When we first arrived, the shock of our life change hit hard. I wrestled many nights with the transitions and struggles that we had ahead. It was a long hard first month. This past month I have begun to see the vague outline of a home here. It has been a blessing! Ethan, on the other hand, had an opposite reaction. The first month he enjoyed the new things of Africa, but this month the reality of the change has hit. Four years is a long time. He is mourning the loss of friends and family. As we are helping him through this adjustment, we have made an extra effort to point out some of the good things about Africa. I have found that pointing out the good has helped all of us become more settled and to enjoy life here.
Here are some of the things that Ethan and I have come up with that we enjoy about Africa:
- * It is actually refreshing to swim in the ocean!
- * As soon as we walk out the door with a ball, a soccer team of kids is ready to play with us.
- * You get to pick your favorite cartoons to watch on Saturday morning.
- * Adventures seem to be just around the corner. Today we went to the “zoo”. When we walked up to the chimpanzee’s cage, he walked right up to the bars and held out a water bottle until we took it from him. He then patiently waited until we put water in it. Then he took it back and drank it. Lets just say it was not your typical zoo.
- * Payment for a completed chore is $100 (francs).
- * You can always count on being able to find a taxi when you need one.
- * We don’t have to go to Goodwill, it comes to us every Saturday.
For me there are two things that I particularly enjoy about our life in Africa. The first is the people. Even with the limited language I have, there are always people willing to try to talk to me. I have appreciated waiting for Ethan’s bus everyday and the opportunities it has opened up to talk with the neighbors.
The second thing is constant reminder of the mission we are called to. We are here (in Africa and on this Earth) for a purpose. We would not be living here if it was not for that purpose. That reminder keeps us seeking the Lord and pointing our kids back to the Lord. What an amazing thing that has been!
Any update on the host family and moving thing – is that a decision that’s going to be made in like the next month or maybe 5 months from now?
Your kids are adorable – especially that big one:)
Aunt Patti says
Reminds me of a time in college when my good friend gave me a sucker and with every lick I was to think of something to be thankful for. Pretty apt with Thanksgiving coming soon. How very good that you are helping Ethan to learn a heart of gratitude. May some pepperoni come his way!
love and prayers
Toby Beck says
Rejoicing in the good…what a valuable thing to do, regardless what continent you live on. I enjoyed seeing the good that you saw and it encouraged me to do the same where I am at. We love you guys. Toby
Alyssa Koerper says
Those are all really good things! They make me curious about the longer stories behind all your new experiences!
Norma Braun says
Ah, always good to find reasons to rejoice in the place that God has put us!
Ellie Aiton says
I love making lists of things–especially things I’ve finished or things I’m thankful for. The best kinds of lists are things that bring God praise or thankfulness into your hearts or make you smile all over. This is one of the best kinds of lists. 🙂 <3 Lots of love and prayers!
It is amazing how intentionally looking for the good helps change our focus. And I love that when we help little children learn something, we are benefitted at the same time. I am so glad you are finding the blessings the Lord has for you in Africa. And I am so glad the Lord has us here on this earth for a purpose greater than ourselves. Love you all!