Saturday, July 19, 2008

Friday Night Live

I believe in many parts of the world, Friday night means the work week is over, that you can kick back and relax, perhaps catch a movie with friends (or even go on a date, imagine!), and look forward to two days of pure relaxation, of doing whatever pleases your heart.

In some places where I've stayed, I'd get up early on Saturdays and go to farmers' markets to buy fresh-baked goods and home-grown vegetables. I'd go for breakfast with friends and enjoy the day in the garden, or wherever the road takes me.

Here, Friday nights aren't much different than other nights. I had a colleague over for dinner. Caught up on children's home blog posts since our power was out all day. Went to encourage kitchen staff. Chatted with the intern about what he's learning. Now, I get to finish the second half of the text book I was supposed to finish last night, but couldn't due to power outages.

Tomorrow, I could go to an all-day AIDS campaign. I am not going since I'm behind on reading. On Sunday, I'll sleep in a little, spend my devotion time in my gazebo by the river, then head out to the 3-hour church service, a stone's throw from my door. I might be asked to take colleagues to town to catch a bus.

I miss the variety weekends bring in cities and towns bigger than a rural village. I miss the freedom of wheels to take me places to escape. I miss my friends and family tonight.

But Flannel's here. She's been a great companion, and I know she's happy I'm stuck at home.

The Salvation Army Band is playing to their hearts' content in our training center hall. Some of my sweet colleagues would say, "Isn't that wonderful?" They can go on for hours, playing every tune in their repertoire. Again and again. But the always-a-tint-off-key sounds floating into my room, droning out the soothing music I had playing, is too much for me tonight. And they'll start playing again tomorrow morning at 7:00. I'm complaining, I know. Right now, I'm not going to apologize for complaining. I want to be out with friends. Tomorrow will be a better day.


  1. A few years ago, my husband and I went to Haiti on a short term mission trip. We stayed at a local church which was largely outdoors.

    They graciously provided cots for us - a real luxury where we were. But....none of us had ever slept on anything besides Sealy Posturepedic, hold-you-in-feathers, get-up-and-get-you-a-drink-in-the-night, pat-your-head, type mattresses. Needless to say, we tossed and turned all night long.

    The highlight came at the crack of dawn though. A fine upstanding Haitian would start singing Amazing Grace, at the top of his lungs - every morning. And God bless him, we just wanted him to zip it!

    Sorry you are feeling down today. Times like that are really hard!


  2. Hi Friend,
    yet again, I can relate to everything you write! I wish I could change something for you, perhaps my little communique wil helpa teensy bit! Back at christmas time, someone opened a disco in the community at the back and Friday at 6pm til Sunday afternoon, the music almost never stops. So loud I can hear every word! All thru the night! Ugh!!! I can put in my earplugs to slepe but you nailed it - I want the peace in my own home to listen to something! And of course, I can relate to the Friday night blues but at least I have Maputo and lots of other missionaries nearby. I FORGOT about your CAR! How could I?? I am so sorry! What in the world are you doing without it??? Love, Laura