The year was 2007, the place: Sambiya River Lodge in Northern Uganda. It was our one day of rest* in the 16 days we were gone.
*We use the term rest loosely as it sometimes seems that our day of rest has us up earlier and out later than our ministry days.
Reuben sent us off on an adventure to Murchison Falls to visit the game park and stay at one of the lodges there for the night. My dad had us all excited because he had gone to the same place the year before and said it was so beautiful, wonderful, and relaxing.
So we woke up at I don't even know when, it was that early, and off we went on our 8 hour bus ride to the park (which is a whole other adventure in itself).
When we arrived at the lodge, we found it wasn't the same one my dad visited, and not what any of us expected.
We stayed in huts. With thatched roofs.
Now, while we're in Uganda I tend to have problems with my lungs because of the dust, car fumes, and smoke that I'm not used to here. The doctor on the trip said I had a respiratory infection and had no voice.
So I entered my little round hut, which I shared with my roommate, Madie, as well as my parents (there were 2 rooms connected by a door between). They all left for a boat ride while I laid down on the bed farthest from the door and laid down facing away from the entrance. As I laid there, I heard this PLOP. I thought, "That's strange." So I turned over and saw :
A little pile of poop! On my pillow! Next to my head!
You can imagine what I did next - I flipped the pillow over and laid back down. Hey, don't judge me, I didn't feel good.
A few minutes later I heard another PLOP. I didn't really want to look this time, but curiosity got the best of me.
Another pile of poop. Not on my pillow. On my roommates pillow. You can imagine what I did next (yep, I went there) - I flipped her pillow over and fell asleep.
*NOTE: You are free to judge me on this one. She didn't find actually out about this until....about a month ago. And she's still talks to me. Now that's a true friend!
After waking up, I joined the team for dinner and then we all turned in for the night, making sure to close, latch, and lock the door to keep out unwanted pests like monkeys, warthogs, and hippos. Because one of those creatures wandering into your room would not be the best part of waking up. (Seriously though, there was a sign on the door warning us). We tucked ourselves into our mosquito nets and said our goodnights.
At about 4:30 am, I woke to a strange sound. It was a whooshing sound, a fluttering if you will. I thought maybe our fan turned on so I closed my eyes. But I heard it again. And then I heard it real loud just as something tapped my mosquito net.
I could hear my parents shuffling about on the other side of the wall. So I called for my dad and it felt like one of those nightmares when you try to scream but all that comes out is a whisper. Oh, that's right, I had lost my voice. I couldn't even say anything loud enough to wake Madie who was less than a foot away. So I started coughing.
Finally she woke up and said, "Are you ok? Can I do anything for you?" Which would've been so sweet if she hadn't had a twinge of irritation in her voice. But I suppose I deserve at least that after I woke her up super early and allowed her to sleep on a poopy pillow all night...
I said to her, "Get my dad, but don't get out of your mosquito net." So my dad comes in and I told him, "I think there's a bat in our room." Then he CLOSED THE DOOR. Not a very heroic response.
I didn't hear what my dad told my mom. All I heard was a yelp and the slamming of the *bathroom door.
*I'd like to note here that she closed herself into a bathroom with walls that didn't reach the ceiling...
My dad comes back into the room with a towel over his head. I'm still not 100% sure of its purpose. Maybe it was his version of a super hero cape? I'm grasping here. But again, I shouldn't talk since I stayed safely inside my mosquito net. He turned our light on and our little flying friend crawled back up into our thatched roof to patiently wait for another persons pillow to poop on.
Now do you see why some of these aren't the stories we share at church? But honestly we have a lot of fun, and have to laugh and joke about some of the things that happen to us. People might hear these stories and think we're crazy and that they'd never go somewhere like that.
But the work we do and the friendships we have make it all worth it.