I cannot believe that in a few short days I would have been here a month. I do hope I get this out in time. Between the Internet not working and the sporadic ways in which the electricity chooses to work, sometimes even the simple and smalle things can feel like miracles.
We recently moved house as the lease was up at the previous house. I must say, I love the new house. As it is a double story, I get to look out over Debre Zeit. My little room has a balcony which makes me so happy and the garden is lush with trees including avo, mango and papaya trees. All the fruit trees means that there are the sweetest and noisiest birds which I adore.
I can’t tell you whether this month has flown by or creeped passed at the pace of a snail. Some days have been long and hard and others have been filled with absolute joy and laughter.
Teaching continues to be a challenge for me and daily it stretches me in new ways. I worry that due to my inexperience that I am not impacting or helping in any way when it comes to them learning English. Preparing a new lesson everyday has also left my brain feeling rather boggled. If anyone has any ideas or topics for lessons for grades 1-4, I would greatly appreciate them! I have so much more respect for teachers and feel I should apologise to my teachers passed haha!
This week I have had to get my visa extended due to the complications I had on arrival. It meant driving through to Addis Ababa and going to the immigration office = not fun! It meant going through the entire process, waiting in all the queues only to find out that I cannot pay with Ethiopian Birr but only American Dollars, which I of course didn’t have. So, off we went to exchange money and back to the offices we returned. Then I was told that they were unable to process it immediately and I would have to return the next day. Really?!
Needless to say, I was feeling quite anti-Ethiopia at the end of my day. Nothing felt quick and simple. It’s not quick to exchange money. It’s not quick getting from point A to point B. It’s more like A-J-Z-E-U-D-X-And finally-B. Patience is key they say, now if I can just find where they’ve hidden it.
The truth is I am so much more reliant on God than I ever thought possible. I am continuously praying for the smallest things and then the biggest things. I now pray for things I once took for granted. How I cry out for electricity and water and Internet. Many say we don’t need these things, and you are most welcome to it, not that I see anyone living that way, but I am not ashamed to say that I do. It doesn’t make me less of a person or take away from the work that I am doing. I am in a foreign country where sometimes it feels like everything is hard so it would be nice to have something small and simple.
I don’t say all this to complain. Yes, perhaps I’ve needed to vent a little, or a lot. But coming in I said I would tell my story. A story that at times will be filled with frustration and tears and heartbreak. No one’s story is all cute birds and fruit trees, but some days are, because God has this crazy talent and ability of turning it all around. Even though I still went to bed after that day in Addis feeling down and spent, I woke up knowing that I am in His will, and although His will doesn’t mean easy, I would rather be in it and be stretched and changed and shaped than be out of it.
I am beginning to fall in love with this country, even though I struggle to admit this because so much is so hard, but I feel it growing in my heart. I feel it when I travel back after a long day and the thick stormy clouds together with the setting sun cast a magnificent glow over the landscape. I feel it when I wake up to rain falling. I feel it when I walk into a class and the children hurriedly rise to greet me. I feel it when I am completely smothered in kisses by the children. I feel it when days are filled with laughter despite the negatives. There is overwhelming goodness here.
I want to share the story of Ethiopia, even if only from my meager perspective, because they have got so much right. But this will all come as the story unfolds.
Please continue to pray for me. Pray for His strengthen and His joy. Pray that I don’t get so easily overwhelmed. Pray that I will always see His goodness and focus less on the world’s badness. And pray for the children, the blessed children, who know so much more about life than I do.
I think of all of you and I say this sincerely. Tell me your stories. I love hearing from you.
Until next time!