Monday, March 16, 2009

Remember how I said that it was raining a lot and we were afraid because the river was raising?  Well it has REALLY come up this past week!  Every day on the way to the children's home, the staff would put a stick in the ground close to the water and by the end of that day, come back to find that the water had passed the stick.  We watched as the water got closer and closer to the bridge outside of Gary and Rebecca's house, but we didn't think it would reach the bridge for a few weeks still.  Saturday morning I went horseback riding with three of the children and we were amazed to see that parts of the bush were flooded already.  We noticed that people had made piles of sand on the side of the road, so that they water wouldn't come onto the road.  I was very surprised to see children running and playing in the water in the middle of the bush; there could definitely be snakes in there!!  At the end of the ride, we decided that we would go again the next day since that would probably be the last time we would be able to ride for awhile.  Late Saturday night it started pouring down rain and it didn't stop until early the next morning. 


I made my way over to the barn early Sunday morning, dodging puddles and wondering how far we would be able to go since the water was now almost to Gary and Rebecca's bridge.  The four of us got on the horses and made our way to the gate to exit the property.  Once we reached the gate, Gary met us and told us that one of the staff had called and said that part of the dirt road was flooded!  He was waiting for them to come so they could help him move some of the cars through that water, to the dry part of the road.  We rode along the path and I knew the water would be close to the bigger bridge because I could hear the water rushing before I could see it.  Sure enough, the water was right underneath the bridge, which is scary because there are crocodiles in that water and when the water gets high enough, they cross over the bridge too!  One of the girls and I had to walk our horses across the bridge because they were too scared to cross.  Shortly after crossing the bridge, we saw where the water had broken the "sand dams" and had flooded the road.  We slowly made our way through the water, which was a couple inches deep.  Occasionally, we saw people walking through it carrying their shoes like this was nothing out of the ordinary, and we finally found the two guys that work here walking through, one pushing a bike, the other holding his pants and shoes in his hands.  We kept wading through the water and after awhile we came to dry road, so we decided to keep going to see if any more of the road was flooded.  We hadn't gone very far, when a car came speeding towards us.  The two girls and guy were riding in a line on the side of the road, and I was close to the second girl and the boy.  The people in the car were driving down the middle of the road and didn't even bother to slow down or move over at all!  They were so close to us that when they passed, it scared my horse, who jumped up and then started spinning in circles.  I pulled back on the reigns as hard as I could, but it the horse still didn't stop.  At this point, my right foot had come out of the stirrup, the saddle was leaning toward that side, and I was holding on for my life!  One of the girls was screaming, "Hold on!!!  Please don't fall!!"  Then the horse started spinning faster and I screamed.  The girls yelled at the boy and told him to come help me and by the time he had reached me, the horse had calmed down.  I was able to pull myself back up, take a deep breath, and thank God that I didn't fall off!  We decided that it would probably be best to turn around and head back, but the horses were scared of the moving water (because of the car) so we had to go through the bush.  This was pretty scary for me because I was so scared that a snake would come out and scare my horse again.  We made it to the bridge and the same girl and I got off and walked our horses across.  Halfway across, my horse stepped and put a hole in the bridge and water started rushing up in it!  We walked the rest of the way back to the children's home because both my horse was still pretty jumpy.  Once we got back, it was fine though, and I even rode it around the ring a little bit.


On my way back from the barn, I noticed that the water had come up on Gary and Rebecca's bridge a little bit- just in that hour I was gone!  I found it very weird that it would flood so quickly since it wasn't raining here at all, but I was told last week that it can flood so quickly because the river flows from other parts of Namibia and a little rainforest in Angola, and floods other plains first, and then overflows down here.  By that afternoon, the bridge was completely covered and we had heard that even more of the dirt road was flooded.  Three of the boys who were chosen to play soccer with one of the teams here had a game at 4:00, and they came to the house at 3:00 so we could take them on the boat to where Gary had parked the cars.  That's when we realized that the boat wouldn't start!  Gary and one of the staff worked on it for two hours, with the help of some people who live nearby, but they couldn't get it working.  This was really bad news because that meant that the rest of the staff that had to come that night and today would have to walk through that water, with the possibility of meeting a snake or crocodile, in order to get here.  As I am writing this (Monday afternoon), they are still out there trying to fix the boat.  Luckily, it seemed like everyone was able to make it, but if they can't get the boat working I'm not sure how much longer they'll be able to walk here.  Supposedly, the water is over a meter high in some places and it has already covered the bigger bridge.  It sounds like we are now living on an island!  We are all praying hard that they will be able to get the boat working, and that some of the people that live nearby will be able to help us because if we don't get this boat working, we will be in big trouble!!  I am also praying that I don't see any crocodiles climbing out of the water near the house and that I don't see any more snakes slithering around here either!!


Besides the flooding, nothing much else has happened.  Last Sunday we went out to a restaurant to celebrate Rebecca's birthday.  I ordered "Chicken Gordan Blue" which apparently is commonly misspelled in African restaurants.  Even though they weren't crowded at all, it took forever for us to finally get our food; two hours after we had arrived we were finishing up!  Even though the service was painfully slow, the food was delicious! 


This weekend, Rebecca and I are leaving to for Cape Town for two weeks, as long as we can get the boat working, that is!  It will be a long drive there and back (which takes up about half of the trip!), so please pray for us while we make our way down there, and of course, please pray that they will be able to figure out what's wrong with the boat and fix it!  That is all I have for now, but I will try to get one more update in this week before I leave for South Africa!

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