Day 1- Landing/1st MaxFIT Jonathan – I arrived on schedule and everything went according to plan, which was rather weird, especially traveling internationally. My luck eventually ran out, and the airline did ‘misplace’ 1 out of my 2 suitcases. The one suitcase that did arrive on time was the one full of Stevie’s goodies and protein that he asked for. The one missing that night was the one containing all of my possessions. Welcome to NAfrica Jonathan. (Stevie commentary: obviously protein is more important than your undies bro) Within an hour of arriving to the Brown’s house, and my with my now 30 hours of no sleep, Stevie was quick to take me to the gym for our first of many workouts throughout the trip at the MaxFit gym. This whole week can be described as ‘sore’.
Day 2- Carthage Tour Jonathan – The first touristy thing we did was visiting the Carthage coliseum ruins. Stevie was my tour guide, and whether or not what he was telling me was true or not, I enjoyed it. The NAfrican people have no sense of ‘preservation’ of 2000+ year old ruins, and since we wanted to just fit in, we would simply walk all throughout the area as if there was nothing.
Day 3- Cafe Duty Jonathan – A common area to hang out in NAfrica is the cafe’s here. There seems to be a cafe on every corner full of people drinking coffee and tea and of course some shisha smoking. Stevie took me out to meet with one of his local believer friends. Upon leaving, Stevie paid for everything, but i wanted to leave a tip. I left a dollar bill and the waiter saw it and looked at me in awe. As we were leaving, the other waiter flagged me down and asked in his broken english if he could have one too. I of course gave him one, and as we had left, you could here the whole cafe cheering and yelling as the two waiters showed every body their dollar bills. Haircut and straight edge from Kais:
Day 4- Bathhouse, Harrigma, Road Trip Jonathan – This day can be described by two words ‘Bro time’. Stevie, Lansen (An American who is here for 1 year teaching at the school where Ella goes) and me started our day off at the ‘Hammem’, which is the bathhouse. Stevie’s one liner in the bathhouse “This really gives the saying of ‘You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours'” says it all. After cleansing our exterior, Stevie took us to try a common dish called Harrigma. I still don’t know what body parts/animals were in that dish, but whatever it was, it cleanses your insides Later on, we took a camping trip up North on the beach. Not an ideal time to camp due to the weather, but since we had all ‘experienced’ the bathhouse together, what better way to stay warm than everyone under the same blankets. I would like to say that Stevie willingly took the middle… Day 5- Camel Head purchase Jonathan – On the way home to the city we happened to be driving by a camel butcher. I’ve never had camel, and I don’t think I’ll ever get a chance to try it in the states, so why not stop and get some meat. Most butchers here seem to have the head of whatever animal it is that they sell inside (cow, goat, camel, etc) and this place was no exception. As we were about to leave, I asked if the camel heads hanging up were for sell…of course they were. And what kind of a men/’Mericans would we be if we did not buy a Camel Head! So we did. Oh let the pictures begin…
Day 7- MaxFIT and Home church Jonathan – Stevie warned me that this workout was going to be pretty tough, but he didn’t mention that I would be this sore. I’m sitting here writing this blog and I still can’t really move without every muscle in my leg being in pain. I don’t care if you are in shape, that workout was a beast… Later that afternoon, The Browns and I went to a chch house that has been started about 6 weeks ago outside of the capital at one of the members houses. There are believers in NAfrica, but few, and the fact that the head of a NAfrican household, along with his wife and kids are believers is unheard us. It was really amazing for me to see how the chch is lived out here in NAfrica even in these chch houses. It doesn’t matter what language people speak, or whether or not they are persecuted, they still worship the same God that we do sitting back in our comfy pews every Sunday. Simple is all these people need, and I think I have learn quite a bit about that during this trip.
Day 8- Downtown/Medina/last MaxFIT Jonathan – Second to last day consisted of me once again babysitting Stevie around town. We went downtown to all the shops and to what I thought all of Africa looked like before coming here. I looks like a scene straight from a Jason Bourne movie, with him jumping through windows, and small alley ways with vending selling anything from blankets to a store full of TV remotes (and yes, stevie did purchase one). The highlight of this day was not our time downtown, but instead it was the rather ‘uncommon’ way in which we travelled downtown. WE took the metro downtown, and throughout my time here Stevie has always mentioned how sometimes people sit on the back of the metro when it’s completely full (makes sense right??). He also said that he has always wanted to try it sometime… well, that’s all that needed to be said. When we got to the metro, we kind of looked at each other and we both tele pathetically said ‘Why not?’ and we rode the back of the metro for a stop. This is one of those things that I won’t ever do again mom, but at the moment it seemed like a really good idea. Day 9- The Farewell Jonathan- I’ve had such a great time here in NAfrica with the Browns. The time was just way to short. It was so good to reconnect with Stevie and just relax and hear about everything that he is involved with, and the work that Jenny and he are doing. I also have been able to spend quite a bit of time with Max, and that kid is such a ball of fun. I’m gonna miss both Ella and Max, but thankfully they will be coming stateside in a few months. From Jenny and Stevie and the kids: Jonathan, we will forever feel honored that you took some of your new job’s signing bonus money to come visit us here in NAfrica. What an honor and we love the family and everyone you represent. Your time here has particularly been an encouragement to me (Stevie) and we know you are following the Lord and that makes us praise Him for His faithfulness!! You were amazing with our kids and we want to simply say thank you and we love and appreciate you a ton!! Make sure and tell everyone back home that we send our love! The Browns 🙂
Late pic arrivals: