Sunday, February 21, 2010

Fly Away Home

Ninety-one days till I'm home. Now that my return tickets have been set in stone, it has become very real that I will soon be leaving my home away from home. Living someplace for a length of time forces you to settle in and get comfortable. Never had I dreamed I would wake up every morning in Africa and consider it normal. Yet spending day in and day out with these kids and staff and this lovely African life here has become very much of a norm that I love. God has placed in me a love for these kids that can only come from Him; for their lives, their health, their well-being, their spirituality. I can’t love like Him on my own. In some respects I guess that’s what it will be like when I have my own kids someday (only more so of course), but for now I’m content with just the preview.

Don’t get me wrong, I miss my family and friends very much and can’t wait to spend a whole summer at home (for the first time since the 7th grade), but I could also never replace the experiences I have had while God has placed me here to live, learn, and grow in Namibia. Realistically I have no idea if God has plans for me to ever see these kids again. While praying about all these thoughts this morning, God’s ever-timeliness led me to John 13. Verse 1 reads, “Jesus knew it was time for him to leave this world and go back to the Father. He had always loved those who were his own in the world, and he loved them all the way to the end.” Though clearly I’m not Jesus in this verse, He always promises to understand us and from this I found great peace confirming He does. Whether these kids are in my life just for this time, or if we will meet again someday this side of heaven, I will always love them.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Ques = Really Silly Things. Africa really should be spelled with a Q somehow because everywhere you go, there is one, and 95% percent of the time, it’s a long one. Fortunately many places are kind enough to have benches, buuut you are still left waiting at…doctor’s offices, the pharmacy, the hospital, clinics, or any other government related place. There is no such thing as appointments here, its first come, first serve, and the rest wait.

For example, if you want to take a child to the doctor, you go to the hospital. First off, you show up at least an hour before opening time. Then you sit in a que to get their health card stamped and numbered, then you sit in a que to wait for the doors to open, then stand in a que to get weighed, then sit in que to get temperature and blood pressure taken, then sit in a que to see a general doctor who will then prescribe you to sit in yet another que of the appropriate “specialist” for whatever the problem might be, then last but not least you sit in que at either the bandage/injection room or the pharmacy, or both.

Today in particular was the worst ques I’ve ever been in. Jenny (the primary guardian) and I went to the Home Affairs office to try and iron out some birth certificate issues. It didn’t open till 8am, but we didn’t want to be sitting in the que all day (ha!), so we left at 6. We arrived to find at least a dozen people already waiting. And, as our luck would continue to have it, they called about 30 people with special cards to come first…the leftovers from the day before they never got to! Encouraging beginning, but at least a little entertainment was to come. With so many people waiting so long on sardinely-packed benches in the middle of the summer, things are bound to get ugly. When the workers announced going on a tea break at 10, it was just fortunate punches weren’t thrown. Before we knew it the police and NBC (Namibian Broadcasting Company) were brought in and interviews taken of the ever-maddening que issue. Well, needless to say we didn’t leave until 3:30, 9 hours later, and forget the fact that our mission is thus far unsuccessful. Next time we will attempt leaving at 5am?

Pictured here is NBC interviewing yet another disgruntled que-sitter at the Home Affairs office today.