Before I went to bed last night, I noticed that I was officially out of clean clothes. So, this morning we kicked off the day with some good old fashioned hand washing. Rhiana offered to do all of the laundry, but I jumped in and assisted her. It is a lot of work if you are used to the modern convenience of an electric washer and dryer. At home, we don’t think about the actually processes that take place when you throw clothes in the washer and walk away until you hear the buzzer. There is the initial water fill, which in our case meant using an old coffee can to retrieve clean water from a rain barrel and fill our wash tub. (about 15-20 trips) Actually, you have to do this twice because you need a second tub for your “rinse cycle”. Once you have the tubs full then you actually get to washing. Luckily, we had a housemate that had learned the proper technique from one of the washer ladies here and shared it with us. It is a definite workout. You can wash about 7 clothing items at a time in the bucket that we had and you work the clothes for about 7 minutes in the wash tub. Then you wring each item out and transfer it to the rinse bucket where you do much the same process. After that you hang those items on a clothes line to dry and repeat. Since there are four of us, we had about 6 “loads” to do this morning. I was dripping in sweat by the end of it. We are SO spoiled back home.
After we finished the laundry, we went inside for breakfast. We had a mission group of 14 coming to stay here for the next 4 days so everyone in the house was rushing to prepare for their arrival. After much discussion, we decided to use today as a recharge day.
We were warned that if we kept up our current pace that we would burn out. I spent the early afternoon studying my Bible while Rhiana worked on thank you letters for our trip sponsors. The girls played together and all was well until I accidentally knocked Rhiana’s laptop over and broke it. Concrete floors were very unforgiving on the computer. I felt awful about it. I got angry and Rhiana told me to chill out. She reminded me that we are so spoiled with STUFF and that none of it is important. What an amazing transformation my wife has made from the day we met. I admire this newfound attitude about material things and am working hard to adopt the same philosophy. I mean I talk the talk already, but proved that I had a ton of work to do with my reaction to the broken laptop.
Our housemate invited us to go to a nearby hotel and swim for a couple hours. It was an amazing break for all of us. I sat there and did a little more Bible reading while the girls played. Soon our luxurious afternoon concluded as we headed back home to greet the new group for dinner.
Nineteen of us gathered in a circle to bless the food that we were about to share. It was nice to have some new energy in the house. The group is from Texas and mix of men, women, and children. I’m looking forward to working with them over the next few days before we are back on our own.
After dinner, I was able to steal a few minutes to talk with Pierre (head of the Orphanage and Pastor) about many things. We spoke some about my bible study from earlier in the day, the economy in the U.S., and finally I addressed the issues that I posted about yesterday regarding the tattoos.
I feel much more comfortable after our discussions. I was able to take the elephant out of the room by addressing it rather than let it linger. This is a lesson that I continue to learn over and over again. If there is an issue with anyone or anything, you must confront it in a calm manner with mutual respect for all sides. In the end, you will find peace. It might not be the “perfect ending” that you wished for, but the unrest inside of you will be settled.