Assafou, Cote d'Ivoire.
I spent a month in this village. The most uncomfortable place I have lived and experienced has been in this village. One of my most memorable and favorite parts of this past year has been in this village.
I couldn't escape the heat, there is not electricity, which means no fans. The wind is the coolest you can get. We happened to be there in the hottest month of the year. We couldn't escape the people, they had no reference to personal space, and we happened to live in these weird tents and hammocks that gravitated children and also adults. The bugs were awful, the food was mundane, the squatty potties were infested with all sorts of bugs, I'm assuming that's why everyone chose to go out in the bush to do their business. Mosquitos were bad, bad enough for me to get malaria.
All the awful things that happened to me didn't compare to the people we got to do life with. We had opportunities to pray for everyone while we were there, share who Jesus was and why we believe and follow Him. We got to pray over families who were sick, play games with children, paint the women's fingernails, and meet them where they are at. We lived like them, got to experience how to live the most simple way anyone could. Though this village didn't have material things, they enjoy their life. They enjoy community and actually understand what community looks like over most Americans.
If I had a chance to go back I would. I would print off every picture taken, hand it to them, and watch their faces glow. Each time I took a picture, each person would want to see what they looked like. I cannot tell you how joyful I was snapping pictures and seeing their faces when they saw their picture. Priceless.