Thursday, July 24, 2008

loving africa. finally

My relationship with Africa had a rough start. I hated my first year. I could find nothing in common between myself and the people. I cried a lot, and wanted to go home nearly everyday. It was only after I nearly died in a middle of the bush and middle of the night house fire that things started to change for me. Humbled by the overwhelming help that went above and beyond our standards for assisting one's neighbor, I slowly began to change my thinking about the place. For starters, I focused on what I had in common with the people, that we were made in His image, fallen and in need of grace. Seeing people through those eyes, and becoming used to life in general on the continent helped me get to the point of gracefully learning to live and at times enjoy Africa. That was my second year. I've nearly finished my third year. I found that my third year I really liked Africa. This continent is somewhere I would chose to be, simply for fun. I became very comfortable and content here. I love my neighbors, friends, job, colleagues and students. And even as I start my fourth year, I can see an even better change. I love Africa. I did not know I could love it this much. I still love seeing people on the street cutting up vegetables for breakfast, love watching kids walk to and from school, love speaking Arabic, love the hospitality of this culture. Though it is often difficult, I love this place very much. I love my life, and sometimes I'm overwhelmed at the fact that I am so blessed, blessed beyond measure just to live here. And, more importantly, I love what I have the privelege of doing, and the kind of people I have the privelege to be around.

Friday, July 11, 2008


There's a scene from the movie Pretty in Pink that often comes to mind here in this land of sand. Andy is talking with her mother-figure about going to the prom. The mother-figure recounts a story of a woman who would every once in a while look around and wonder what she was missing, if she had forgotten something. she would count and look for everything important and then she realized that nothing was wrong, but she had never gone to her prom. A true story, even for the movie, doubtful. Nevertheless, that's how I feel all the time. And when I realize what is missing missing, I realize that it's not having had a winter last December-March.