08 July, 2009

I am a Muzingo.

Greetings from Rwanda!

I have been here for five days. Kigali is amazing. I go back and forth from feeling like I have been here forever, and realizing I know nothing about this country. One of the biggest struggles has been with my sense of direction. I am usually a very good navigator - but here it's been tough to get my bearings.

It's amazing how God works things out. I will spend a week in Kigali and the time has definitely helped me acclimate more. I can't imagine getting off the plane and going to rural Rwanda - with very few English speakers, home cooked food, and nothing American to speak of. This week has helped me adjust to the culture, the food, the people, while still drawing near to some church friends who are in town too.

But I am anxious to have a project of my own, to get into a routine, to unpack, to meet the people of this other community and start forging relationships there.

I am experiencing culture shock. I think because the other times I have been overseas it's been for a short period of time - so you go, go, go for a month, never stopping, working all day, falling asleep from exhaustion and then doing it all over again. You are in country, but never really stop, then you are on the plane back and wonder - was I there?!?

But there has been a lot of downtime, of which I am really grateful. Still I go between extreme excitement and wondering if I will ever adjust. It's in these moments I realize that I am someone who likes to be adapted, I like to fit in, I like to be culturally right. And here all those rules are gone. I don't speak the language, I stand out everywhere, I don't know how to communicate. So I can just smile, be friendly, patient and bargain for a fair price (no muzingo prices!). I am clinging to what I know to resist being broken and having to admit I am vulnerable and need guidance.

Please pray for my mental health - satan can get into my head and tell me I'm not good enough, I have nothing to offer, and force me into fear that will keep me at Deo's reading a book. And while I don't want that - it could happen. Pray that God will bring me a friend who speaks English who will be w/ me here and help with the loneliness and isolation that is bound to come.

More to come once I get settled.

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© Amanda Lunday