We are entering our 3rd week of being here. Things are taking some time to get used to: the change in food (and how our bodies react to it), the drastic change in temperature, the new language (and the subsequent barrier resulting from that), how the kids play here (its a bit abrasive and it’s taking time for the kids to adjust).. and just life in general from how laundry is done to figuring out your place in this community. For the most part we have been okay with the Swahili saying ‘pole pole’. But there’s one thing where ‘pole pole’ has been an unending source of frustration for us; the house.
We have been trying hard to take it one day at a time, understanding that things are not done the same as where we are from and what we are used to. But it’s also a source of frustration for many of the Africans as well who get sick and tired of the lackadaisical acceptance of “This is Africa” or TIA. Meaning, accept that things are going to be slow and not necessarily done correctly because again, “This is Africa”. Many of them are desperately trying to change that way of thinking, working hard to help emerge their part of Africa into the up and coming. We have been trying to be very sensitive to that and bite our tongues if the opportunity presents itself. The reality is however that unlike America there is just not the one stop shop. I can’t just run to Walmart to collect all my items to furnish my house or hop on Craigslist to find that used couch. You can get your furniture made (some of it we are) but wood is also a lot more expensive here so it isn’t always the best way to go. Going into town you can either brave the busy overwhelming market place where you can buy things cheaply or you find yourself overpaying at one of the few malls. Filling a house with furniture and goods has been a challenge to say the least. After several trips into the city have come back with few items to furnish the house. We are however slowly by slowly getting there. Patience is the key. Something that is not as easy for us as Americans to learn. We have both said a couple of times however that we are so thankful for our previous 3 months here and how things like grocery shopping and driving in traffic (sometimes a huge chore) are not as overwhelming.
This week we have just tried to get into the rhythm of life here. Trying to speak Swahili and started back up homeschooling and working on the house as much as we can.. We are seeing a light at the end of the tunnel and we are feeling blessed to be here in this place. As hard as life here can be at times its so good to know the Lord and know he has a purpose for us here.. and to feel the peace and joy that comes from this journey of following Him.