Day 8: Ball Tag, Dirt Angels and Chicken N Dumplings…

It’s 8:26 pm. I’m drinking a Coke Zero. My buddy Josh told me that Coke Zero is just Diet Coke that they market differently so more men buy it. Definitely worked on me cuz I think it tastes better than Diet Coke. Makes total sense to me, years ago I read a book called “Blink” and one of the stories talked about how 7UP changed the color green on the can, making it a couple shades lighter and they got thousands of comments complaining about how it tastes more lemon than lime. People are funny, and easily fooled into believing things that aren’t true because of how they feel….myself included.FullSizeRender

Anyhow, I woke up feeling the withdrawals from my normal diet which includes mostly…junk, so I was compelled to eat a container of Pringles that I smuggled here in my carry-on for breakfast, it was awesome in a gross sort of way.

Once the minions were awake and fed, we headed out on another adventure into the village to visit with lady friends of Amanda. It was great, it actually reminded me of time with my own extended family in the south. Sitting on the porch in the heat while Granny shucked beans or peeled potatoes, just sitting and enjoying the quiet satisfaction that comes from sitting with someone rather than sitting alone. Intermittent laughter would emerge from time to time as Indiana or Eli would do something funny like making “dirt angles” but for the most part it was just quiet relaxing in the shade, sitting on “inside chairs”. She even brought out the mat the serves as the only floor covering of her dirt home out so the boys could sit and play more comfortably. I’m learning lessons about hospitality and humility each day.

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Once we got back, we me and the boys decided to go out and see if if we could drum up some fun in the sun. We grabbed the soccer ball and headed over to the field where we were playing baseball the other day. Nunu let some kids know as he drove through the village on his way to run some errands and within minutes, the field was full of kids! Decker, Eli, Indiana and I demonstrated playing ball tag for them for a few minutes. Ball tag is a game where the person with the ball is “it” and they are running around trying to peg someone else with the ball, making that person “it”. Basically you just try not to get hit with the ball. After a few minutes of demo, I pegged a local kid gently. He laughed, picked up the ball and chased down Indiana and pegged him. GAME ON. They understood loud and clear and for the next couple hours they played ball tag, soccer, climbed trees, had whistling contests using mango tree leaves as whistles. Once again, I was amazed by the kids collective ability to connect and understand one another without words. We were made to connect.

Decker has been a bit slower than the other boys to put his inhibitions aside and “jump in the pool” so far on our journey but today was different. He put his toes in the water and realized it felt good and then jumped in. I was so proud to see him operating outside his comfort zone, playing and laughing with kids that were very different than him. I don’t know you got the memo, but jr. high kids don’t often put their toes in the water much less get in the pool because they are too cool. Not today…today my boy was swimming in unknown water like a fish! He received an email from his youth pastor today letting him know he was thinking of him and also asking Deck to share his experience with the group upon his return. He said some important things to Decker and I think some of those things stuck and caused him to look at this trip through a new lens. I’m grateful beyond measure that he has other good men in his life to help me, help Decker get a sense for what a man of faith looks like.

I left the field early to start on dinner. I decided to fix some good ole fashioned chicken n dumplings for supper. It was well received:)

While the boys played and I cooked, the girls were listening to Amanda’s playlist which includes almost as diverse a mix as her brother Josh’s (my best bud), while they worked on cutting pieces of fabric from patterns Amanda made in order to sew all sorts of things like hats, bags, headbands etc. They had a great afternoon talking about life and looking cute in their head-lamps.

After dinner, we busted out the old school Sega Genesis so the boys could unwind USA style for a little while. It’s really neat, I got it at toys r us for 50 bucks and it’s a little mini Sega with 100 games built in, complete with two controllers. MORTAL KOMBAT 1,2 and 3 BABY!

Another day to remember.

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See you tomorrow:)

 

John

 

 

 

 

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