Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Can you smell the rains?

Yesterday James and I were out on a boat on the Zambezi River.

We left Monday morning to have 2 nights away to rest , relax and be refreshed. It has been much needed lately and even up until the time we left Monday morning we were not sure it was going to happen. Our power went off Saturday evening and Sunday evening when we got home from church it was still off despite our efforts in notifying the power company and having them come out and take a look.
About midnight Sunday night they came out again and temporarily fixed it, to return in the morning and replace a breaker in the power monitor box.
We had already set things up with Enock taking Ian to school on the bus and looking after the house, Maureen taking care of the kids during the day and Katryn taking care of the kids at night and staying the night here and being in charge of everything. The kids decorated the car as we were packing up to leave Monday morning and Grace sensed something was up and was following me around crying.

We gave all the hugs and Katryn saw us off and I told her thank you so much and you have no idea how much we need this trip. She said, "Yes I do", and then said she was glad to see the power back on because she knew if it wasn't on, then we wouldn't be going. And then jokingly added then if we didn't go, what would happen and we would end up packing up to go home, then she would have to go home and it would all be over!

Joking, but half way true. Not to the point of going home, but you know when you need a break and that is how we both were feeling. As can be seen from the ending of my last post.
When things get hard, it's not like when you have a day off, you go to a ball game, or to a park, or do any of the "normal things" that you would think of when you need a break.
Then when you have a lot of kids and you take a trip or spend some time away it is not restful, it's usually great family time but it is not restful. And here everywhere you go is a pay per person, for lodging. So you can't just book a family rate for one room but each person counts and it is pricey. So though we plan to do something with the kids in a month or two, James and I very much needed the time together.

Even last time on the phone with my mom, she said she wished she could come watch the kids for the weekend.
So we were so thankful to have Katryn here and others to help.

It has been extremely hot here this last month. The kind of heat that just seems to intensify as the day goes on. When you are already sweating at 9am, you know it is going to be a hot day. The kind of heat that can easily make someone, (you can insert "me" here...) irritable because you are just so hot! The kind of heat that has everyone sitting under the shade of the tree or leaning back in their wheelbarrows to get a break out of the sun. It has just been that hot.
The heat rises and everyone has been talking about when will the rains come? It has been 6 months since the rain. People have said it gets unbearably hot and then the rains come. When the rains come, there is a short burst of the hottest hot again and then it cools down.

We have been here 10 months and just as the heat was rising, the stress seemed to be rising in our own lives. And we felt ourselves when will the refreshing rain come.

So we left Monday morning and headed out of town for some refreshment.
We found a lodge on the river and took a few boat rides to see animals on the river and relaxed. It was very nice.

Yesterday they were even talking at the lodge about the rains and that they have not yet received the first rainfall.
James and I went out with the boat driver for the afternoon/ sunset cruise as they call it. We left the dock and the driver, Brad said, "Can you smell the rains?" Just last week Katryn and I were talking about smelling like it was going to rain.
We told him yes! We can smell the rains coming.

We went up and down the river, through the channels and came to a place were a herd of elephants were crossing the river to the other side. James had been wanting to see this for some time and there we came to it and just stopped the boat and sat and watched. It is amazing. As we were watching the elephants cross the river, to the side I took some pictures of the rain. We could see off in the distance the rain and were hopeful it was coming our way.

As soon as the elephants crossed, we started feeling rain drops coming down. The wind was blowing and the cold rain started falling on us right there on the river. It was so wonderful! The rains had come. After a few minutes Brad put the canopy up, but it made no difference, the wind was blowing the rains sideways and we were getting drenched. He drove the boat faster and the rain pelted harder. I looked at James as he was trying to shield his face behind the seat in front from the rain and we just started laughing. I don't remember feeling that way since walking in the rain outside as a kid...Getting drenched and loving it! And here we were together experiencing the first rains of the season and the cooling refreshment that it brings, at a time when we were needing that for ourselves, amidst the stress and difficulties of living here in Africa.

So rather than a SIGH, this one ends with an AHHHH! Let it rain!

We drove home tonight, (refreshed and rested, ready to tackle the everyday life here- amazing what a couple days will do), to the loving welcome of the kids. I hugged everyone and when Grace saw me, she reached for me and just started giggling. She put her two small hands on my cheeks and just started patting them over and over then she buried her face into mine and said mama, mama, over and over. It was just PRECIOUS!


  1. awww, that's so sweet about Grace. I sometimes feel so discouraged (like this week!) and want to just QUIT and then one of the kids, usually a little one, comes to hug and kiss me and say "I love you Mama" and I feel so happy. That hasn't actually happened this week yet, so I'm still waiting, haha, but I know the feeling when it does! I like the look on Sarah's face back there: I'm sure she's laughing with the other kids about how cute Grace is being. I've seen that look on my kids' faces, too!

  2. God blesses me so much through your posts!

  3. Such a precious story! Isn't it amazing what God does in our lives through things we take for granted sometime (like the rain). Your stories have blessed us so much. I (Teresa) have a niece who has a friend going to Belmont College that desires to be a missionary in Africa some day. I told my niece about your sweet family. We continue to pray for you all! Much love, Randy & Teresa Graves