When you’re living in the bush with no electricity or other typical American luxuries for entertainment, you’re forced to be resourceful. When we’re little kids, we usually have great imaginations that manifest themselves in creative ways. When I was a kid, we entertained ourselves by playing things outside with the neighbor boy like “wilderness” (my personal favorite), Leaf Monster (or Snow Monster depending on what the season called for), Lava Run and many more. We pretended that the neighbor’s dog was actually a wild beast, my Barbie doll was a gear shifter in a time machine, and the giant cardboard box was a playhouse. We were resourceful, inventive and content with the simplicities of life. For the first time in a long time, I’m discovering these qualities in myself again, and I like it. It’s amazing what you can come up with when you’re forced to.

My quieter weekends and evenings consist of reading, writing, church/Bible study, taking walks or hikes, playing with the kids or talking with the girls. But sometimes things get a little crazy around here haha…last weekend we had a “Bush Bake” which consisted of pumpkin gnocchi with alfredo eggplant sauce, baked squash with a sweet pineapple sauce, pumpkin/tomato/onion quiche, banana and zucchini bread…wow, just…wow.

We danced to the traditional “raka raka” dance (talk about a workout) and taught the girls how to break it down mzungu style with songs like The Right Stuff by New Kids on the Block, Can’t Touch This by MC Hammer and of course, Thriller by Michael Jackson.
Then the World Race team had a little “Fall Festival” for the girls and kids that included a three-legged race, musical chairs, bean toss, bowling and face painting. They loved it!

All in all it was a great weekend, topped off with the movie “The Interpreter” in Abby’s hut. As I returned to my hut though around midnight, I discovered a not-so-pleasant surprise. Ants had descended upon the compound in full force and they were taking over my hut!! I remember reading The Poisonwood Bible and being terrified at the thought of red ants taking over everything in sight, causing every living thing around to run for its life. Well these aren’t quite that bad, but they freak me out nonetheless. I stood outside of my hut talking to Cory for less than 10 seconds when all of sudden I felt a sting on my stomach and then a pinch on my leg and then another and another until my legs were stinging all over. I had ants in my pants, literally. I ripped my jacket and pants off and started jumping around trying to shake them off of me (don’t worry, I had shorts on underneath). I followed the line of ants into my hut. They were not wasting any time. One wall of my hut was completely covered. I spent the night in Abby’s hut that night and they were nowhere to be found the next morning. Termites appeared a few days later though and brought larger ants with little pincher things on them. Gross.

Much to my surprise, these things have not bothered me nearly as much as I thought they would. When I saw a rat the other day, I actually thought it was kind of cute. Before the trip though, I would literally have nightmares about the things. Funny how things change… or maybe, how God changes us. That may seem silly, but I really do believe that God works on us and helps us out even with the little things in our lives. I don’t think any problem is too big (or too small for that matter) that you can’t bring it before God. So if you’re afraid of snow, for example (cough::Mom::cough), you could pray that God just gives you peace about it. The Bible says: “…do not be anxious about anything but in everything by prayer and supplication with Thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)

So even though I’m living in the “wildnerness” now instead of just playing it, and even though my new “beast” is a throng of ants, I know God cares enough about me to pay attention to my prayers, whether big or small. We all have “beasts” in our lives to overcome, and we should never forget to go to God with those things, and then let it go, stop worrying and just have faith. We should do our best to be content, even. You may have to act at first (“Oh, the snake ate the goat whole? Cool…I’ve always wanted to see that and well, that’s great because that means he probably won’t have to eat again for a while…yea awesome), but eventually, with God’s help, you will develop a deeper faith, and with it, a true sense of calm. Like the saying goes: “Know God, know peace. No God, no peace.”

I’m enjoying being resourceful, adventurous and imaginative again, and I’m content with life and all of its challenges. Yes, sometimes I still wish I could run to my Daddy to make the big scary things in life disappear, but I am also able to recognize that it is only through the challenges that we can be stronger in mind and in faith. I don’t know what other adventurous or challenges God has in store for me in the years ahead, but I’ll be ready for them, with a flyswatter in hand.

Kristin and Julia with the ants..yuck

Bush Bake: Pumpkin quiche!!

Dancing the Raka-raka