Well, you may wonder what ARP means. Let me start by saying that we have these little sayings in Zambia that help us just kind of deal with life here. You may have heard of TIA which means This is Africa. It is a great little thing to say when you have nothing and everything to say about why you were late, why your plumbing broke for the 43rd time, why the plumber who says he was going to be there four-three days ago is not there or why it takes all day to get one errand done. I have recently learned about other little three letter beauties, like AAW which means, Africa Always Wins and then there is AWA Africa Wins Again. Stephanie and I made up a few recently. ARY - Africa Ruins You and AHY - Africa Humbles you. And then one that made us laugh: ACD - Africa Causes Diarrhea. Not very pleasant but very true. So, ARP - What do you think it means? Africa Requires Patience...
So, Friday, I had a few errands to run. Should just take a few minutes. :)
I had to pick up a banner that I had made for the pastors conference starting Monday. I gave them a computer printed copy of what I wanted on it... Welcome to the ACTION Zambia Pastors Conference. I told them I wanted the "Welcome to the" in cursive. They didn't seem to understand cursive. So, Pete said script and they got script. So we agreed, it would be in script. I explained the rest and boom, we are good to go. So, I don't know why I was a bit nervous to pick it up. TIA. This is Africa. I mean, misspelled word, something, I had low expectations. So, I picked it up and this is the banner.
I couldn't believe it. They added what they thought was cursive, made it culsive and added it to my banner. I did right cursive on the sheet right below the word script, but well, it was my fault. I wasn't clear enough. Being Friday and all, I just said, I'll take it, and we are going to white over it and add 2009:)
(We thought of making up a new word Culsive which means, "Hearing something right but doing it wrong or" "the art of not doing what is supposed to be done" - Any other good definitions?)
I am still laughing about it.
Then, I went to pick up a refund check for our director for his car, to find out that the machine that does this is broken and they are doing it by hand, so it will be awhile.
And then I went to get some money out and the machine ate my card.
And then I had to go the other bank (which I didn't want to go in the first place because the traffic is always awful) and wait in line because my card was eaten by the machine at the other place.
And then on the way home, I got pulled over for going 15 under the speed limit. Seriously. I mean, they said I was over the speed limit, but I was under by 15. I always drive slow because the speed trap machine thing doesn't work and they like to pull over Mzungus. And after a bit of arguing, (they didn't so confident in their machine) they let me go.
But, you know, APT - Africa Produces Thankfulness. It is hard to complain here. I had a car to drive back and forth. I have money in the bank. I am healthy. I have a healthy family. I have a home to go home to. I know Jesus. I love Jesus. I mean, how can I begin to complain, especially when complaining is a sin. I think I was actually thankful, and was able to redeem the day and laugh about it and be thankful. I think I was.
And, you know, I think I saved the best for last. Though it is hard at times, frustrating and vexing, in reality, there are lots of days like today, after a great safari, like this this evening of sitting in the sun holding my baby, a morning which started with a wonderful bible study at my church and some touring later with one of my pastors in poor slum showing us his plot to build a church, there is a welling up of joy and gratitude to God that he has allowed us to be here. It is these moments and a lot more moments, where this other acronym must be used to desribe my feelings: ILA - I love Africa.
TFP - Thanks for praying.