This Monday and Tuesday, the Zone interns went to stay with our friend Na in her village in the Himalayas. Personally, I don’t think you’ve truly experienced life until you’ve stripped yourself of extraneous comforts and “roughed it.” Camping doesn’t count: it’s more like vacation or sight-seeing. There’s something beautiful about living so naturally. Sure, they have refrigerators and motorcycles and some have trucks, but there are some things that truly are mountain village experiences. For instance, you haven’t lived until:
You’ve woken up to a rooster crow at 4 am. (Go home, rooster, you are drunk.)
You’ve had diarrhea in a squatty potty. (Obviously.)
You’ve shared a meal cross legged on a mat. (Seriously, there’s an amazing community about it. And I only watched from the floor across the room.)
You take herbs for your fever instead of pharmaceuticals. (A little hard to stomach sometimes, but a cool experience.)
You’ve slept on a hard floor. (Not because you opted to, but because there are no beds in the house.)
You go barefoot indoors at any personal residence, school, or church. (It’s so much more comfortable. Why don’t we do this all the time?)
You’ve been terrified by the sound of a gecko in the middle of the night. (The sound, not one dashing out in front of you.)
You’ve slept with the spiders. (At least as big as your palm. Every single time I woke up in the middle of the night, I’d track their progress.)
You’ve walked hand-in-hand with children who don’t understand you. (But they want to be with you anyway.)
(Yes, in fact, I was sick in the village in the mountains, thank you for noticing. It was terrible. I’m on antibiotics. Should be on the mend soon. 🙂 A day in the life, yeah?)
Going without some of our comforts and living off of necessity isn’t the most fun thing in the world. But there is a sort of simple beauty to the life they live there. Na’s house is lovely when you don’t look closely at the holes in the wall. What need is there to be critical? There is grand beauty.
Grand beauty was seen in the power behind a cascading waterfall and in the labored movements of a tiny beetle. These are the awe-inspiring things. But there is simple beauty that is everywhere, just next to the grand things. These are precious too and noticeable when one takes the time to pause and see them. Visiting Na’s village really struck me. It reminded me what I have and am grateful for, but also what I need to seek out daily: the beauty in simplicity.
It sounds like you are having a great time! With the illness, that seems to happen at first to a lot of travelers over there. My roommates both had issues with the food, which was fun to share a bathroom with. Luckily I dodged any issues. Hope you get to feeling better quickly!
I am having so much fun, Drew, you have no idea! Everything is so beautiful and amazing and I’m making friends and laughing with them. Plus good food! And friendly people! Sorry, I’m raving. Mission work! Jesus! AH!
So far, no one has the plague, like I did. Whatever it was kept me lying in a corner dreaming weird fever dreams about really loud circus music. But most people are… adapting to the food. If you catch my drift. And besides! I’m doing much better after starting my antibiotic and I’m back to bouncing around. And back to work! Hope all is well on the home-front. I’m always praying for you and your family.
You are making me really miss Africa right now. These kind of experiences truly should be experienced by everyone at one point in their life.