It rained here today. First rain I have seen in over two weeks of being here and it smelled good. The ground smells the same in Africa as it does in America. The water wets the pavement and soil and nature releases the fragrance of the Earth. The earth is the same here, God’s perfected creation-once flooded by the same skies that released small drops of rain today. The sun has yet to return to us but it is there, behind the clouds peeking and asking permission to return and scald the earths’ surface. Alas, I am happy for a day with cooler temperatures it brings some peace to the congested days of heat and sweat.
We are well. Leyana has learned a lot about culture here in her classes at school. The time came yesterday when she hadn’t time for her homeschooling and we talked about removing her from the school here. Never fear, our friends, there is plenty of time for learning at home. We have curriculum from the states and I don’t teach until the afternoons. So we have instituted that she will dive into serious homeschooling tomorrow after chapel and focus on completion of necessary studies. This will enable her time in the afternoons with friends and with socialization. She has developed some darling friends here, in this way the Lord has blessed us.
Internet has been down for over 24 hours. I don’t know what happened to it but it is gone and so we have spent time just hanging out. I am lesson planning, she is working on life skills. We are out in the campus talking to neighbors, friends, learning about Africa from their perspectives. We are not surrounded by native Malawians so we are fortunate to learn about ALL of Africa here.
On one side our neighbors are from Zimbabwe, they say their life was very different in Zimbabwe. And their acculturation to the country of Malawi took years. They have beautiful children who moved here in very formative phases of life, some have adapted well, others long to leave. Isn’t that the way when we move from state-to-state in the United States? Our children usually long to return to home and if fortunate enough to return find it changed and unlike their memory banks. The thing is their native tongue is neither English nor Chichewa, it is all learning for them as well.
On the other side we have neighbors who were originally from Ivory Coast. That is a completely different world I can guarantee you. It is like being from California and moving to New York City. Very different indeed their lives have been here. Only, in the middle, they lived in Manchester, England. There is nothing similar about Manchester, England as to Lilongwe, Malawi with the exception of maybe the side of the road we drive upon in both places. Their daughters all sound British when they speak. Their formative years have been divided. Their mother is a beautiful woman and their father a very skilled preacher. The ideas that they speak are mixed with emotion of not knowing home. A challenge at times to speak positively of life changes due to all the difference in their lives. The oldest of their home has just been accepted into a national school for her last years of school and left home two days ago. She is only a young teenager and will board hours away in a school with other strangers, another change in her life that modifies input/output sensory.
We are blessed. Our time here was volunteer, the Lord hand-picked this destination for a time for us. We will return to our life in the United States, where Starbucks is down the road, Von Maur still has free shipping and wrapping, and Meijer is open 24 hours a day. Our church will still sing in English, our people will still worship at the family meal each month, and our friends will still come for dinner which will be cooked with power on and water at our reach. I observe that this will somehow change the return. I long for that change and awareness of my time here. I yearn to know what it is that the Lord has for me in this time here. After all, the Earth is the same, the smell of the rain is the same, the sun shines here as it does at home….but something will go with me. I pray that the Lord reveals this in our time here and that I am prepared to receive what it is that the Lord has for me.Love y'all!