As we arrived at the first village we found ourselves faced with a walk down a slope to reach the buildings where we were going to have our meetings. I was rather cocky about my ability to walk gracefully down the muddy path down to the village. Matt asked me if I would like him to take Seth which I declined. Whether it was because I wanted to impress those around me with my agility or I was just plain convinced I could do it, I cannot remember. Either way, it took me about three steps before my foot slid on that red mud like ice. Now you are probably expecting me to say I fell flat on my back or something similar, but I am happy to report I was not one of the group to encounter that unpleasant problem. And so, I laid down my pride, handed Seth to Matt and began my very, very slow decent down the hill. It took me till almost all the way down to realize that it was better to step in the grassier areas to get more grip. My shoes didn't help either. With my feet covered in mud slipping in my thongs (flip-flops) and then my thongs slipping in the mud, I took a step, then another, with villagers running and skipping around me...ok maybe that is an exaggeration, but they did walk beside me laughing and hanging onto my shirt in case I fell. Finally, one of the men gave me his arm and I held tight as I took the last few steps. Towards the end of the day the mud had dried out a bit and we were all a bit relieved that the walk back up would be easier.
I would like to make an aside here and mention that not only does God have a sense of humour, but when we get ourselves into situations that we think are impossible, God always gets us out.
As we were having our final meeting and the sun went down, the heavens once again opened and we had the opportunity to listen to the lovely sound of a downpour...I remember mentioning to God that the rain could stop anytime...anytime at all. It finally did a few hours later just before the meeting finished. So there we were in the dark, and the only way to leave was walk back up the slope, so with a few torches (flashlights) to light the way (well sort of, they kept moving and so we would freeze until the light fell on our path again). It was nothing less than an experience, and I would not have done it differently, although I might have worn different shoes.