Friday, Nov. 30
I woke up promptly at sunrise, as usual. For breakfast we had really hot cream of wheat in red solo cups. I added corn flakes to mine (kind of like granola). I’m not a big coffee drinker, but I did have it on a couple of sleepy mornings; it was thick & strong. We headed out around 8:15 to install more filters – each group did 4 in the morning and 3 in the afternoon. I joined Robenson’s team today (with Hank, Gwen, Matt, and Scott), and I quickly found out that his process was a bit different from Patrick’s. The first house had two rooms, and we installed the filter in the back kitchen area for a very sweet lady and her adult son. The 2nd installation was for a nice younger lady. We walked through a scenic field to get to the 3rd or 4th house, where the family really enjoyed having their photos taken. I forgot to take photos at a couple of the houses, so my memory of all the installations has already begun to fade.
We went back to the church for lunch of tuna sandwiches around 11:30, then we rested for about an hour before heading back out. The 5th install was at a house so small we couldn’t all fit, so Gwen and I stayed outside. There were a couple of adult men and about 3 boys waiting outside with us, so we tried to communicate with them without much luck. They did motion to us to stand in the shade, because the sun was beating down on us. The boys enjoyed having their photo taken there, too.
We installed a couple more filters – one at a house with a beautiful elderly woman outside. I took her photo and told her she was “bel” (beautiful), and she gave me a big smile and said thank you. It might be my favorite photo of the trip.
The others installed a filter at Oldi’s father’s house, and they were each given coconuts, sliced open for fresh coconut milk. A short time later Fred got sick, although I don’t know if it was related. Unfortunately he felt bad for about 2 days and barely ate anything. (We later heard that he took his servings of food to the street to give away to passersby.) After the day’s hard work, we stopped at a bar/barbershop for Cokes (in glass bottles, which you must return). Yes, there was a barbershop in the back of the bar. I passed on the Coke since I haven’t had soda for years. We were happy to see the kids waiting for us at the church when we got back. I got out some nail polish, and one little girl in particular really enjoyed painting my and Gwen’s nails. A few other kids picked up on it, and the boys painted their own nails with the clear polish. The girls even convinced Scott & Matt to let them paint their nails clear, too! (Shhh…don’t tell them I told you.) My original vision of cleaning their feet and painting their toenails didn’t quite work out, but it brought smiles to their faces, so I’d call it a success.
We had a tiny bout of rain, then dinner around 5. Tonight we had rice with chicken & Congo beans in sauce, mango, and a delicious (pumpkin?) spice cake. Once it started to get dark we headed inside. The evening devotional was great again, with several tears shed. It’s always a great time to share feelings and experiences with the group. To bed by 9 again – hard to believe the trip is almost over.