Terry and I are making strides with our language classes. My teachers told me I had done well with my negative imperatives. I don't have to practice to hard with that. I am now able to say more than “where is the bathroom” in Spanish. Sometimes I am able to carry on a short conversation and understand bits and pieces of what one is saying. I have learned not to say si and nod my head yes to everything that is said to me. This had gotten me the wrong medication and made a doctor think I understood every word he was speaking.
Terry and I were able to take a trip to the coast. We worked with a group of MKs (missionary kids) while their parents were on a retreat. We traveled thru Guayaquil and memories of Arkansas in July hit me in the face as we stepped out of the car for a bathroom break. The heat and humidity is about the same except I think in Guayaquil it is that way all year long.
Memories of the beaches in California came back to me. I had always wanted to run into the waves of the ocean like the movie stars do, so I did. I came back to land like a shipwrecked victim. Gasping for air and crawling in the sand. The waves did not welcome me. They also stole my prescription sunglasses. I didn’t get enough of the ocean so the next day went out snorkeling with the group.
After the ocean nearly killing me the day before I should have known it wasn’t going to be welcoming me again. Sitting on the boat waiting to dock at the diving area, I wondered how the snorkeling gear was being cleaned as we had jumped on the boat as another group had just jump off. So that meant that we were using the same gear of the group ahead of us and the group ahead of them. I was holding back gagging as I watched everyone else put the gear on and jump. I was thinking maybe when they handed me my face thingy I would just rinse it off with my water bottle. No one else had, so thought maybe that would look rude.
My mask jumped out of the water and on to the boat, it was on one of the boat guys who was returning to the boat after a swim. He took his mask and snorkle off and handed it to me. It was disturbing to me to put on a mask and snorkle someone else had just used. I am a missionary, I must not offend by refusing to share with someone. That is a missionary rule. I can’t break that rule. I put the mask on and jumped into the water. All the thoughts of how many mouths were on my mask went away as I hit the water. My only thoughts were on survival.
I wasn’t able to wear my glasses so I was now blind in the ocean with my feet not touching ground. I looked under the water with my face thingy, seeing nothing but sand and more sand, there were no Nemos or mermaids. The next thing I know I am being pulled into a current, the boat and bobbing people in the water are far away. Terry comes to rescue me and he too is having a hard time with the current. I held on to his toes because I had heard all the stories of people drowning causing the deaths of their rescuers by panicking and pulling them under. Terry was getting tired. I was too tired to care.
I'd heard stories of how boats left snorkelers in the water so I pictured both of us floating around in the Pacific for days with me still hanging on to his toe. Finally a little yellow boat came out and pulled me to safety. I hung on to that little boat as it took me to the big boat. A couple of guys pulled me up on the boat just like they do in the movies when they are rescuing survivors of ship wrecks. The next day everyone headed out to a new beach, I stayed in our nice restful little room.
I think there may be some deep thoughts and spiritual teaching in the current story, but I will leave that to another blog post.