Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Giving Thanks

House - before work

Thanksgiving is, of course, a US holiday and not one in the CAR, but taking time to give thanks is important wherever we are.
I am thankful for many things.  Probably top on my list right now is the fact that I will be able to move into my house here in Baboua over the next few day!!  Luc, the station manager, and some workers prepared many things.  Then Phil (ECLA administrator and handyman extraordinaire) and Noel (Cameroonian who is both electrician and plumber) came two days ago and have been checking the wiring, installing the hot water heater, replacing the kitchen counter top, and checking on/completing a host of other details.  (This is a before picture of my house – I will take more once work is done and I can move it…)

I will need to do some cleaning (hopefully with help) and Luc and I have to move some furniture around – from storage, between the guest houses and mine, etc.  Then I hope to move in!  Maybe Friday. 

I am so looking forward to being to settle in and unpack all the suitcases and boxes I have been accumulating and storing.  It will take some time, but I will finally be able to begin to make this house my home.  I have bought a few paintings, banana leaf pictures, and a butterfly picture to add to the decor.  I am thankful to have had the guest house to live in and to use as a place to store my things, but I am even more thankful to soon be moving into my own place.

Joe Troester (my neighbor) has bought the cable and wireless router needed to extend the Internet from his house to mine.  Next week we hope to get that cable threaded through a pipe and buried so that I can have Internet at my house instead of just at his!  I am thankful!  We will still be sharing service and he will still be turning it on and off, but I can work from home!

I am very thankful that Joe and his wife Deb have been welcoming and as helpful as they have been.  Thank God for good neighbors and friends!

I am thankful for a blooming cactus plant just outside the guest house!

I am thankful that we have medication.  With the change to the dry season and too many germs running around during the Partners’ meeting, I picked up a sinus infection – but, then, I am prone to them, so it is not a big surprise.  Things are improving and this has enforced some rest which is also good for the body and soul!

I am thankful for beautiful, sunny weather that is not too hot.  Fortunately, we are at a high enough elevation that moderates the extremes.  It is very hot in the sun, but pretty pleasant at most times in the shade or in the house.  I am especially thankful for 70-80 degree days when I know that temperatures are dropping in the US!

I am thankful to be able to start work with the Village School Program and Christian Education.  I met with the school program personnel Monday and part of Tuesday.  I think, in the long run, they will be thankful for my organizational skills.  I can tell already, that things will work better once we can find papers, reports, digital files, etc…  Meanwhile two of those people went to Bouar today for a meeting and I spent the morning with the Christian Education program to learn more about what it is and to begin to consider how I can support them.  This second program helps train and produce materials for Sunday school programs for children.  We had a great conversation about what the program is and possible ways I can support them.  We’ll do more work next week.  I am thankful for the warm welcome everyone has shown me. 
I am thankful that the Village School Program Director, YAIMAN Etienne had a desk (table) set up for me in his office even before I arrived!  I am thankful for a good camera, too, even though recent pictures of staff I will work with came out so dark that I cannot include them here today.  (The contrast between sun and shadow is much starker on film that it seems to be when present!) 

I am thankful that I can learn languages easily so that I can understand a lot of Sango.  I have much more work to do, but am on my way.  I think I am even thankful that people laugh when I speak!  They tell me it is the pleasure at hearing me speak their language and with a good accent.  Yesterday, some people told me that even with a cold (sinus infection) that affect my voice, energy level, etc., I can still speak well!  What a complement.  (Right???)

I am thankful for family and friends at home who communicate with me and offer me support of all kinds. I know that everyone is busy, but I hope that contact and support will continue as it is very important to me!  Thanks to all.

OK, I’m not so thankful for the dueling roosters who live and wander on the station.  They don’t seem to know that roosters are to crow to welcome the dawn and quit!  These two crow on and off 24/7.  Still, I should be thankful that someone will eventually have a a great dinner sometime and because of them there are hens around laying eggs… 

We will be having a Thanksgiving dinner, but not Thursday – probably Friday.  I am thankful that Joe and Deb are organizing it even though I don’t know the menu yet.  They have also invited the missionaries from Gallo to come.   I am looking forward to the fellowship and time together. 

May your Thanksgiving be blessed.  May you remember all of the reasons you have to be thankful.  May you have the best of health and lots of friends and family to support and love you. 

Remember us here in CAR as you give thanks this week!  Then, save me a bit of turkey – dark meat from that bird has always been one of my favorites!! 

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