I have these random moments where I just burst into tears and there is not really a particular reason why I’m crying…

TJ asked me this evening why I was grumpy… why was I responding to him badly?  I looked at him and said “I don’t know”  and through the 5 minute hug I just cried.  I’m sure it had something to do with the fact that there was no water coming out of the faucet, I was hot and had been dripping sweat all day, the water taste weird, my daughters have heat rash and miss their friends, I can’t communicate with the house help when I so desperately want to!

It’s so funny, there has been so much lead up to us coming here… Our “people” from all over the country rooting us on and sending us, excited with us, maybe even putting us up on a bit of a pedestal.  We get here, we move into our apartment, and go try to buy some bleach from the local Boutique, we know the french word but they can’t even understand us!  People look at us funny as we walk down the street… what’s the moral of this short story?  They don’t really give a rip that we’re here!  You get my point?

We have been taught this concept for years about how humbling it is to move into a new culture, and how it is much like an incarnation experience… well we are now experiencing it for the first time.  It’s a good thing we’re not moving here because people like us so much.  God is the one who brought us here, and he does not NEED us to do ANYTHING… we get the privilege of being a part of what he’s doing… how exciting, we can just walk this road (not necessarily easy) and follow him, knowing that he is going to direct us, and he’s gonna be clear.  I’m so glad I know our heavenly father.

So I’m trying to get used to the idea of house help… it’s still a little weird.  She washes our clothes!!  The other day she used so much soap, our clothes were all stiff on the line, and apparently it takes 2 days to dry which is unfortunate because it rains pretty much every night and then they can get wet if the wind is blowing through the screen onto our hanging clothes.

Today is Wednesday and on Wednesdays she makes a meal for us.  So today we gave her about $10 (5,000 Franks)  to go to Market to buy the ingredients she needed, she came back and began cooking, which took a couple hours.  This was our fist Senegalese meal here, it traditionally goes into a big bowl platter thing, the rice first and then this yummy onion goodness sauce, and then the whole chicken is sort of thrown on top.  There was also cucumbers, tomatoes, green olives and egg halves spread over it.   She put it on our coffee table and brought spoons to all of us.  TJ, Anna, Ava, Penny and I are all sitting at the table, I invite her to sit with us, and I try to communicate with her that we want her to show us what to do… she didn’t really want to, so I just started trying to take a part the chicken off the bone.  It’s not okay to touch the food with your left hand, so I was struggling to do anything, and I was so paranoid that I was going to do something wrong.  Anyway, we all ate out of the same bowl… Penny and Ava LOVED it!  They were more excited about this meal than any other meal!  I feel like they ate as much as the adults… proud of my little African girls :).

We have been having a lot of orientations this week.  Medical orientation, security orientation, E2 orientation, language orientation.  It has all been so helpful!!  We are getting a really good big picture of what these next couple years will look like and what the goals are in building relationships and language learning.  I feel like they are doing a really good job at facilitating us jumping into language and culture here, and how we will go about doing that without holding our hands like big babies.  If you know me, you know I love a plan, so this is all very helpful for me 🙂   We start French Study classes next Wednesday, and we are pretty stocked about it!  🙂

Also I made my first real meal in my kitchen yesterday, it didn’t have meat in it, well because I’m still getting there, but we had tomato cream sauce with noodles, mango juice glazed carrots and salad.  Everything takes a little longer, because you fill up the pot with the filtered water to boil for the noodles, you soak the carrots in bleach, then peel them, then cook them, you have to soak the lettuce in bleach water as well… thankfully I already had the ranch made (fortunately I have found an amazing ranch recipe from the missionary ladies here!)  It’s not bad, the reality is just that everything takes a little more time.  If you know me you know I am a bit of a health nut.  While we can find healthy options here, the fact also stands that we didn’t come here to be healthy and it’s not really the same as it was in the states.  But did we come here to be health freaks?  Or did we come here to follow God and be a part of reaching the lost with the gospel?  Gospel #1  Health #2 (because it’s still a priority for me ;).  Sacrifices must be made.  I will eat bleached salad (because I want salad), and live a different life because our God has called us to it.

Please be praying for us, that our bodies would be healthy, that we would not be short with one another, that we would make time for time in the word, that we would have wisdom and patience with our girls as they are going through such a transition!

Eating our Senegalese Lunch

Eating our Senegalese Lunch