Monday, March 25, 2013

March 25, 2013


It’s another very hot day in Kabala. We hear about single digit temperatures in Surrey and blizzards in Alberta and we are trying to relate, here in Kabala, as we lather on sunscreen and guard our burnt shoulders and arms at 38C-45C.
Every day we spend time at the school. The grounds are dusty and dry as we are one month away from the beginning of the rainy season. The school buildings are well maintained and attractive. The teachers are doing good work here and the students seem very happy. It’s amazing to see the innovative ways that the kids, dressed in their pink uniforms, keep themselves entertained at recess and lunch breaks – even without playground equipment! They play clapping games, a form of dodge ball that is played with a stuffed sock, and lots of ‘football’ in the shade of the huge mango tree that marks the center of the school yard. Right now a group of JSS (Gr.8) students are playing volleyball with “Mr. Joe”.
Kabala is a city set on a mountainous area surrounded by many rolling hills. There are all kinds of trees here with lots of mango, banana and palm trees. The mangoes won’t be ripe for a few more weeks so we will likely miss them! The roads are rutted and dusty and it is not uncommon to see many chickens and goats as pedestrians dodging the ‘Okadas’ (Honda cycles/taxis that are the main form of transport here).
On Saturday we climbed for 40 minutes, almost straight up, to the top of a local hill where we sat high above the town on the heated rocks looking out over this entire region. The girls used the time to snap some photos. We were escorted up the hill by two local boys (ten year olds) who clambered ahead of us and then charged back to us, running the whole time like energetic puppies. It is clear that the people here are in much better shape than we are! Each year on December 31, most of the population of this area, including women with babies strapped to their backs and many others carrying heavy bundles of food and equipment on their heads, climb that hill to greet the new year. It must be something!
We miss our families and friends, of course, but we are thoroughly enjoying this experience. It is so good to meet fellow Christians in this distant country – we find that we share more similarities than differences between us! We are all in good health and, yes, we’re remembering to take our medications! Sleeping in the heat is a bit of an issue sometimes and the food is taking some getting used to but we are well and wish you all well too, as we enter together this Passion Week.


Blessings, Kabala Team #4

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Kabala sounds like a blast so far! I can’t believe how hot it is there… We have had what I could call “an amazingly warm week for Vancouver,” but the temperature never went above 18°C. The little children of CRC Primary sound adorable and the school, beautiful! I can’t even imagine the culture shock that the team must be going through. If I could give you one piece of advice if you be not to take for granted the precious time you have in Sierra Leone, look to God through all of your trials and tribulations, He will keep you strong! “And let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we shall reap if we do not grow weary.” Galatians 6:9

This sounds like a life changing experience for you girls, it makes me all the more excited for my upcoming trip to Kenya with my church in July. Take care during your last few days in paradise; everyone here at Surrey Christian loves and misses you girls!

God bless,
Janica

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