Of the dragon (of the Drakos calculusius type), I'm pretty sure he won the battle as well as the war, and I'd be ever so grateful if he and I never had to cross paths again. But anyway. In the spirit of dwelling on good, I'd like to leave Mr. Nasty-Beastie behind and instead tell you a little more about our trip.... something that still makes me smile when I think on it.
When we're in a community on a drill, there are two main parts of our week - drilling the well, and conducting hygiene courses for anyone that's interested. We specifically try to invite the mothers since they are the ones with direct influence on the cleanliness of their homes and little ones.
Of course, us gringos can't speak a lick of Spanish and aren't of much use when you're trying to explain what germs are and why it is so important to wash your hands, so we keep the children occupied while Yami (LWI Nic's hygiene specialist) talks to the moms.
We bring along toys like balls, skipping ropes, stickers, balloons and have a great time playing with the littles. At the end of the week, these are given to the community so that all the littles can share them. Honestly, spending time with the children makes the week so much more than it would've been if we had just come in, put in the well, and left like a strike team. Running, tickling, screaming, laughing, hugging, and kissing energetic little kids with abandon..... it does something subtle yet profound to a person, don't you think? Worries and reservations slip away, and you realize that life in its essence is just all about loving and enjoying the community around you. It's refreshing! And so, so fun. :)
All the kids really got into it... from preschoolers to teens, the boys as well as the girls! They loved all the different shapes and colours, and I found it so interesting to see the different combinations each child came up with. The sweetest thing was knowing how special this simple (to us) craft was for them.... for days afterward we saw little girls proudly wearing their creations.
It didn't take long for the supply of beads to be depleted, so we brought out the foam hearts and shapes next. We showed them that the small hearts had an adhesive on the back and could be used like stickers; it wasn't long before these clearance craft supplies were being turned into the sweetest cards/hangings. We soon found out who they were for.... Mother's Day was in a few days, and normally the littles would not have the materials to make anything for their mums.
We couldn't have imagined a better use for those foam stickies! I was floored by this incident (and others.... there were so many on this trip!) just how perfectly our Heavenly Father plans everything, down to the most seemingly insignificant detail. He always puts the right thing, in the right place, at the right time.... and our part is to be open to Him tugging at our hearts.
The sweeties were so very proud of their creations. :) As for me, I won't be taking construction paper and crayons for granted again any time soon.
To end, I wanted to introduce you to my very noble and trusty steed. My own black beauty! I hadn't planned on acquiring one for a long time yet.... but the move pretty much made it necessary! The process of getting him was pretty swift and fairly painless.... again: right thing, right place, right time. ;) There is still a minor thing that is taking awhile to get sorted out, but we're trying to take things in stride. He and I are still getting comfortable with each other, but I think that we will be very happy together. ^^