Let’s begin, shall we?
The other night Kees, Kim and I had a talk with Ruth. For the most part, the relationship between she and I is back on safe ground. We all agreed to disagree about the punishment method. Ultimately, it is Ruth’s orphanage and we are in Africa. When the volunteers feel the need to punish children, we’ll do it our way. When Ruth feels the need to punish children, she’ll do it her way.
Ok. That’s all of the negativity/orphanage politics/gossip I’m saying. Enough is enough.
Two weeks. Each day gets more and more bittersweet and heartbreaking. It’s hard to believe this experience is quickly approaching it’s end. I was building it up for so long, and now it happened. It was completely different than whatever ideas I had expected. It tore up all the expectations. The good moments were far better than I could have ever dreamed. And the bad moments were far worse than I anticipated.
I know I’ve only been gone three months, but I feel like I’ve changed so much. I’ve become more assertive. I’ve become more patient. I’ve become more passionate. I’ve become more candid. I’ve become more emotional. I’ve become more maternal (no worries future boyfriends, that’s not sayingI want babies now). It’s all so surreal.
I love the Christmas season. There’s no snow or pine trees here, but the children are learning Christmas carols. Last night, I overheard Justyn teaching the girls to sing some of the songs. Growing up, every year until we were far too old for it, my sisters and I made Christmas chains and hung them along the stairway. We tore one off each day from December 1st until Christmas Day. Nearly all of yesterday, I had each kid make a chain. I was working with three to four kids at a time and getting the other children away was an exhausting exercise in frustration. I rose my voice at them to let them know I meant business. “GANDA!” I hung the chains up all around the dining room underneath a name tag that listed which chain belonged to which child. They loved it. The chains keep falling down and I keep taping them back up. I know in a few months I won’t remember the amount of frustration those creations caused me, but the fun the children had decorating each piece of paper and sticking stickers on their faces (as opposed to the final chain loop, as I intended).
Have I mentioned that over the course of 10 weeks, my aim in the pit latrine as improved exponentially? I can pee in complete darkness and make it into the VHS tape-sized hole. Heck, yes.
I love you and I miss you, but I’m at the internet cafe again. Also, don’t expect any pictures for the next two weeks.