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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Africa (03/05/09)

TITLE: Love Is
By Charlie Comerford


Hey Diary,

Itís been 2 weeks now since I arrived in ĎSunny Mozambiqueí (understatement of the century) and if Iím being honest, right now I just want to pack up my stuff and go home. The thought of staying for another 5 and a half months isÖ well itís unthinkable! The temperature is, on average, about 40íC everyday - and Iím part Irish so my skin is burning like heck! And then there is the bugs... I canít remember the last time I was stung by a bee back home - I think maybe I was five... Whatever, it was a long time ago, and yet since coming here Iíve been stung four times by bees!


Perhaps my pale skin to an African bee is like a red flag to a bull and, by nature, they automatically turn into demented kamikazes at the sight of my flesh. Or maybe Satan has demon-possessed every bee in Africa so that they attack me on sight. Who knows!?

- However, this is not even the worst of it!

The most unpleasant thing right now, by a mile, is the horrific, the terrifying, the fear-inspiring; drop toilet. I will spare you your innocence, since you, my dearest diary, are still pure; but know that this particular invention is, without a doubt, the most cursíed creation on Godís green earth. Yet sadly for most people here itís all they have, and so Iíve been forced to make this disgusting enemy of nature into my best friend. Otherwise - if I may be so frank - where would I go when I need to go!?

Ok, Iím going down a negative road here. Letís back up a bit and take a look at what Godís done for me.

This past year God has seriously worked his bright-white-robes off for me. Mozambique - the area of Africa which Iím currently settling in, is a primarily Portuguese speaking country (along with a variety of other rural dialects: I.e. Chewa, Shona and Nyungue to name a few). And God, being the awesome God that He is, arranged it so that I found a convenient - and cheap - Portuguese Beginners evening course which was also wonderfully easy to get to. Therefore now, Iím here and am able to (sort of) converse with the locals! So praise God!

Also, even before this happened - Iím talking years back - God put mission on my heart and confirmed it through several prophesies in people who had never met each other before. And sometimes when I felt lost, he would give me a little sign, maybe a song on my ipod or a word from a friend, to let me know that I should have faith in Him.

So listen to yourself whinging about such insignificant problems! For the past 4 years havenít you been begging to God: ĎPlease, send me now!í Yet here you are, wanting to go home. And why? Because itís a bit hot? Because the bugs are biting? Because your best friend is a toilet?

Heck no!

Get a grip of yourself man! Remember, God brought you here for a reason and now you need to toughen up and stick it out! (I have no idea whether Iíve just referred to myself in the 2nd, 3rd or 4th person ~ ) Donít doubt the Lord. He makes the blind see and the deaf hear, He makes the lame walk and the mute speak, and He is, in fact, the salvation of all mankind. So have faith in Him! Persevere through these petty struggles and surely in the end your faith will be 100 times stronger than it ever was before!

- Quite the pep talk. Lets see now if I have the will to do it. Africa is a completely different world to the one Iím used to and right now I donít fully understand it. But Iím sure with time Iíll learn, since it was God who, out of love, brought me to this place. So IĎm confident that if I do my part then He will do great things through me.

ÖAh! My ipod (a personal and necessary luxury) has just flickered onto a songÖ IĎve never really thought much about the lyrics of the chorus, until nowÖ check it out:

Love is,
The sweetest feeling,
That I know.
Love is,
The only thing that,
Will let you goÖ where you want to go.

Ah God, youíve done it again.

Song: Love Is
Artist: Nizlopi

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This article has been read 387 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Daniel Kane03/12/09
This has a load of character. I'd love to read your diary and find out what other adventures you are having.
Christina Banks 03/12/09
I love your MC's pep talk. What a character! :)
Gregory Kane03/12/09
A droll commentary on the some of the things that tourists never have to face. I especially enjoyed the quip about speaking in the fourth person. At a couple of points I felt that you got a bit preachy and as such your diary technique was becoming a tad forced. But otherwise an amusing and very different approach.
Dee Yoder 03/12/09
I really enjoyed the MC in this story! Very personable and lively to read.
Ruth Ann Moore03/14/09
I enjoyed your MC's little pep talk. Very funny. Good Job!
Deborah Porter 03/25/09
Hi Charlie. Just wanted to leave a quick note to let you know your entry, "Love Is," actually did very well in the Africa Challenge. Although you didn't receive an award, you made it into the Highest Rankings for Level 1, placing 6th in that Level. (Just one off receiving an award). Competition in Level 1 is always very intense, so well done.

If you'd like to check the highest rankings for yourself, you can find them here:

The highest rankings are posted every Thursday evening on the Message Boards.

Again, well done. With love, Deb (Challenge Coordinator)