“Pan town,” South Asia – I’m going to call it “Pan” town because I feel like I’m in a frying pan! Man, I don’t know if I can live here. It’s so hot. I think I’ve sweated out all of the liquid in me. I slept almost in a puddle last night. I don’t know how I managed to sleep at all – but even then I woke every two hours. I finally had to crawl out from under the mosquito net and transfer to the other bed in the room which is a little more under the fan. It was claustrophobic under the net, and my whole body was covered in a thin layer of what felt like sticky sap, but was only my own sweat, my own body trying to cool itself down. I wondered if it was possible to die because you’ve sweat away all the water your body has inside it? Is it possible? I guess not, because I’m still here.
I am up this morning at 5:10. There were two bells, I think at about 5:15, and the other at 5:30. I was up and in the shower before the end of the first bell. The water was cold, but refreshing. I wish I could stay there all day. After I finished, I washed the clothes I wore last night. I realized that the drips of water coming down my face weren’t just from my wet hair. It was sweat already forming. There is no escape from the heat. It hangs, and hovers, and presses in from everywhere.
I have not allowed myself to glance around for spiders. Only this morning did I scan the ceiling, but I refused to look behind the almari (cupboard). I did hear some noises from animals last night – probably lizards. I only prayed that whatever it was it was something that ate mosquitoes since I was no longer under the protection of the net. This morning, I’m sure it was a lizard because it made it’s “wa, wa, wa” sound. I couldn’t see it, but it couldn’t have been more than a foot away from my head.
Overall, the accommodations are nice. Amazing for a place way out in the middle of nowhere. The bed is fine – I was too hot last night to think about comfort in that way. There is a fan in the room which changes speed by itself depending on the electrical current. I think they have a generator – when the lights would go off – which they did about 4 times last night, the fan would increase in speed – so much so I wasn’t sure if it would stay hanging on the ceiling. But after I realized it would, I prayed that the lights would go off, so that the fan would reach its fullest potential.
Where is the relief from the heat here? Oh yeah, I also used a wet cloth at one point last night to try and cool myself down – it helped, but was only 5 seconds from the time I placed it on my leg or forehead before it was boiling from my body releasing heat into it. At one point last night, it seemed like the saliva in my mouth has also sweated out of my body because my throat became dry and started to hurt. My stomach felt a little funny around 2 this morning, but again, it was so hot, that the heat took my full attention. My stomach feels about 90% right now. Again, can it ever be 100% in this country?
I wonder if I will make it the next few days…I know I can because I can see the end of it already. But could I come back here? Could I survive in this place? And honestly, I have pretty good conditions. Electricity seems okay half of the time. Running water, a toilet. If I were to make trips to teams, what would the conditions be like there? Probably hotter, probably sweatier, probably not as private, probably dirtier. And yet, isn’t all that what draws me to the Field? Okay, maybe it doesn’t draw me, but isn’t all that the stuff I got excited about before? The dirt, the grity-ness of life here?
But really, who would want to come here? If I were to come, would I only count the days until I could go home? Would I wish I had never come? Would I grow to love this place? Would I be able to travel by myself in this region to other teams? Would I learn to speak Hindi well enough? Would I grow tired of their food? In some ways, I feel like I’m already tired of it, and I’ve only eaten once. I was so hot, I didn’t feel like eating anything, but they continued to put it on my plate.
I thought for along time last night about coming back in the future, about life here, about how it might be, about what it would look like, about the isolation, about if I have anything to contribute or not, what difference I could make –even in the smallest way.
And yet, I’m glad I can follow Him where He leads. Lord, please direct me, guide me, show me – and please give me peace, sustain me in these days, give me strength. Father, it is only the first day, it seems it is too soon to ask you for these things. Have I already come to the end of my rope? Wow, how could I survive more than a few weeks at a time? Only with you, I know. It is good to be back in a place where I really truly feel I NEED you. If for no other reason, perhaps that is I why I should accept this position.
A little girl just brought me tea. Steaming hot, boiling tea. Of course. Because drinking something hotter will make you feel cool. There is no way on earth I will drink that –Fortunately, no one is in here to keep me company while I drink it. At least not right now. I should probably dump it quickly…
I’ve been up for almost an hour an a half, it’s only 6:30am. Phew. It’s going to be a long day. I am supposed to eat breakfast in an hour. I think shortly after that, the teams (whichever ones are able to) are coming. I’m unsure how that is all going to go, I’m sure they are going to expect me to speak more Hindi than I can. I want to impress them, I will try my best.
I thought about that last night too. I might as well go ahead and help encourage them while I’m here. I was going to ask them to give me a summary of what they did at the workshop – even though John gave me the 2 hour version on the way in the jeep yesterday. I want to hear from their perspective what it was they accomplished. I want to ask them what they have done since then – it’s only been a week or so. I want to ask them if they have learned anything about God from the stories thus far? I want to ask them if they see stories working to reach people, if they think stories can have an impact.
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