I must apologize, I don’t have any pictures for this weeks blog. It’s not that there weren’t things to take pictures of, I just didn’t have the camera at the right time or the right place.
Have you ever taken life for granted? Do you stop to smell the roses? To let moments sink in? I often times get so busy that I forget where I am or what I am here for. This week, I had a few moments where I allowed myself to take a deep breath, sit back and remember that I am living in Africa. The sound of that still strikes me as funny. Me, living in Africa? In the poorest and most underdeveloped part of Africa? You have got to be kidding me! I don’t deal with bugs, dust, germs, smells etc.
I wish I’d had my camera driving home from school this week. Most days when we leave, we are caught in rush hour. Only rush hour here is a little different than you may experience it. We drive out of the school gates onto a very bumpy sandy road and swerve and nudge our way around 20 some cows who are meandering along. At first I feel impatient, really? this is crazy! Then I see the humour in it and laugh.
As we drive home, I am taking note of the many different produce stands along the way and the occasional meat vendor. For some reason, it strikes me, these vendors have little wooden tables and shelves that they have built. They have to set up and take down their produce every night. There is no little door to lock things up in. Rather they pack everything up, put it in boxes and store it for the night. I suppose some of them take their goods home so they are not stolen from them. Likely they would strap their boxes on the back of their pedal bike or motorbike. Then the take old pieces of fabric and rope and wrap it around their stand. They will be back every day this week doing the same thing.
There are the boys that are walking down the street with a wheelbarrow that is falling a part and has a wobbly wheel. They are pushing bananas, or melons along the street hoping for a sale. On the other side of the street is the guy with the tray of coconut on his head…. you can buy it whole, or sliced ready to eat. This is what we call fast food!
Then there are the women, walking along with babies tied to their backs and bowls, baskets or fabric wrapped packages atop their heads. It amazes me the strength and balance these women have. It also amazes me that they can work all day long with a baby tied to their back. I am such a wimp!
As we head into this cool season, (it actually got down to 21 one night this week) the air is filled with dust. Everything looks very hazy and I sometimes think there should be a storm coming. Then I remember, no I live in Africa, the desert and I have to pinch myself and bring myself back into reality.
The reality is though life does feel hazy. There are so many uncertainties. There are so many needs all around us. It can feel like a storm is coming. Then I need to remember that God is in control. His ways are higher. He gives us breath for each new day. I am not here to live for me, but surrendered to His will and His way. As I watch others here go about their days, seemingly content, I feel challenged on my perspective. I grumble and complain about ridiculous things….am I grateful for each day as it is given to me? Do I grasp the fact that I am blessed to be where I am, doing what I am doing? or am I taking everything I have and all I have to do, for granted or as a burden? …..