1. i forgot to take my doxycycline for the first 3 days i was here, but i didnt get any mosquito bites during that time, so holla.
2. ive forgotten to take my doxycycline for the last 3 days, and i can currently count 4 mosquito bites on my body. one is on my head. so im hoping to itch all the malaria out before it reaches my blood stream
3. i saw a shark, and no one believes me, so i would like to personally apologize to anna mozley, ashley ward, jordan karr, and emily smith for patronizing your shark story. i believe you. marie wasnt convinced it was a shark, so im not apologizing to her. but thanks for quoting me in your blog, i love you.
4. ive done insanity 3 times since ive been here, and i think ive done more pushups in the last week than i have in the last 4 years.
ok. so. the last week has been more than full of activities and adventures, so i figured i will give you a 1-2 picture snapshot of some of them...
here we go.
the men's prison: we weren't allowed to bring cameras, so theres no pictures. but it was AMAZING. i had the best time in the world. 9 of us went...2 americans, a south korean, ghanaian, australian, german, dominican republican, canadian, and one other place, but it was a while ago, and i cant remember. make up one. about 200 of the inmates piled into this little chapel in the prison and immediately the chorus leader just started yelling out a song, and everyone followed him clapping on the off beat. for like 45 minutes. these men worshipped and prayed like men who were truly in love with Jesus, they were so passionate and filled with joy. it was so fun. we danced a lot. then people got up and shared different messages and kind of tied scriptures together...my roomate michael brought the Word, and they all love him. he is awesome...here he is (he is also good friends with the mozley family, and spent a lot of time with them in ghana.)
and then we basically prayed for the guys for the rest of the time. they just walked up to us individually and sat down and began to tell their stories and about their families and what they needed prayer for and we got to know them a little better. it was such a good time of ministry and relationship building. i had a great time, and i cant wait to go back. it also smelled like death.
church: it was quite the adventure. we went to a church in waterloo about an hour away because michael had been asked to preach at a church there, so a small group of us went along with him. we got to experience the country side via public tansportation...it was quite the adventure. we crammed into a little van with about 15 other beautifully smelling sierra leoneans until they dropped us off outside the city on a dirt road, and we took the encata's (motorbikes) for the rest of the ride through the mountains and such. at a couple different points along the way i thought to myself, "my parents would probably be disappointed with this particular life choice", then got into/onto the motorized vehicle of choice. we made it safe and sound though :)
theres a little video of the end result of the trip on facebook. church was really good. 3 hours long. but good :)
the beach: the beaches here are probably the best beaches ive seen in my whole life. we had a little freetime, so we spent the afternoon at John Obey Beach. there was so much to explore, so much to take pictures of, and i got toasted. apparently malaria medication makes you get sunburned. good thing it always looks like i got tan.
(this is the beach we went to, but for some reason it wont let me upload my pictures from facebook, so i got them on google....) if youre friends with me on facebook, have at it.
aaand lets see. we went on a scouting mission in town because we really wanted ice cream one night, but no one could tell us where we could find it. luckily i have found some adventurous comrads who set out with me into town...really we just picked streets to walk down using eeny meeny miny mo, going through crazy markets, trying to remember which way we turned last, and being stared at by pretty much every person we passed. its really fun, because if you are a white person in freetown, there is a 95% chance you are from mercy ships, so the locals will yell "mercy chip! mery chip!" and the kids come up and grab our hands and say "elloooooo! elloooooo!, elloooooo!" about 37 times until they have been satisfied with the interaction. buncha cutie patooties.
i have more pictures to upload, but my camera is down stairs and i cant currently move my legs. insanity was the worst invention ever....
i spent half my day at the hope center today with a boy named Osman. he just had his leg amputated and is still doing therapy and learning to function with one leg. he was the bravest 8 year old i have ever met. he told me that right before they cut his leg off, he said to his mother (who was a mess), "God is in control. it will be just fine." we played soccer for like 2 hours, and he seriously scored on me like 18 times. at first i wasnt really trying, and then i decided to go a little harder on him, and he still wooped me.
another boy told me the story of how he got all of his burns on his face. he had asked his aunt for money to get a drink on his way to school, and his aunt got angry at him because she thought he was trying to steal money from her. she began to yell at him and pushed him into the fire near their hut. his father saw her push him, so he killed her on the spot. he is in jail now, and the boy has burns all over his body. he is full of joy.
one of the day workers at the hope center told me about his experience during the war today. it was the first time that a local had really opened up to me about what actually personally happened to them so far. some of the things he shared with me are too grusome to share on here...but friends, let me tell you that most of us have no idea what kind of evil and tragedy has happened to the people here. i dont understand how these people have been able to rebuild and continued on with their lives. they have so much faith, and so much trust that God will provide and be their strength. i love that they dont just call him God here. it is always, "Papa God."
my heart is alive, and i am inspired daily by these people in my life.