Saturday, March 24, 2007

Billet with the Roaches...

I got a call late last week to join a friend (Tamar) for an adventure in Toronto. Since Tamar, had arranged for a billet, my sweet-about-to-be-golfing-for-a-week-in-a-lovely-resort-in-North-Carolina-husband said sure go.
Tamar and I had never spent time together, and this promised to be an adventure that I looked forward to connecting with her on...little did I know!
We set out with gorgeous sunny skies on Friday morning. Our hearts were set to receive all that God had for us over the next 2 days of services. Ahh! What could be better?

We'd been warned our accomadations were rough...that's OK, we'll pretend we are camping in'll be an adventure. I felt prepared...after all Tamar was armed with paper towel and Lysol! Plus a candle, in case it was stale...

NOTHING could have prepared me for what assaulted my senses as we walked through the front door. I have been to the mission field, and eaten and lived with people in poverty...I'd do THAT again in a heart beat.
Some boys had been living there, and were recently evicted...their stuff was still everywhere...clothes, broken mirrors and furniture...garbage...smells Tamar was able to identify through her nursing experience...but my "uneducated nose" was afraid to discern. There was a bathroom...shower worked/no shower curtain, but although it had been "cleaned", Tamar would testify otherwise. The sink did not work...we could brush our teeth with water from the tub.
We were educated on how we could use the bathroom without touching the toilet seat...I am very visual, so this turned out to be a real gut-splitter.

Our bubbly guide had already spent a night and let us know that it really wasn't that bad...
I panicked and called Mark...we were all set to book a hotel, but were afraid to offend our hosts...we chickened out.
Our bubbly guide prayed in the room Tamar and I would share...we thought...maybe we can do's only one night.

We went to the eve. service, trying to put the night ahead out of our minds...easier said than done! The service ended, the church was getting locked was TIME...
We decided to use the washroom at the church...and I decided I was going on a "pee fast" until the church opened at 9:30 the next morning.

I steeled myself...and bravely faced my adventure!
We were troopers...we'd been spieled rhetoric about humility...prep. for missions...(who said I was called to the garbage dumps?) We were not going to be so proud as to cause in the dark, we got some things and headed through some high metal gates to our adventure.

Our guide unlocks the door, and my senses reeled once again...
Then we turned on the lights...
It seems we broke up a party in full force, the bright lights blinded the TRUE home owners, and they scurried in every direction...

I am thinking there is NO WAY!
Our guide tried to convince us they would not be in our room....Tamar actually tries to make a barrier of Lysol across the thresh hold of our room...maybe they won't cross it.
I am getting sick, but we check the room anyway, maybe our guide is right....NOPE!!!! Tamar's barrier probably kept them from LEAVING our room. That's it! I am prepared to sleep in the car in a very unsafe neighborhood at this point...I would was clean! Offending anyone was no longer an issue.
Finally, it is almost midnight and we call Mark to find us a hotel...Tamar and Mark worked out the hotel...
All of my senses went into overdrive, and I began to heave...
Now, in the worst of flues, I don't throw up...only a little when I was pregnant.
I am praying by now, "God don't let me throw up here, I could never handle cleaning it up in this mess". I got outside and got air...OK, I can go in and get my stuff..I am picturing these critters invading my stuff and making their way home with me.
I get my stuff ready to take to the car, heaving the whole time...I rush for the night air...not a second too soon!
Mark has given us directions to a hotel about 35 min. away...I am exhausted, it is about 12:30, I am so nauseous...I just want to get out of here.
I get ready to take my things to the car at the back of the building...both gates are locked for the night! Tamar is trying to convince us and herself that she can climb these 7' fences to get the car...yeah, well what about the big white pit -bull-looking dog between the 2 fences!

We are situated in the middle of the block in a bad area of down town TO. I DON'T CARE!
Our guide waits with our stuff, as Tamar and I set out together to walk the block to get to our vehicle. Tamar is worried about muggers or something...she walked with her keys between her knuckles.
All I had was a lip gloss...not much help...I didn't care, I wasn't the least bit scared. I'd have taken on 5 massive muggers with guns single handedly AND WON in order to get away from the assault I'd already experienced on my senses. Goliath couldn't have stopped me!

Tamar convinced our guide to join us for a clean bed and a clean shower...I was not as focused on being charitable...I just wanted to be able to breathe...far away from here.
We found our hotel, I crashed's now after 1:00...and I need my sleep. I had to pray so I wouldn't be inundated with giant critters in my dreams...Thank you God...I slept well.

I admit I am a real girly-girl...but come on...would any of you "humbled" yourselves to have a pajama party with the roaches?

No Mark, this is not part of the "equal money/equal time" fact, I think I will need time in a five star hotel to truly heal from my adventures with Tamar!

What a way to really get to know each other though! We did have fun, thanks Tamar!
Next time, let's try something less challenging like , oh I don't know....climbing Mt. Everest!

Tamar has a must read poem on her blog about our adventure....check it out!


Anonymous said...

You silly girls! What a story to tell. I think Mark's trip sounds alot better, except for the great company and giggles of Tamar!!

Tamar said...

I nearly fell on the floor laughing from the way You described the weekend.
The next time ....may not be as memorable!
Undoubtable an adventure I'd rather not relive!
But So Glad You were there and I was not alone!!!

Amy said...

That is so funny..I am curious as to how Tamar found the "billet" in the first place...So glad I was not offence..but I would have been heaving from the getgo let alone the cockroaches...GROSSE!!!

Great memories!!

Williams Family Blog said...


What an absolutely crazy hilarious adventure! Hope the services were great and you were blessed.

Love yah,


Rhonda said...

Oh My Goodness!!!!

There is no way I would have lasted even as long as you did.

Yuck! I absolutley hate bugs of any kind.

I'm glad that you were able to have a good sleep. These things are always funnier as a memory than they are in the present.

Holly said...

Oh my!!!! I am kinda glad that I didn't go with you! Can you imagion how pregnant Amy would have reacted?!!! I know she would have got sick as soon as she saw/smelled that place! Yikes. Talk about something you will NEVER forget, eh?!
Jenny, I am looking forward to hearing about what Jeff and Jonnie preached on...

Shari said...

I was killing myself laughing and also thinking "thank you God that I wasn't with you!!!" I found the baby diapers and kids puke a challenge so this would have been over the top for me!!

Okay Jen and Tamar, Let's plan a trip "Shari Style".....I used to camp out "where ever" to keep in the budget BUT no more....too many stories to tell.....too many sleepless nights. Now we ignore the budget and "charge it".

Jen said...

My first thought is..."I know which ladies may not be my best choice for crisis of the disgusting nature"....then again, maybe if any of you had been along, you'd have gotten our sorry butts out of there a whole lot sooner. I will definately have a long list of questions when Tamar books the accomodations though...Shari, you are in charge of that...even if you are not coming! Hope you all had a good that we are home, we are having a great laugh too. Although I was starving in the morning, I couldn't eat a thing until I had showered...I just couldn't shake the grossness...I have decided that there is a huge unreached population for Jesus, and I am volunteering! The filthy....RICH!!!

Shari said...


Are you saying I'm not invited?

Jen said...


I just meant any time that you weren't were still doing the bookings!!!!

Anonymous said...

Oh Jen this is part of the equal time & money thing. Or does that mean if it rains on one of our golf days, or the temperature gets below 70F that doesn't count and we get to do it again:-)

Jen said...

Ladies only...
I need opinions on Mr Mark Mc.Anonymous' comments.
Does my traumatic experience constitute a breaking of the deal?
I have the time part worked out anyway...I get to fly to Florida early June to hang out with an old roommate/best friend from my Ranch days...costs are pretty low though...I am sure shopping trips will help balance that though!