa and then settled down around a fire once it grew dark. We talked and caught up and ate supper around 9. By then it was getting cold so the ladies all headed into one mud hut for the night. Several beds had been made on the floor and some on bed frames, all with bug nets. Once we all got settled in our beds, we talked and laughed late into the night, well past 1 am. At one point I smiled to myself, realizing that slumber parties aren’t just something we have in the west. That night we had a real Sudanese-style slumber party.

The next morning we woke up early so we could visit some more with Lydia's family before Joyce and I had to trek back into town to catch our ride back to Melut. It was such a short visit but we couldn’t complain since it was a free ride and those are very hard to come by. After a cup of morning tea and brushing my teeth with a special “brush” made for me from a tree branch, Joyce and I set off for town. This time it only took us an hour and a half but once we arrived in the market we received news that our ride would be delayed. 3 ½ hours later we left!

We stopped several times on our trip back to Melut. Our driver had several jobs along the way so we got to see some of the UN projects in the refugee camps and got to meet a lot of interesting people. The road seemed very rough having just driven it the day before, then hiked 2 hours to the village and back. Add on to that the fact that we didn’t sleep much the night before and now were back on the bumpy roads! When we arrived safely back in Melut around 7 pm on Sunday evening, I can’t remember it ever feeling so good to be back in my own home. And who would have thought that a basin bath could be so soothing?

Having said all that, I am soooo glad I went. It was wonderful getting to know Joyce better and spending precious hours with Lydia and her children. It did my heart good to see all of them smiling and laughing. They seem to be doing well under the circumstances. It was nice to get away and have an adventure on my own. Each time I felt my sore muscles today, I breathed a prayer of thanks to the Lord for allowing me the privilege of traveling 200 km for a Sudanese slumber party!


Anonymous said...

You are so sweet. I love you. ~Anya

Jason and Heather Fader said...

You are awesome, Bethany. Sleepover in Burundi someday? : )

Randall said...