I find this hard to write, but I’m not exactly sure why. (My summer hiatus? Amazing, FYI. Being with family all summer was a tremendous blessing. And new friendships were formed with people who I didn’t expect as an additional gift.) So maybe this is more difficult to write because of the jumbled thoughts and the not wanting to discount the restful and rejuvenating summer I had with all its special memories.
The States were a whirlwind that happened far too quickly, but made me cheerful on a daily basis. Levi and Judah are old enough to understand who I am and that Korea is far away and so is Tanzania and as little kids embrace the moment we just went with it and each day was a treasure. Our annual NCBC trip to Townsend for CHARM was again, another highlight of the summer. I stored these away mainly in my heart instead of in pictures, and the few pictures I had are of silly things like ice cream cones dripping down chins, Levi and I brushing our teeth together before bed, and beautiful crafts made while doing morning activities with the kids at the campground at the KOA.
Last Saturday, I spent my 31st birthday with a group of people I had met merely hours before after having arrived in a new country less than 24 hours before that. Iringa town. The pasta and birthday cake were beyond what I had even expected and the kindness won’t be forgotten. I know that I jump right into somethings and in others I am more laid back and and I prefer to watch and observe. I generally tend to lean one way or another but this particular transition I’ve found myself flipping back and forth between both modes. Bear with me, like I said, I’ve been here only one week and most of it has been meetings for PYP training and a crash course in Kiswahili lessons that have served me well thus far but I know have lots to refine.
The marketplace is good and cheap compared to Korea. I went to this one vegetable seller who we see frequently and after I had purchased everything I asked him how much (I know how to ask how much but sometimes cant understand the answer yet…. so that’s fun!) What I thought I heard was elfu na mbilisi (2000 TSH). I said “Kweli?” (Which is like zhendeme?) and he replied Kweli! I was super impressed. Ripe avocaodos, carrots, peppers, limes, cucumber, apples, onions, ginger, garlic, tomato and eggs are the main staples I’ve been living off of. Some fruit, some local honey and yoghurt are also what I have been what I’ve been generally consuming. I slowly have been reintroducing wheat bread into my diet which I pretty much stopped in South Korea. I did find a shop close to the house that sells Dairy Milk chocolate bars. So, indulgence and depression chocolate purchasing kicked in in that moment (we were on the way home from trying to buy a ethernet cord to make our wifi work and the hardware shop was 没有.)
The first full weekend without other pressing issues (needing to get SIM cards, etc) was today. We went out to Mama Sivalayi’s and ended up having a fun time with a group of Germans. So I’m being social in large groups, which is generally not my style at all!
I’m looking forward to a braai I was invited to tonight to celebrate the new staff coming, Megan’s return home and Sarah’s birthday. I want to get to know new people and start forming the friedsndships I want and miss from my close knit other expat postings (可是 iMessage and FB chat have been alleviating any huge bouts of homesickness though,) I’m also planning to go to church tomorrow morning (ICF in English is held twice a month), sourcing items like coffee beans and to see about getting myself a bicycle. (Kicking myself for leaving my Felt mountain bike in Jeju now!) Also kicking myself for not bringing some items (like jeans and more khakis for causual weekend clothes) but it will all work out in the end. Finally, I embraced touch rugby and I think I am going to enjoy that group of folks who play. They were very patient with me as I learned. There’s NO resting time in that game! Its hard core! Next week, I will hopefully be better. 🙂
This morning my roommate and I woke up and make breakfast then we sort of chilled and now we’re at Neema Crafts enjoying lunch and getting some work done on our computers. Some of the nice German girls from last night just walked in and sat down next to us on the couch. 🙂 So far it’s been a pretty good day. I’m blessed for sure.
Here’s the song from the title of my post which I’ve been rocking on repeat….
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9tMDEth8qxg Kristian Standfill – This Grace on Which I Stand