Change is the only constant
The past few weeks have been full of some big changes in our team. First of all, one of our team members went on furlough. On the same day, all but one of the team children (out of 9) were brought to Senegal to go to school there. The loss of all these people has taken a small toll on the entire team. Every one of them is missed dearly (especially the families).
We have also had some additions to our team. One is a Dutch midwife who is living in the Blue House with Rosemary and me. She is about my age, so we have already enjoyed getting to know each other a bit. We also have the return of one of our nurses from a trip home for a wedding, and the arrival of a friend of his that will also be staying in the Blue House for the month that she is in the country. That means that the house will be full for a while. 🙂 Fun time. It should be fun to have a full house again. The most exciting addition to the team has been the adoption of a set of Gambian twin girls by our station leaders. They are almost six months old and are wonderful babies – not too fussy and already sleep through the night. They are super cute and have made life a little more interesting for their parents and for the team. Their names are Elaynia and Jarinia (with a German j sound) though I probably mutilated the spellings.
Change in me
Since I’ve arrived, I also feel like I have changed a lot as well. I’m already starting to get nervous to go back home to see how you all will react to the changes you see in me. I feel as if I have grown out of my bubble and become more willing to try new things and experience an adventure. I’ve always been known to be pretty introverted, but now I ask questions and speak my mind more readily. Dr. Jamie has even remarked that he thinks I’m a good mix of extrovert and introvert – both extremes cause more work for the team by either not asking for more work or talking too much and not getting things done.
Before I left for orientation, one of my assignments was to fill out a form with my expectations for my experience here. This was probably the most helpful activity to prepare me for what was to come. I didn’t know a whole lot about what I was getting into and this was a little scary. The activity made me think about what I did and didn’t think would happen and how I would react in various situations. It also made me realize that I couldn’t really expect anything. God may use this experience in a way that I never would have expected. I realized that I needed to be flexible so that I can make the most of the time here. Even when I was at training, one of the main points was that on our treks, we needed to be “Semper Gumby” (always flexible). This has also been a main point that I’ve learned while here. I’ve had to be flexible with my schedule, duties, other people’s expectations of me, and everything in between. Even settling into a real rhythm is impossible here: Things are always changing. It’s good stuff.
I won’t be able to get proper internet for about a month now because there are plans in the works for a camping trip to the beach on my weekend off (right before my bday) :D, so I won’t have internet access for a while :(. If that changes, I will update y’all. Then next weekend I plan on taking some holidays and travelling up-country to visit my friend, Cheryl and see what she is working on up there. I will also be taking some time down at the coast so I hope to do another post and some catching up with people then. Exact dates are TBA. When I know, I will have my dad put it up on here so you all know.
I am starting to get to the point where I am not as sure what to write about anymore. Let me know if you have ANY suggestions. Hope you have a wonderful October!