Well...the Nyquil definitely helped! Right when my head hit the pillow I was out. The mosquito net didn't bother me one bit. Getting ready this morning was pretty simple...rolled out of bed...put on my long skirt (we had to wear long skirts the whole time we were in Africa), and tshirt, pulled my hair up, put on a SMALL amount of makeup, ate my poptart and brushed my teeth. Brushing teeth has been an experience. O yeah...I forgot to tell you...our water went out late last night. But regardless if there's running water or not, you don't want to use this water to drink or brush. We use bottled water...it makes me realize how much I take water for granted. Well...I woke up thinking about my sister this morning. Today is her 20th birthday! I can't believe she's growing up. That just means I'm getting older. I've missed her a lot on this trip. I really wish I could call her...but a text will have to do. Okay...so we left the house this morning at 7:45 to head to Esther's House (the orphanage we'll be working with all week). On the way we picked up our translators. We each were assigned our own. I was a little nervous about this at first but that quickly went away. Chichewa is the language they speak...Engish is their second language but most don't speak any English. My translator's name is Duncan. He is my age and in school to learn to be a bus driver. He is the son of one of the pastors-Kuzaloh...he is Clint and Chandler's translator. It is funny because he has a hard time understanding me...so there is miscommunication a lot of the time. We got to Esther's House and have a short meeting..then we went out with our translator to walk around the village and invite everyone to Sunday morning worship and give out tickets for the dental hygiene lesson. We only had 135 tickets to give because of our limited # of supplies (toothbrushes/toothpaste/fluoride). I was really nervous about having to talk to the people with my translator...especially since we had trouble understanding each other. But we went out in a group...Abbie, Travis, me, and our translators. All the conversations pretty much consisted of..."Do you go to church?" "You should come to worship with us at Esther's House Sunday at 9:30" and "Do you want a ticket to learn how to take care of your teeth and get a free toothbrush and 'vitamins' put on your teeth?" Those tickets went QUICK! Everyone wanted to come to that. As we walked from hut to hut, children kept coming from everywhere. The kept multiplying and by the end we had about 20-25 that had followed almost the whole time. That amazed me. It broke my heart to see these kids with ripped up/dirty clothes and most with no shoes! But...they were the HAPPIEST people. It makes me evaluate the way I am about situations in my own life. I have SO much and have been blessed abundantly but I still can always find something to complain about. These kids literally have NOTHING but have SO MUCH JOY! It's amazing! As we walked around to the different huts we came across a man who was at a hut with a bunch of people. It sounded like they were having a party because the music was up really loud and they were all outside eating. Only the one guy came up to the dirt road to meet us. We asked his name and he told us it was Witness. That ended up being somewhat ironic because when we asked him if he went to church he said, "I want to know Jesus." Abbie and I got out the evangecube and began telling him the story of God's love for him. By the end of the story he told us that he wanted to ask Jesus to come into his heart. This was amazing to me because first of all, he WANTED to hear about Jesus. In America people would turn their nose up at you when you want to tell them the same story. Secondly...this was the first salvation I was able to be a part of leading. Abbie did most of it but it felt amazing to know that this guy will be in heaven with us because God sent us from America to share the gospel with him. While walking we randomly saw pigs, chickens, goats, cows, and even bulls just freely roaming. I completely forgot to put on sunscreen so throughout the day I continued to FRY! It was SO HOT! After we finished inviting and handing out all of our tickets we went to a celebration we were invited to at the Chief's house. This was apparently a REALLY big deal and a great honor. A somewhat embarrassing moment happened when I introduced myself to the chief. Before we met him, they told us we were to get on our knees to shake his hand. Well...I wasn't paying much attention to the tone in which everyone was speaking when introducing themselves. I was probably in the middle of the line and when I got up to him, I got on my knees and apparently YELLED "HI...MY NAME IS MORGAN...NICE TO MEET YOU!" I didn't realize I had done it any differently until everyone died laughing including the chief. I didn't know what I had done and everyone was like "we were so quiet and barely said anything to him." OOPS! O well! At least he laughed. I was super nervous about lunch there. It was all cooked by the African cooks and their sanitation techniques are way different from ours. We were told before we ever got there that if we put it on our plate we have to eat it. When we filled our plates we all got tiny amounts of a few things. Their staple food is called nsema which is corn mill ground up over and over until it is a mashed potato or play dough consistency. It doesn't really have a taste...but it is VERY filling. So because they don't have much to eat...and it is fairly cheap to make...they EAT A LOT OF THIS. I put a tiny amount of that, some plain white rice, who knows what kind of meat, and some new potatoes (these are AMAZING...my favorite Malawian food so far). The next thing on the agenda was a celebration where the chief invited 2 groups of traditional tribal dancers to dance for us. This was incredible. By the end of the day..we were all dancing with them. SO MUCH FUN! An experience I'll never forget. The Chief is a good Christian man and is on board with everything FB Springdale is doing with Esther's House despite the government tie up's. Apparently this is a big deal for him to be outspoken about this support. We also met the district leader which is equivalent to our governor. He is also a Godly man and supportive of Esther's House. Before we left, the chief gave us all clan names. These names are very important to the Malawian people. My clan name is Nandau. Right when we got home for the day...we walked across the street (in a BIG group) to Petroda (the gas station) to buy cokes. They have glass bottles mostly. If you take in an old glass bottle the coke costs 60 kwacha-which equals around .39 cents each. I forgot to tell you all about exchanging money at the airport yesterday. It was very interesting. I exchanged 100 USD and got about 15,205 Kwacha. I had a HUGEEEE pile of money. haha! We had to wear "hidden pockets" under our clothes all week and my money barely all fit in that pocket. It made me look like I had an extra fat roll all week! HAHA! The gas here is sold by the liter but when you convert it to gallons it is about $6.00 a gallon. SO EXPENSIVE because it has to be imported. Not many people here have cars AT ALL. A coke never tasted so good. I needed my caffeine fix. I didn't realize how sunburnt I was...I can't believe I forgot sunscreen. When we got back to the house...we had NO ELECTRICITY. This means no shower for me AT ALL...it was miserable. Especially since the day was so hot. I used baby wipes to wipe the sweat from the day. I HATE going to bed gross, but o well. There's nothing I can do about it. This trip has really brought out the outdoorsy person in me. I've had to do some crazy stuff in order to survive. So...another thing I failed to mention is that we ALWAYS had to be in our compound before DARK!!! This was all for safety reasons. Our next thing on the agenda was to make individual bags of toothbrushes/toothpaste to hand out to the orphans and the adults for the hygiene day tomorrow. Also, we divided up all the clothes to give to the orphans and widows. Tonight, Beth cooked our dinner. I haven't had an appetite at all since the food on the Ethiopia flight. STILL GET SICK Thinking about it. Tonight the food was delicious...baked seasoned chicken, green beans and potatoes. YUMMY. I love our team. We all have a somewhat sarcastic personality so we're always laughing. This can sometimes cause tension because of differing personalities but we all work through it. When I went in the room tonight to get ready for bed...Beth and I had a GREAT conversation about the trip and life in general. It was definitely a God thing because we had a lot of the same feelings and a lot of similar life stories. We talked about how we were both scared about the trip and didn't feel spiritually prepared. After today we both felt inadequate compared to everyone else...especially in their evangelism knowledge. Although I had a great day today I still was a little apprehensive about the coming days. Abbie joined our convo and reassured us that everything would be better tomorrow. Beth and I also discussed our problem with being complacent in our Christian walk lately. This was very good to talk about because we both have felt this way for a while and no matter what we did we couldn't get past it. I told her that one of the reasons I thought God called me to this trip was to break that complacency. "AWAKEN" the Natalie Grant song came to mind..."My soul is longing, my heart is searching, I'M DESPERATE FOR YOU TO MOVE!" This is how i've felt for a while now! I'm praying that God will awaken my heart this week! Because of my long chat tonight and my journaling...i'm going to bed way later than I intended. PRAISE JESUS...right before I went to sleep the electricity came back on so my fan worked through the night. It is SO hot/humid it would have been miserable without it. Every night before I fall asleep I turn on my phone to check for texts from family or friends. My people have been slacking in the texting department. Lauren has been pretty consistent. I found out tonight that the Hogs lost to LSU! SAD DAY! Now the series it tied 1-1. GOODNIGHT! LOVE YOU ALL!
Joley cooking NSEMA
Tribal dancing! Fun Times!