Have you ever had that feeling of life is wonderful? There is peace and wonder, and life feels full. This is how I feel this morning as I sit and reflect back on our past week. Peacocks, power outages, new clothes, food and games with friends, celebrations with my class, days at home to relax, face time, skype, African decorations…. so many blessings.
Brianna had the opportunity to visit CURE. It is a hospital in town that provides medical care through surgery to many of the locals. Her and her friends were able to go and paint casts for children, play games and sing songs. Brianna was taken with the joy of the children in spite of their situation and inability to get around. She hopes to go back sometime soon.
This week, I had a new student. The school has a peacock that has appeared on campus. She wanders around campus and was there to greet us most mornings as we arrived. Most of the week, this beautiful bird sat right outside my classroom and watched me teach. The kids quite enjoyed her sitting there.
As rainy season has come to an end, we are now into a mini hot season. Temperatures this week have averaged faround the high 30’s, feeling much like the mid 40’s. As this change takes place more air conditioners are used, this means more power outages. This past week our power has gone out 3-4 times a day, consistently it goes out around 7:00pm for about 20 minutes or so. We are so thankful for our flashlights that Dad got for us. They are fun too because you wind them to make them work. One night this week Stacy was tinkering at the table by lantern light and I was tucking the girls in bed. Us girls were sitting in a dark room with our flashlights, winding them as fast as we could to see how bright we could get the room. It was pretty impressive. It is neat how we can adjust and get use to such inconveniences. Everyone just stumbles their way to a flashlight and carries on with what they were doing. Unless of course one was on the internet or computer!
This past week we got some of our beautiful fabrics to a seamstress. She is an amazing and inspiring lady. Her story would break your heart, yet she carries on in love, forgiveness and grace – truly amazing! She has caused me to do much thinking this week and examining of my heart and motives. We were excited to get our beautiful new clothes back.
This week my class succeed at reaching their goal for outstanding behaviour. It was an exciting day as I got to bring in cupcakes to celebrate. Have you ever seen a five year old eat a cupcake…. they dive in practically nose first right into the icing. When they come up for air, their faces are all aglow and covered in icing and cake crumbs. It makes me smile from the inside out. They are such a wonderful group of children who make me smile each day. I love to see how they are learning and understanding. I love to see how they are grasping self-control. How they are learning to print. How they are learning to read. How they are learning to speak and understand English. Teaching is such a gift and I am so thankful to be here investing in the lives of these beautiful children. I can hardly wait for our next cupcake party!
Then there are those crazy things that make us laugh and those days of W.A.W.A (West Africa Wins Again). We have had many of those this week too. Days were you chose to laugh or you would be defeated, ready to give up and go for an easier life. I had such a day this week, but I am so thankful God has blessed me with a sense of humour. I am learning to laugh. I am learning to let go and go with the flow. I am learning to make lemonade out of ridiculously tiny lemons. (seriously, I am, the lemons here are the size of key limes…) So the funny story of the week involved our truck. As we drive from the Elementary to the Secondary building, it is a rough sand road. Many pot holes, caverns, and garbage piles. Not a smooth trip at all. As I was making the trip one day after school, the horn decided to take on a mind of it’s own. With every bump I hit, the horn would honk. As I turned the wheel, the horn would honk. I could do nothing about it except laugh at the ridiculous situation and wave at all the people I was driving past.
These days in Africa are teaching us so much. They are shaping us. They are changing us. We are so blessed to be here. So blessed to have these experiences that daily broaden our perspective. They are not all easy or fun, we miss family, we miss friends, we are hot and sweaty; but it is in these times that our friend James spurs us on and encourages us to, “Consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds, knowing that the testing of our faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that we may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” What a beautiful person this picture paints. Will you embrace it with me? Learn to laugh in trials, to persevere and to be thankful for those things that don’t go our way but help to shape us into deeper more mature people. What a wonderful life!