It is odd that as I prepare for my team to depart, I feel as if I have been arriving. Every now and then I have these moments when I feel as if I have "arrived" as far as learning language and culture. Now, I know I will never fully "arrive" but these little milestones serve as encouragement. As mentioned in previous posts Annelle had to leave a little over a month ago, Carter's are on furlough, Woods are in Kenya. Kendra came for a visit. Two short term teams came as well. The last team left last friday. Scott leaves on Sunday. Kendra leaves on Monday. Gary and Judy will head back to Kenya this next week, with the promise that most likely one or both of them or all three of them (Jack too!) will be coming almost weekly between now and when they move down in December!
Are you confused yet? I am.
This is the reason for a lack of an entry for the month of October, but worry not, at least there will be 1! A LOT has been going on. I have helped to host the teams that came to work with Scott and Annelle Price, filling in for Annelles role in her absence. This put me in the role of Hospitality, cooking, debriefing, loving, encouraging, challenging, translating and shopping. WHAT FUN!
I found a new pad. Landing pad that is, as I am holding out until moving next week to stop and rest. At that point, I imagine I will land my backside on the couch for a day or two. Rest is lacking and very much needed. Up until today I thought there was no way I would be moving in the beginning of next week. There were many things that needed to happen for security purposes. They are almost finished. This whole house experience has been a lesson in trust. I will say I had a moment of "arrival" a few days ago when I was at the home of my day guard and he, another CMFer, another guard and I were joking...in SWAHILI! I can joke in swahili. It was definately a moment of arrival.
Another moment of "arrival" came today. I have effectively learned enough swahili to give a fundi (worker) a piece of my mind (in Christian love of course!) To add to the delight it was over the phone! (I have found it most difficult to talk to people in swahili on the phone as they are quite difficult to understand through the static.) Anyhow, I was able to express my disappointment in the work that was (or rather, was not) getting done. When I hung up, my guard who was standing there through the whole conversation commented, "Pam, you know swahili."
And then there was another of "arrival." For some reason, even though there is an agreement and all parts are in working order, for the last week to 10 days there has not been water at the house. I am more than annoyed. Today my guard (he is a very helpful guy if you haven't noticed) showed me how to get to the office of the guy who I have an agreement with through my landlord. In swahili, I was able to again express my needs, and my preferences and negotiate the need for water to be pumped to my house today. He promised it would happen. (sidenote: when I left the house at 8pm tonight there still was no water.) We are going back tomorrow for another moment of "arrival."
Taking the groups shopping I experienced a different type of "arrival" when we showed up at the tourist market for gifts. My friend Mama Iran (from previous post) sat me down and we talked about why I had not been there for a while. I told the group they had an hour or so until we would leave for lunch. What felt like a few minutes later the guests showed up to where mama Iran and I were sitting and apologized for being late. I had been sitting, chatting, giggling, encouraging and been encouraged all in Swahili...for over an hour! I remember a few months ago when 5 minutes of talk seemed like days! That day time flew by without me noticing!
Then there are finances. To be honest, they are aren't my strong point. CMF is great in that they expect a report on every cent or tanzanian shilling spent. This past month I finally did mine all by myself. This is a HUGE point of "arrival" in that when everyone leaves I will have no choice but to do it by myself! That, and I am taking over a portion of the CMF finances here in Tanzania as the team leaves! YIKES!
The next several days promise new opportunities for arrival. Tomorrow the fundi's are supposed to finish the work. Tomorrow I get to go seek out answers again to my water problems. Saturday I get to go to a clinic opening in Kenya. Sunday I say goodbye to my team leader and trust that I can get by on my own for a few months. Monday I say goodbye to Kendra, who hopefully will return quickly. Tuesday I move into the house. Wednesday I pick up the two dogs I recently adopted. (I know, those of you who know I am not a dog-lover are in shock. They are for protection, but since they are cute puppies I think we might become friends too =)) There will surely be more on them later. Thursday I will start to recover from the last 5-6 weeks and look for more moments of arrival.