I have just returned home from a 10 day trip to Burkina Faso, Africa. I saw hunger, disease, hope, joy, generosity. I felt hot, dusty, thirsty, loved, appreciated, encouraged, hospitality, inspired. I was filled with heart-breaking experiences that consumed my heart with compassion. I wish I could put it into one simple post and tell you what what all this means. But I cannot.
Pastor Herb called our accommodations “four star.” I’d have to agree.
Our rooms were always available and never was the place over-booked leaving us without a place to stay. (We could spread out, boys on one side and girls on the other, along the local church. Usually this was right next to the pastor’s house.)
Blankets were available for us. And our beds were spacious. (Fleece was our friend in the middle of the night when the temperature would drop to the lower 60’s. After 105 degree days, that was a significant change! Our cots had enough room to keep our blankets off the ground – so snakes would not/could not slither up, hold our backpacks and gear, and keep our shoes off the ground – so scorpions could not crawl in. They were always firm and quite comfortable, actually.)
Unlimited, free viewing of the classics. (The moon was vibrant & full, the constellations numerous, and I think several saw a shooting star. I even watched the bats circle overhead one night…being mindful not to wake the others for this sight.)
Wake up calls were included. (The roosters were kind enough to begin cock-a-doodle-doing in plenty of time to prepare for the sunrise.)
Clean up crews performed at Disney-like levels…coming out at night when no one was aware of their hard work. (Pigs and dogs, and an occasional goat, wandered through camp making a morning meal out of whatever they could find.)
Meals were included. (The pastor’s wife and friends prepared delicious meals for us where ever we went. Most evening meals consisted of rice, peanut sauce, vegetables in a soup-like sauce – cabbage and onions being a staple. Sometimes we were honored to have chicken or goat. For breakfast we’d have rice and bread. Pastor Herb’s plate included the chicken’s comb…better than a happy meal toy!)
And we were pampered. (Several places had chairs set out for us. Beautiful ones that seemed set aside for special occasions or others set up in the shade during the heat of the day giving us a break from the heat.)
I say these things with a grin, but not in jest. We really were taken care of well! And were never without. It was definitely a new experience for me on many levels. But not one where I would change one detail.