I have heard it said that the first month is a crucial month when entering a new culture. And I can see now why that would be true. My eyes are looking, my mind is continually thinking and comparing and observing and interpreting. My heart is being wrenched up and down and my emotions are playing havoc on me. After a month you form perceptions and things no longer stick out, and so I want to reflect a bit this month in this blog so as to have a place to work through my thoughts. These are raw thoughts and I am working hard to form no conclusions yet. It is just crazy hard and challenging and exhausting trying to take it all in and yet live at the same time. Like for example this morning, watching the house helper clean my floors and the guard out in my backyard planting and pruning and watering the plants. (It is cultural and acceptable and even expected for people to have both guards and house help...) Who I am that I should have anyone working in my backyard or cleaning my house? I struggle with it throughout the day. I could be watering their plants or cleaning their house in a different time or circumstance. Tonight I had a conversation with a guard for a team member who lived near the guards for our house and he was telling me how happy they were that we moved in and how thankful they are for us... He said, "Employment is very difficult to get and they really appreciate working for us." And his family of 5 and another family of 4 is sustained by gardening and guarding for us. So you can see the struggle. I feel humbled that they work for us and yet they are full of gratitude and joy for the work. Today a team member told me of a family living in a run down shanty house next door and at night they can hear the kids crying, he thinks because they are hungry or their grandfather beats them. And they give them meali-meal, the staple here, but he thinks the grandfather sells it for alcohol. And the injustice cries out and God's word speaks: "Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?  Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter-- when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?  Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard. Isaiah 58:6-8
Ireen (the three year old adopted out of an orphanage last November) came and played today with our kids. Here is a girl who really was without much of a future in the orphanage, hungry, without much supervision and care, adopted into a house of two amazingly cool people. In the orphanage she was lifeless, tired, and non-communicative. Today she dances and twirls and laughs and plays and sings. I watch the way she ate her food tonight, eating each bite, not wasting a bit and we had to fight to keep our girls at the table, coercing them to eat their food. It is so cute watching Ireen play with Julia and I think and hope they may become good friends. I will have to get a picture for you tomorrow.
On other notes: Killed two of the three wall spiders with DOOM purchased at the local grocery store and we set some traps for the rats... Another thing to be thankful that we americans probably don't think about much... Each night having to fight through a mosquito net to kiss my kids goodnight. Thanks for caring to stop by and listen... Kamryn's blog is updated! Check it out!