Recently, I thought about how little I’ve written recording my day-to-day living conditions at our new site… I wrote a lot such things a lot when I was living in Cambodia, or when I’d first arrived in Sudan. So, in an attempt to pull you into my world, here are some of my favorite things…
Do you have any idea how beautiful a basin of cool water can be after a long walk under an intense Sudanese sun? Refreshing water poured over sweaty skin – hand dipped with a blue plastic cup from a green, and equally plastic, baf (basin).
Or, imagine the joy of opening a tin of coffee either early in the morning or deep in the afternoon. The sound is a very nice start – the tip of the metal spoon slides under the edge of the tin lid and POP! Strike a match and light up the kerosene burner – fill the pot with water, wait for the steam, and spoon in the freshly ground coffee, grown in the nearby bush and sold by the shot glass in the town market. After stirring the spoonfuls of coffee into the nearly-boiling water, pause to drink in the earthy smell of the ground coffee in the tin. (Don’t make the mistake of sniffing the coffee in the pot… you’ll smell more kerosene than coffee, and it might burn your eyes a bit!)
Can you listen with me and hear the sound of an early teenage boy singing? His voice is deepening as his body grows taller and stronger, but he still carries a trace of boyishness in his gait, his gaze, and his song. His voice is steady only for a moment, then cracks, but he doesn’t notice. He’s off in his own world, singing over and over again, in beautiful adoration, “I love Jesus!”
Now, can you see the sky? Clouds have danced across it all day long, billowing magnificently, but now they are darkening in the center, fringed with a gilded outline as the sun recedes beyond the horizon and the palette of sky is transformed almost supernaturally as you watch.
Surely you feel the wind picking up now. It is cool and blowing in from the south, carrying the dark clouds across the darkening sky. Its presence even changes the smell of the world. It promises rain. In the distance there, flashes of lightening echo silently. Let’s watch the world flicker until the thunder comes near with the first heavy drops of rain.