Selam from Ethiopia!
The start of June brought the arrival of 2 new interns from the States -Kayli and Jenna. I am so glad to have them here and to have some company in the house. Only after their arrival, did I actually realise just how much I needed them here. It was a long 6 weeks, but a time in which I grew and for this, I can’t complain.
I am officially over the halfway mark which feels insane. It has me thinking a lot about the time I have left here but also about what my next step may be. For all the times I still struggle or experience culture shock or misunderstandings through language barriers – being here has also felt natural and currently I can’t even comprehend what it will be like when my 3 months draws to an end and I find myself back on South African soil.
With the arrival of Jenna and Kayli, I have been given a bit more responsibility. I have been asked to work as their missions coordinator for the duration of their trip (they leave a week before I do). While I am honoured to be asked, it has been stressful at times as there has been a definite shift in gear and I do feel the weight of now being responsible for others. Another thing that I have been asked to do is to write some articles for the BCI website which they are currently refurbishing. The articles are either about life here at BCI and Debre Zeit or about new projects on the horizon that need funding. I enjoy this as it gives me an opportunity to write which I love, but I am also learning so much more about how things work here and I love that I get to be apart of BCI in this way.
June was the start of summer and the rainy season. However, it’s not exactly what I expected it to be. When it rains, it pours, but this will last on an average of 10 minutes at a time – it also isn’t a daily occurrence. The school year works as it does in Europe and so last week school closed for the summer holidays. It hasn’t even been a full week, but it’s already an adjustment not going up to the school daily as it is a place I love dearly. Thankfully, I’ll still be able to see the children regularly through the different projects we have going during the summer. A project I have implemented and am excited to start is a reading group with a few of the children. Reading is one of my favourite pastimes and I hope to pass on this love to the children I’ll be spending time with. Of course, it is a great tool for improving ones English.
As we are no longer at school everyday, a big part of our day is spent going on home visits. It has been an absolute blessing getting to know the children one on one and seeing their life outside of school. It has been a very moving experience and some of my favourite and most memorable moments have been in the homes of these children.
Life in Ethiopia is going well. I am learning so much and everyday I am challenged and stretched. I fit here, I can’t tell you how or why specifically, but it’s true and it’s what keeps me going when things are hard. The children have my heart. The love I feel for them overwhelms me at times. Interacting with us comes so naturally to them, but still it remains a learning curve for me and daily, I learn better ways of interacting with them. People back home often tell me that I am blessing them by being here, but those people have it wrong. The children bless me – every single day.
Being here has cause many seeds to be planted in my heart and slowly these seeds are growing into new dreams and discoveries of where the Father is taking me and I feel incredibly excited and expectant for the future. I am finally; and for the very first time, on the exact path that God created for me. I am finally growing into the woman the Father designed me to be.
I miss all of you, and how I miss home. I never thought it was possible to miss home this much. I miss biltong and packaged vegetables. I miss reliable electricity and internet connection. I miss my independence of being able to go where I please without first needing a translator or guide. I miss the simple action of being able to flush toilet paper down the loo. I miss having access to everything and knowing exactly which shop to get it from. I miss the blissful ignorance of not knowing what some children really endure through in this life. I miss South Africa and all it’s wonderful-ness that I took for granted or no longer noticed.
Besides all this, I am very much aware of how much I will miss Ethiopia and the large part of my heart that I will leave here. I am going to be an absolute mess leaving. So, yes, coming home will be bittersweet. But, until then, I have a month left and plan to soak up as much as I possibly can of this blessed country.
Until next time, my darlings ❤️