As I wait for my bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich on my last get-a-way day, I watch the fifteen different birds that I will have to look up in my bird book when I get home. Across my empty table, behind the palm tree, I see a finger of a pink Lake Victoria. The sun is not quite down yet, but it is quickly on its way because we are on the equator and when it is time, the sun just drops off. Within those few seconds, if a cloud is in the sky anywhere, everything turns pink and purple. Looking across the pink ripple water the hill full of houses takes on that color too. Framing the hill are swirling, fluffy purple clouds ever so proud of their placement.
Receiving my B.L.T (actually tasting like a B.L.T.) I looked above those clouds and saw the moon with a halo. Seven eagles flew over eying my french-fries. Luckily they did not dive down to grab food off of my plate this time as they did one morning steeling my roll as if it were some sort of rodent. I keep watching them with suspicion though. My Mama Africa stern teacher look seems to keep them at bay.
My scene in front of me looks ever so much like movies have shown me the Riviera must look like. I can convince myself at the moment that I am there and not in Mwanza, the second largest city in Tanzania where 650,000 people live. With all the everyday decisions of running a mission and all the sad let-downs of people deceiving us, we need a get away every so often. This has been a nice one for me.
I have had a massage, some exercise in a nice clean pool, good meals, reading time, T.V. time, browsing on broad-band computer time, praying time, planning time, and no one to answer to.
But when I awake in the morning to pack and go home, my Riviera will go back to being just what it is -- illegal box homes built on the hill filled with very poor people with no plumbing and no clean water, trying to make it in this Tanzanian world of poverty--many with AIDs, many without food or work.
I hope my imaginary trip (to the Riviera) will help me to be strong enough to be a better missionary. I hope we can get clean water to those beautiful people. Hope we can get the Word to them. Hope we can get education to them.
"God not only knows where He is taking you, but He also knows how to get you there." Roy Lessin