You know how oftentimes something bad will happen to you, but in the end it turns out to have been for the best?
Yeah, so that happened. We had been having a wonderful day in Siparuta, finding our studies and sharing the Comfort Awake! magazine with everyone. After the long day we finally reached back to Orealla, and I was greatly looking forward to being able to sit and relax at home, but I remembered I had a Bible study scheduled. And it was uphill, about a half hour walk away from where I was. So I decide to be faithful and begun the long trudge up.
I reach my call, and he isn't home. Pout. But then I recall I had another call nearby whom I hadn't gotten home in a long time, so I go to visit him on a whim. And he's home! So we sit and have a lovely discussion, and I feel my walk was worth it.
Here's where the story takes a turn.
See, I really enjoy walking barefoot, and will often take off my shoes when walking home from service.
I also don't usually pay close attention to where I'm walking.
And Orealla has lots of tiny little stumps barely sticking up out of the sand.
As I walk along, wrapped in my own thoughts, a sudden painful cracking sensation wracks my foot. Specifically, the long toe next to the big one.
Of course, I'm still faced with a 30+ minute walk home, so I hobble along best I can. It's a more throbbing sensation than pain, so I figure no big deal at first. The next morning, however...
I awake from sleep to the horrifying revelation that my long toe has swollen to the same size as the big toe. I step out of bed and experience an immense amount of pain as the foot hits the floor. Now I begin to suspect more than a simple bruise or stubbed toe.
Naturally I hobble along to the Health Centre (Orealla's version of a hospital. And yes, they use the British spelling) where they examine it and say "It's probably broken. Come back in a few days if it still hurts."
The plus side of Guyana: at the hospitals, at least you don't have to wait in line to be woefully disappointed. In America, you have to wait at least an hour and a half before the hospital can disappoint you.
As I hobble and wince home, a neighbor notices my stance and asks about it. I give him the full story (along with some choice words about the quality of health care pretty much everywhere) and he says "Go ahead and wait at home. I'll bring something for you."
In a few minutes he comes by with a lemon, a knife, and gauze. I'll be honest, it's a rather terrifying sight. What he says they'll do is cut the lemon in half and cook it, then put the halves on top and on bottom of your foot, wrap them in gauze to stay, and it'll remove all the pain.
|My foot went on to have a successful career in bank robberies.|
IT WORKS. Pain was gone. Eventually I took it off since I was going to take a shower. By time I got out the pain was so much that if someone had offered to sever my toe I'd happily accept. But I get back upstairs and re-wrap the foot, and I felt fine.
Here's the only problem. I was scheduled to give the public talk on Sunday, and we didn't have time to reschedule or anything, so I asked what to do, since the one thing everyone said to not do is wear shoes. So the elders say "Give the talk barefoot." So ... I did.
|Blue shirt, orange tie, green suit? Perfectly acceptable.|
Let's take a closer look there...
|All brothers: Eat your hearts out|
As soon as I was able to walk again I got a call from a brother in Skeldon. A need-greater named Ken was wanting a good place to fish, so every single person told him Orealla. They asked if this brother could stay with me, so I say sure. His first day out, this happens.
|Look at that proud fatherly stare.|
In case you're not up on South American breeds of fish, this is what is known as a "Pi-ry" by the locals. To most others, it is called Piranha. It is also worth noting that nearly everyone who saw this claimed it is the largest one they've ever seen. So kudos to Ken for getting it out of our river!
Breakfast the next morning was delicious.
|"Alas poor Yorick. I knew him Horatio."|
Before I finish, some have asked why I haven't yet shared anything from my recent Pioneer School class. My main reason for this is that as far as material, the point of Pioneer School is that you hear the material when you go. Nearly everything else I would have to share from it would be various inside jokes that would take an unnecessary amount of time to explain. Perhaps eventually I could piece together some amusing anecdotes. But for now, allow me to at least share the class photo.
|I'm the one that's white.|