It is amazing how many days can be full of changes, frustrations as well as seeing things that are just not as they should be. However, every day also includes little moments that are a pure delight, that put a smile on your face, that make one remember the simple things in life. Let me share with you some of these things.
The other day I went to the village and as usual (but never taken for granted) my hand is taken, my bag carried and constant chatter fills my walk. Then, there was only limited time for the children to come into the admin centre as I had a meeting happening there. I had them help me put out the chairs and "No, you can't play, can't write on the blackboard....". So, I said how about you sing and started clapping. For the next 30 minutes (yes, my meeting was very late) I was serenaded with songs and dancing from these wonderful children. They took turns, sometimes it was the preschoolers, sometimes the older ones. There was a huge variety of songs, actions and dances. You cannot bottle this stuff, you cannot pay a fortune for the opportunity. This was just spontaneous, lovely singing and entertainment and I really appreciated it.
Or, today I was buying a cabbage from the corner garden where some children live and they had a lot of cabbages on display. The cabbage was very cheap and I thought I would like to give them each 100 shillings. I was overawed by the response. It was like I had given them something really big - in terms I know it was less than 5 cents each. Simple things that give pleasure at no cost to me! How fortunate I am!
Sometimes I contemplate our lifestyle. Yes, we live reasonably simply - very by Australian standards. However, we are in such a privileged situation, we are able to help people a lot without it costing us a lot. The Australian dollar is worth so much here that $20 is about 56,000 shillings, which is a very good week's pay for a lot of people. So, money given is making a big difference. The hard bit is that the situation for local people is so hard that they do need us to be generous. We are trying and pray that we will always know the best way to give.
Other fun, simple things are having a shower in the late afternoon - the water isn't cold as it has been in the pipes for a while. There is something so nice about a little warmth in the water when showering on a cool (relatively) day.
With the new house we have committed to having small groups of children and the mothers to come to visit here and share a meal with us. This has been such fun already. We had no idea that it would bring about such pleasure. Anticipation has been high, and then the first evening beautifully attired little young ladies with a mother joined us for dinner. The little girls spent a lot of time, in the way that all young girls should, by giggling and having fun. We have discovered that the most interesting room in our house is ...of course...the toilet! We have only done it twice but all the children are happy because there is a schedule up of when their turn will come. We feel very much like grandparents with the children coming to have a special meal, a game and a chance to view pictures of African animals from our recent safaris. It is such a great time.
So, yes there are challenges but there are a lot of things that we love and enjoy. Everyday, there are genuine smiles on our faces as we enjoy our lives here.