We Heart Lepers

25 Feb

Yep, lepers. Again.

Patrick organized another trip out to the Leper Colony last weekend. The last few times the branch has gone out there, I’ve either been pregnant or tending to a small child.  Said small child has been driving me nuts since he learned to walk, so this was a good opportunity for me to throw him at Patrick and run out the door yelling “I’m doing service bye!”

Okay, it wasn’t quite like that, but my feeling of relief as I walked out the door without a kid strapped to me or screaming at me from his behemoth stroller was palpable.

Walking over to the chapel itself was such a nice experience. It was crisp and sunny, I tuned my Itouch to NPR’s Talk of the Nation, and waved at all the boabs who looked stunned to see me without Finn. I could see it in their eyes, they were saying to me “it’s like we don’t even know you anymore!” I met our group at the chapel, we had a pretty good turnout of about 20 people.  We piled into two cars and a rented bus and headed out of Cairo. We took the same road that goes to the new AUC campus, then turned off onto a very bumpy winding road to get to the Leprosarium. As we approaced, sand gave way to rows and rows of cactus, some buried half in the sand so they looked like people waving at us.

We got there and immediately got to work. They had about 10 benches that needed to be sanded and repainted in these awful green colors. Jaeheeh and I sanded one for a while before admitting to each other that we didn’t really know what we were doing or when the bench had been sanded enough. Let’s just say our bench was pretty smooth when we were done. We started painting and it was all I could do not to grab the darker shade and paint designs on top of the solid ugly light green we were using. As with anytime I paint, I was just as covered with green as the bench was when all was said and done.

We painted another bench and were getting pretty tired when a horse cart showed up and unloaded more benches, then more, then more. It looked like we’d be painting benches the rest of the day, but luckily we ran out of paint after a few hours.

I was hoping to get a tour of the Leprasorium when we were finished but we only got to see a few projects that LDS Charities had been working on before it was time to get back on the bus and head back.

After I got home and washed the green off of me, we cleaned Finn up and took him to have portraits taken at a local photo studio. While we wasn’t quite as happy to be there as last time, we got some really cute shots. We’ll post some once we get the prints back.

So all in all, a good weekend. Now it’s mid-week and Finn is tearing my hair out. Literally. He’s sitting here next to me trying to comb my hair, but more often than not he gets the comb tangled and then waves it around wildly to ge it out. In a little while we’re going to head over to Maadi House and do some swimming and chatting.


2 Responses to “We Heart Lepers”

  1. Larissa February 25, 2009 at 5:10 pm #

    Hi Melissa! I saw your post on my blog, so I decided to check up on yours. You must be the Melissa and Patrick of the former South Bend fame, am I right? If so, you are quite legendary here, because I’ve heard many people talk about you (all good of course!). You have a great blog. It’s a good read, so I’m glad I found it. Also, I LOVE the name Finn and would love to use that. Is that his full name or is it short for something?

  2. Melissa February 25, 2009 at 7:30 pm #

    Hi Larissa! We are indeed the once and future South Bend Masons (we’re moving back this summer). I’m glad you like our blog. I spent part of my morning reading yours and really enjoyed it. I’m in love with Beck, he’s a cutie. We’re big fans of Finn, both the kid and the name. It’s not short for anything, although I kind of like Finnegan and one of my friends just named their baby Finley. I think it would go good with Beck as in “these are my kiddos, Beck and Finn.”

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