So the last 2 weeks have been good but hard. We are busy getting acquainted with this new culture and sometimes it feels like it’s at warp speed. We’ve been here a little over 3 months and are still amazed at how much we have accomplished/been through. Our house is looking more and more like a home and people have commented on how they can’t believe how fast we have done it. Bruce and I were reflecting on this and we have moved so many times over the last few years we feel like setting up home fast is something we have been forced to learn how to do just out of necessity. Moving every 3 months over the last year although was equally amazing and hard we have seen the effects on the kids. Not all bad I might add. The kids are so easily moved from place to place, they get along great most of the time and they really have learned to be flexible in all circumstances.
Sometimes it has come with challenges. Each step of the way, especially with Josiah, We have spent days and weeks reassuring him along the way that ‘where ever Mommy and Daddy is = home’. It’s been difficult for them to always be borrowing things such as beds and changing houses and rooms over and over. At times poor Josiah didn’t even know where the bathroom was. We will say ‘Go to the bathroom buddy’, and it will send him spinning around wondering which place we were and where the toilet was!
Slowly by slowly this place is becoming home to them. We have reassured them that this is our house, our table, and their beds. But, still at the 3 month mark we are dealing with anxiety with Josiah. Nothing major, just clinginess to momma, small melt-downs and trouble with moving from one activity to the next. We have had small victories along the way though. He used to have a fear of spiders where he would freak out if anything remotely looked like a spider. That is gone. He also still loves to go to ‘kids church’ at our church and he looks forward to it and has no problem separating from us for that. Josiah keeps asking about the next country we are going to live in and hopes it has snow. J I am confident that as time passes and we are here longer that this will become home. We have already seen glimmers of hope in that respect and overall these kids have done amazingly well!
Over all it’s been a great 2 years and we have seen it grow our family in some significant ways. It’s amazing to see how when we are faced with challenges we now respond. Even the very difficult parts of the last 2 years we find ourselves being thankful because somehow it has prepared us for now. We have found ourselves sitting in Dar traffic for up to 6 hrs just to go 20km and it has seemed like 2 hours. The kids have even handled that better than us! Talk about patience building!
Bruce has still be going to the clinic twice a week, He is trying to learn the ins and outs of the clinic and get a basic feeling for the typical things they are seeing. He is also studying his medical Swahili. Eventually he will be paired with a nurse that speaks a fair amount of English to help him with translation if he needs it. He has seen a baby boy circumcision, toe nail removal, tooth extraction and a boy who had a nasty run in with a tree branch. Exciting stuff!! The clinic staff is anxious for him to start so prayers appreciated as we get our family into a daily routine and for him to gain knowledge and confidence in this setting.
This last week Bruce was at the clinic and was told that there was a woman in labor delivering a breech baby and that I should go to watch/assist. We did the change over with the kids, a bit tricky with Lily, and I suited up and ran over. The woman had already delivered by the time I got there. There in fact were 3 women who had delivered all within 45mins! I was bummed but actually glad I went. I haven’t really set foot in the clinic since being back. Mainly because I have been focusing on the house, our kids and getting into a home schooling routine. Part of me has been excited at the prospect of getting back in the labor room but part of me was a bit nervous. I do have to say after 10 mins there all the feelings of love for being a midwife rushed back to me and it stirred up the excitement in me again. The head midwife has been in Germany for the past 2 months learning OB ultrasound and I have been waiting for her to get back so I could at least shadow her and get into the rhythm of the clinic. We are also waiting to see what will happen with our midwife licenses since all of that is not yet settled. All in good time, between the kids and home schooling and general house stuff I haven’t had a spare second. Once we get settled Bruce and I plan to do a little trading off for clinic time.
Our family every year that we are in the states packs shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child that is run by Samaritans Purse. This December while we were home was no different. Our kids each packed a box and A’s school had a packing party for boxes. Little did we know that 5 months later we would be on the receiving end of two of these boxes. Some of the shoe boxes came to our small neighborhood in our village and our kids were included in receiving a shoe box. A was so excited both to see the kids receiving the boxes and also to receive a box!
I, myself, was watching a little Muslim girl in specific and she just melted my heart. She sat quietly with the box held tightly on her lap and just waited as all the kids started to open theirs. She then started to open the box. She kept peeking in the box and then closing it again, holding it tightly. Then she peeked a little more, moved a few things around and then closed it again quickly. She did this several more times.
She seemed to not quite know how to handle the fact that all of this was just for her. It was like she didn’t want to look too much because maybe it wasn’t true. This is the second time Bruce and I have been able to witness the giving out of Operation Christmas Child boxes. It’s an amazing thing to witness.
And now to bring it full circle… Our title this week has to do with rainy season. Apparently this has been the worst rainy season in a long time. It has had devastating effects. We have been unaware of the severity of this season because we honestly didn’t know what to expect being this was our first rainy season here. The rains, which were to stop end of April, (or so we were told) are still here. This has been bringing to our mind the Lenny Kravitz song “It ain’t over till its OVER…” and indeed.. it ain’t over. At least we have God’s promise of a rainbow that this will not last forever.
Enjoy a few more pics I was able to upload! :
Some aerial shots of the flooding taken by a friend of ours when he was returning by plane to Dar:
more shots of damage around Dar:
Some shirts from home around town:
A popular ‘junk food’ Chips Mayai (my-eye) – basically soggy french fries cooked with a scrambled egg
around the base:
Some more family shots: