"Currently sitting on a blue plastic chair under a mango tree. Heat index is 101. Humidity is over 80%. Every part of my body is dirty. Every part of it is moist with sweat. I'm used to my own smell and the smell of my team by now. Every 5 seconds I am killing an ant on me or swatting a fly away. I can't keep the dirt off of my feet even with shoes on. Even a shower isn't worth looking forward to. When you replace a shower head with only a bucket of water you don't ever feel fully clean. And the second you are done you begin sweating again. And with our $4 per day food budget and lack of options at any "grocery store" or market, the term "meal" is used loosely and I don't imagine feeling full anytime soon. Even sleep is tough to feel excited about. The 7 of us lay on the floor next to each other like sardines packed together in a room with one fan and a tin roof. The Islamic music, chickens, roosters, and children form a soundtrack that's on repeat. I wish this was all an exaggeration. Uncomfortable would be an understatement. But the reality is that I am still very blessed. My God is still a good one."
This was taken from a journal entry that I wrote on April 14, 2017 in Adiake, Côte d'Ivoire. Since then, I've had 2 cases of malaria, 2 parasites, a rollercoaster of stomach issues, waves of emotions, relocated to 4 different cities, and am currently in Sunyani, Ghana. They (Adventures in Missions) talk about a "mood curve" often. I'm sure you've all seen some form of this. You start out at a high point of the curve and you move up and down it throughout the journey. I'm going to be honest with you - most of Africa has been in the pits for me. For the first time, I understand why people quit the race. I understand why people give up and go home. I understand why people have a crappy attitude and check out. They warned us of this. I knew it was coming. They even said it would come around the halfway point. And here we are - 5.5 months in. Halfway. From the moment you wake up to the second you put your head down for bed, race life can be exhausting.
But don't worry about me. With the pits, comes a peak. Always a peak. And as I'm sitting down here, I can see the peak way up there. I get glimpses of it when I hold a child that won't let go. Or when we sit with a woman who cries to us because we bring with us an answer to her prayers. Or when we meet a man who feels encouraged by the good news. Or when I gently feel the spirit moving in ways I never thought I could. And when I speak to people on my squad who are sitting with me down here, who let me be me, who continuously remind me of why we are here.
Life on the race is hard. But as I wrote in my journal, my God is a good one. And that alone is enough to get me out of the pit.