Hmmmm, so strange, but I just wanted to blog. I am “stuck” so to speak. I feel like if I do not keep up the habit of posting regularly, I will totally lose momentum. So, bear with me as I try to collect my thoughts. At this moment and most days, I am missing Niger. Fantastic kids and people that I would meet at CURE Niger as well as Sahel Academy and the familiar. All my pictures of Africa elicit such emotion.
There was so much fun to make… so many bubbles to blow. Dancing, laughing, and even a bit of crying. What a terrific experience. I know that I will have many kids and families to love here, but at the moment we are starting all over.
It has been two months since relocating.
Everything is different. I love just watching the world all around me. I think I will go through my pictures and highlight some random things. Yeah, I think that is the way to go; should be amusing.
Language, most people know a bit of English, but when we are in public, most of what we hear is not. Tagalog, Cebuano, and well, many, many more.
“Space fruit” as I refer to it… rambutan, mangosteen and abnormally large grapefruit to name a few
It is a country of EXTREMES. I am astounded….such wealth and poverty all mixed together.
I do not think I have seen one stop sign. Lots of aggressive driving but yet such patience as I drive aggressively and have to throw so many “things I learned in Driver’s Ed” out the window!
There is soooo much green and the horses are beautiful! Like Niger, I can still see livestock roadside and occasionally in traffic. The difference: most of it is usually tied up — even the roosters.
From the edge of the desert to a tropical island. The laundry is different…from red sand stains, dust, more dust, and hardly any rain to black volcanic mud stains and black dust and lots of rain. My laundry hardly has a chance to dry some days… in Niger it took only a few short hours!
I live on one of about 7,000 islands. Lots of palm trees, coconuts and mangoes.
I can see mountains from my neighborhood!
Corn as DESSERT??
Cock Fighting. Televised, as well as in local arenas.
Sushi… and so much seafood… oh and LOTS of pork too. That is quite different!
I have to admit, last week, I was having a hard time loving it here. I had my wallet stolen. As you can imagine, I felt quite violated. I went between beating myself up over it and hating all things Pinoy. Well, that is not fair. The people here are so kind and helpful! You’d think I would be more vigilant (it was only one bad egg). Quite honestly though, I was feeling pretty comfortable and safe here. That is good, but I am a newcomer, no expert. I stick out. Really though, after my experience in Niger, I was not an expert there even, NOT even close. After living in Africa, you think I would just accept that I am a bit of a target…. a foreigner. I often get frustrated being treated differently because of where I am from and how I look. Don’t get me wrong, I love being an American (as one of the Kindergarteners said today… it is her favorite country). Our overseas experience has allowed us to know what it feels like to be the minority — sure changes your perspective. That is the theme of my life again CHANGE! So, as a really smart and good friend used to remind me…I can chose to be bitter or better. I chose to forgive and be better. I am out of my funk and my outlook is different than last week. I came here to love and help and, well, I am not going to let anything derail that (not even a lost wallet). I am going to embrace this wonderful journey, allowing God to help me even if that means more change. I am thrilled to see how things shape up here. Both my personal life and anything else I get to do. It is pretty much a blank page; the sky is the limit.
Here is the new hospital as of a week ago… sorry about the dirty windshield (been A LOT of rain since getting here). Expectantly waiting, learning and living in the NOW. Adventures in the new things and embracing the change/resettlement. Experiences no matter how small. ROADSIDE PINEAPPLE! So there you have it. That is what is happening now. May not seem all that significant, but it is all part of my journey now… I think it is quite wonderful… the good the bad and the truly different.