This week has been one of the most frustrating.
And absolutely rewarding!
I can't believe I've only been here for less than 2 weeks! It feels like I've been here for a couple of months already. And I don't know if that's a good or bad thing lol!!!
This past Saturday I moved from Conakry to Dubreka, a town about 60 kilometers from the capital, to begin technical and INTENSE language training. I have moved in with my host family also, which is a Muslim family with 1 father with 3 wives.....and at least 30 children.....living in a huge compound! The father is the Minister of Security for the new government in place and also the Colonel of the Police for the Dubreka prefecture. Which means he is very wealthy by Guinean standards. And also means that I get many amenities that other volunteers are not getting....such as a beautiful modern bathroom, a large room, a fan, ELECTRICITY, and a chauffeur every now and then :-).
But I try not to rub it in too much, because there’s problems with that too. Like the electricity is selective and the beautiful bathroom has now been given to his son who just came to visit from Germany. So I now have a pit latrine. And Febreeze ain’t got nothin on a hole full of ****. Pardon my French.
My brother oldest brother here is the director of a primary school and an excellent teacher. So every night after 6 hours of language training, I come home to more language lessons. Lately they’ve been making me translate Nigerian movies to them, which is hilarious for those of you who have EVER watched a Nigerian movie.
The town we’re staying at is gorgeous. It’s right at the foot of the mountains and is very lush with lots of mango, banana, papaya, coconut, and guava. There is a waterfall, river, and lake close by. The sunsets and sunrises, the freedom of the children, their laughter, and love, and being immediately accepted into a family is simply beautiful
Everything definitely isn’t a bed of roses…..I woke up at about 4am Tuesday with 2 monstrous cockroaches crawling on my face!! YES….MY….FACE!!!! AHHHHHHHH!!! That was my worst nightmare coming to Africa, and it has happened within the first 10 days! I freaked out and didn’t sleep the rest of the morning. I have bug bombed my room and I sleep with a head net on (yes, its as funny as it sounds). The language training is very difficult. I THOUGHT I was fairly fluent in French, HA!! I am speaking in another language all day and at times I don’t know if you can put anything more in my brain. I’m often still tired from jet lag and the HEAT. Imagine being in heat all day with no relief of anything cold or even cool. When the lights go out at night and there isn’t any electricity, it can be very scary and lonely.
But in those times, I’ve gotten have amazing times with God, and I’ve witnessed how beautiful the moon can be when there aren’t any street lights. In such incredible heat, I’ve been able to savor a fresh orange in the middle of the day. With such few resources, water has become a precious commodity. Without constant television, I’ve had the privilege of building wonderful relationships with my family and friends.
Today, I was feeling pretty sick, with a headache and cold symptoms. I was hot. And I was in information overload mode after translating Nigerian movies all night. And today was an allllllll day language day without the occasional break that economic development courses usually provide. I was finding it hard to focus. I wanted to go home and call it a day. I was done. But I began thinking, I can go home right now, and that would be fine. Or I can push past my feelings and do more than mediocre. I can do my best. And from that I will gain far more than a language class, I will gain perseverance. This time more than any other is a time of growth. The choice is mine.
And I chose to push through. And I had a breakthrough. In my last language class today, after feeling completely inadequate for most of the day, I crossed a bridge. We had intense conversations about philosophical concepts, and I spoke with clarity without any grammatical mistakes! So much so that my classmates and teacher applauded me on my progress .
You have a choice each and every day. To follow your every emotion. Or decided to commit to what is more important than the feelings that seek to hinder you. The best feeling in the world is when you push past something difficult to the other side.
Push beyond the negative, beyond your emotions, to see something beautiful exactly where you are. It’s difficult. But the end result can be absolutely stunning :-)
Because We Oughta
It's difficult to load pictures where I am right now so bare with me!! They are coming soon! And they're gorgeous :-)