Monday, January 19, 2009


is my best friend.

i hate bugs.

did i ever tell you that?

you would think that i would get more tolerant after being exposed to giant spiders, scorpions, and a bajillion gazillion of others, but i think i'm getting even more creeped out. i have a feeling i'll come back to the states even more bug-phobic.

a lot of my meals are comprised of fruit -- mangoes, pineapples, bananas, etc. i have this irrational fear that when i bite into a slice of pineapple, i'll somehow get worms. and today, as i opened my organic waste bin to throw away the pineapple waste, underneath the lid, i noticed long white spots covering the black background of the lid: WORMS!! MAGGOTS!!

seriously, gag reflex.

but other than these rather frequent gag reflexes -- which i would be able to handle --

i realize this phobia is seriously debilitating:

a couple of days after dara and laura left, i was washing dishes at around 10 at night when i see something scurrying down the side of the wall. at first, i thought i was imagining things, but as i turned my head completely towards the wall, this giant, round, tan-colored bug literally the size of my hand falls from the countertop to the floor. i screamed, ran out of the kitchen into my bedroom closing all the doors behind me, and immediately went to sleep with my mosquito net well tucked in. i finished washing the dishes the next afternoon.

ever since i discovered the reason behind the wrinkle-free clothing people wear around here, i'm scared of wearing any clothes that hasn't been thoroughly ironed. apparently, flies lay their eggs on wet clothes while being dried outside. if the clothes aren't ironed or heated in any other way, the eggs can burrow and incubate under your skin upon wearing the dried clothes. i went to the supermarket to buy an iron "for personal use," but i realized that i can't use it with the generator.

sorry this entry contains some graphic and unnecessary detail, but alas, i had to vent. or... gag it out to someone, as africans... don't quite understand this fear:

last night, i was cooking pasta for a group of girls on the mission. i opened a brand new package of pasta noodles, and as i poured them into a pot of boiling water, i noticed black spots floating in the water with the pasta. my first thought was, "huh, i didn't know this pasta came with herb seasoning. bravo, mozambique." but as i processed this nonsensical thought in my head, i looked closer into the pot, and the black spots had legs on them. i looked back at my half-poured-out pasta package, and in it, there were black critters crawling all over -- in, through, out the dry noodles.

i quickly threw the package on the kitchen countertop, stared incredulously at it, and stood there for a few minutes thinking, "how did they get in there?" "isn't this a brand new bag of pasta??" "this is ridiculous! gross."

but one girl who came into the kitchen to see what i was doing looked at the package and said in a matter-of-fact tone, "just put the macaroni (they call pasta macaroni) into a big dry bowl, and they will come out. then you'll be able to eat the macaroni."

true, i say.

half of me was feeling ashamed to be still wanting to throw away the entire package of pasta, but the other -- and more convincing -- half was wanting to throw away the entire package of pasta anyway.

"you realize you're going to africa," i hear my sister chanting in my ear.

"you're not supposed to fear anything; only God," i hear my friend reading me a verse from Scripture.

while i would normally instinctively roll my eyes and mutter to myself -- "like i don't know" -- at such comments as the above, today, as i was reading a book borrowed from a neighbor, i stumbled upon something that was really...


"Some love to munch on food; so they spend lots of money on snacks. Others like to adorn themselves at all times. And there are some who are so hygiencially minded that they are continually obsessed with a sense of danger. What is all this? It is loving of one's own life. Many love their own life so much that they cannot bear the slightest suffering or to come too near the sick. To put it quite frankly, they are under bondage to their body. Yet Paul said this: 'I buffet my body, and lead it captive!' (1 Cor. 9:27) If we allow our body to dominate us, that is sin. Our body should be under us, not above us. Many sacrifice morning prayer because they want to sleep. Many sacrifice the time for reading the Bible because they want to eat. Many cannot serve God because they covet snacks and indulge in adornment. Lack of control over these areas of the body is sinful... "

so true! WHY do i even feel compelled to write an entire entry on BUGS. or more accurately, my Fear and Disgust of bugs.

"...Hence if we succeed in controlling sin, we merely suppress it for a time; or if we fail to suppress it, we consider sinning to be unavoidable and plunge into despair and a wringing of our hands..."

exactly! i say spiders and scorpions are enough.

"Yet I need to ask you in the presence of the God whom I serve: When our Lord Jesus went to the cross on our behalf, did He have in view for our future the kind of experience we too often go through today? As He was being crucified, did He envision our current living as that which would be success in the morning but failure in the afternoon? Is the work He has fully accomplished on the cross not enough to enable us to serve Him in holiness and righteousness? Did the Lord shed His blood on the cross because He only saw the penalty of hell without seeing as well the pain of sinning? Does the blood He shed on the cross only save us from the sufferings of the future but leave the sufferings of today for us to bear? Oh! At this point I cannot help but shout, Hallelujah! for our Lord has accomplished all at Calvary! While He was on the cross, He thought not only of the penalty of hell but also the pain of sin. He foresaw the sufferings due to the power of sin as well as those due to its penalty. He has a salvation which enables us to live on earth as He once lived earth. In other words, Christ's work of redemption has not only prepared a position and ground for us to be saved but also provided a position and ground for us to be saved to the uttermost. We are well able hereafter to live differently from the manner that we now live. Let us say Hallelujah, because today there is a gospel of glad tidings for saints as well as for sinners." -- Watchmen Nee, in The Life That Wins

this needs to stop.

me, i mean.


Sunday, January 11, 2009

land of mangoes and flying ants

oh my.

i think i've been experiencing internet withdrawal symptoms these past few days:

heavy breathing, jittery fingers, and constant anxiety for the next fix.

haha, jk, except for the anxiety :p

the transformer on the missions ground broke last week = no electricity, no running water, no refrigerator, no refrigerable food items, limited internet access, etc. apparently, fixing or replacing the transformer is too expensive, so after a week of experiencing all of the above, our house finally got hooked up to a generator! still no running water, but...

i can see in the dark!! i can read at night!!


And i can charge my computer and phone! which means, i now have access to internet again!

hah. it feels good to be connected with the rest of the world again :)

but enough talk about this electric outage mumbo jumbo.

it's been so long since i've last updated, i feel i can't catch up on any point that's occurred/i've experienced these past few weeks.

but i'll try.


1. carlos = rubatano project coordinator/hands at work service center coordinator. aka my "boss." he's probably one of the most eccentric people i've ever met and probably one of the most sincere, caring people, too. he and his family have been so welcoming.
2. maforga missions family = the people with whom i'm staying. they've also been extremely welcoming. there are so many people here with incredible testimonies.
3. home-based care volunteers = local volunteers who visit homes of the sick and orphaned in the communities. amazing. that is all.
4. dara and laura = fellow footprinters/nurses. they've been so helpful since my arrival in maforga. i think i've actually grown too dependent on them and their "big sister"-type figures -- i don't know how i'll fare with their absence. they're leaving... tomorrow morning!

notable experiences:

1. christmas eve dinner at church. the photo on my christmas entry makes the dinner look extremely peaceful. that night was quite chaotic, actually :P
2. christmas day. a group of us visited a local prison on christmas day, and i don't know what it was -- this visit completely changed my perpective about christmas.. or what the rest of the world made it to be.
3. home-based care in maforga/nhembia and gondola. we need to pray.
4. volunteer day. i love the volunteers here :')
general lifestyle:
1. getting Darker. taking doxycycline doesn't help.
2. getting Heavier. i've been eating a lot of MANGOES! :D they're everywhere! under trees fallen and left uneaten, in tubs on the side of the road sold for a couple of cents per bucket, in the kitchen of every house we visit. whole mango, mango fruit salad, mango juice, slices of dried mango, mango mango mango. mmmm.
3. getting Sick. one bad spell of food poisoning. i suddenly woke up one night and started throwing up/having the big D for the rest of the night. that day, we celebrated a special occasion by going out to eat pizza -- my favorite food -- and i ate a Lot. it's actually funny when i think about it now -- cause of sickness: food poisoning or food gorging? i haven't experienced anything too drastic, though: no malaria (yet), no car accident, etc. so i'm still relatively healthy :)

and people have been asking:

4. getting more Tolerant? of bugs?

(^ flying ants flying during christmas eve dinner presentation)