While on furlough, we were often asked, “What is a typical day like at GSF?” After we stopped laughing, we would respond, “There is no such thing!”
Saturday began as a fairly typical day. Amy was trying to move past a migraine while I was temporarily feeling better from a sinus infection. Our three visitors came for lunch and then we began to investigate the resources available for them to operate Kids Camp for the children here as they are off school until February. We went to the pavilion where many supplies are stored. It was a total mess – books, videos and games were strewn all over the floor and that was only part of it. I called for the teenagers to come clean it up.
Chandler (an intern from Liberty University) opened one of the storage tubs to find the game/play parachutes. However, he quickly closed the lid and had a wide-eyed look on his face. We took another peek and found that a colony of small ants had taken over that tub! There were multiple thousands of ants and their larvae in there. So we turned from the large task of cleaning the pavilion to the specific task of removing the ants.
Pulling the container out into the yard, we opened it up, carefully grabbed a corner of the parachutes and started spreading them out in the grass. They had not been dried before packing them away months earlier, so the damp conditions apparently made a wonderful home for the ants. The critters scurried everywhere, carrying thousands of larvae with them.
As we were spreading the parachutes in the grass, I stepped in a big mud puddle. Yuck! Looking down, I noticed that the water was moving. This wasn’t just a mud hole from the morning rain; something was leaking underground. As the teenagers showed up to take over the task of cleaning the pavilion, the rest of us now turned our attention to the water coming out of the ground. We began digging with a hoe to follow the water flow. So many problems, but we had not yet discovered them all.
As we took turns digging, we kept running into a different colony of ants – this time they were vicious Safari Ants. Safari ants have huge pincers and they actually drew blood on two people that were bitten. When one of us would end up in the ants, the stinging would begin and we would run screaming to the pavilion to strip off shoes, socks or sandals. Their stings are painful!
We continued digging from the other side of the hole in order to avoid the safari ants. Eventually we found a pipe valve that was the culprit and we sealed it as best we could until the plumber could come replace the valve on Monday. Meanwhile the teens did a great job of cleaning the pavilion, the parachutes were dried out, the ants all returned to their respective homes and we all headed to the houses to shower before dinner. We were a muddy, dusty mess!
One mess leads to another. Just another typical day.