A week ago, we moved to our target city. The place we have longed to be…have worked hard to get to…have dreamed about. It is as beautiful as we remembered and as lovely as in our dreams!
Caught in the midst of chaos in the house, there hasn’t been a lot of words in my mind that would really encapsulate what these past 7 days have been, but I will try.
It truly is gorgeous. You can look around and see the majesty of our Father at every angle. The mountains rising, topped with fluffy white clouds against a backdrop of baby blue. Our sparkling turquoise pool set in the middle of a lake. Palm tree lined walkways right outside our door. Water that stretches into the horizon as you stand on sandy beaches. It is humbling to know that His desire is for us to do life here.
Taxis have been our primary mode of transportation since we have arrived. While riding in a city we don’t yet know, you really feel the dependency on language and faith. The people here don’t quite understand what we are saying, so there is usually a bit of difficulty getting our needs communicated. We are also completely at the drivers mercy because, for me especially, there is a lack of landmark recognition. I just have to trust that I will arrive where I need to be. While in these taxis, it is hard not to notice the idols set up for display on the dashboard. I can’t quite wrap my mind around the idea that these people don’t see The Creator displayed in full glory all around them. He is evident everywhere you look, yet they are still so lost.
The lack of a vehicle has been shockingly crippling. Within walking distance, we do have two markets. One is nearly a mile away, the other much closer. However, as you enter the closer market, you see a trash dump. The smell is less than appealing to buy food. We have been shopping in these outdoor wet markets for a year and a half and this one made me hesitant to buy meat. So hesitant, in fact, that I couldn’t actually bring myself to buy any. Within walking distance, we do NOT have a grocery store. No bread, milk, flour can be bought easily or quickly when we run out. In fact, fresh milk isn’t readily available in this city. I think one store sells it and it is almost $3usd for a quart. We buy the UHT box milk instead…which isn’t much cheaper,but it is more convenient and safer to drink. I have dreams of Gandy’s milk…and a car with air conditioning.
A friend here offered to take me to the places she goes to buy things like cheese, pepperoni, ham, butter…you know, all the things westerners like to eat. Probably also the things that make us so much bigger than the local people. Ha! The picture above is where we went to go to the restaurant/hotel supply place. I found cheddar cheese, ham, beef patties, mustard and some other random items. I thought it so odd to be in the middle of a small village buying the things we would find in big cities elsewhere. Seemed a little backward. I also learned that the only way to get here is to own a vehicle of some variety. A taxi won’t take you all the way down…not great news for me…or the friend whose car I was in for she will now have to be my “ride”!
Y’all. This place takes hot to a new level for us. The humidity makes it a little hard to breathe at times. And the sweat that pours from every pore of my body makes me gag. It isn’t a pretty little glistening. It is a…my hair is wet, make-up is running, clothes are drenched as though I exercised type of sweating. So I don’t wear make-up. I always wear deodorant (you’re welcome). I layer the shirts so the under one can mostly contain the sweat. Sunday, I was wearing a dress…you know, thinking it would be breezy. We had some shopping to do (outside, no AC) so I was trying to be proactive about the sweating. At one point in the afternoon, the sweat was running down my legs. Like pee. Gross, I tell you!
I have been pleasantly surprised at the friendliness of the people in our close vicinity! When we came to find a place to live, the people would barely speak to us. I remember feeling pretty dejected, thinking this was going to far more challenging that I was ready for. However, on one of our first days, Cam made a friend in the bike shop owner and has already been invited to go out riding with him and his friends. The ladies in the stores nearby have been welcoming and kind. There is a older man that walks his fat weiner dog every morning and he always has a big smile for me as I pass by. I pass him multiple times…
Even with the inconveniences and the bright shining sun that causes us to glow, I wouldn’t trade it. I wouldn’t trade the opportunity to be here, in the midst of darkness, shining Light. As I look over the water, to the mountains with the sun beginning its ascent from behind their rounded tops, I am reminded of how big my Father is. How encompassing His love. How holy His name. And I am honored to be here.