Wednesday, 26 October 2016

If two months ago someone told me, “You'll find your groove Emily. Things will eventually no longer feel so overwhelmingly new, you'll start to make friends and maybe even become more independent,” I would have laughed in their face. “Yeah, right.” I would have said, “You're crazy. Mwanza is too different from my home in Canada. I don't think I will ever feel even remotely comfortable here.”... Oh how I laugh at my past self. God is continuing to show me that He has things under control. There is no need for me to worry or fear, because He holds each day in the palm of His hands. He has already conquered every challenge and tough situation that I will have to face not only here in Mwanza, but where ever else I may end up.
As of last week, after lunch on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays I help with reading in the grade 1 class at school. We have been working on the pronunciation of certain letters and letter pairs, such as “th”, “r” and “bl” sounds. Although there is only one grade difference between the reception class I am in in the morning and this grade 1 class, I feel like these children are so much older! Not only is their ability to speak English higher then the reception class, but their interaction with each other and their teachers is on a whole other level. I have really enjoyed getting the opportunity to teach some lessons in the classroom, and work with the class 1 teacher, Teacher Betty.

As I've been creating a routine of my own, sometimes the times I need to be at the Village are different then when Jade and Julius need to be there. Because of this, they have so graciously allowed me to drive their car! That's right! You heard me! It took quite a bit of getting used to as the roads here are the same as Britain; and opposite to Canada! It is also very busy; lots of cars, people, piki-piki's (motorcycles) Dala dala's (Taxis) and even cows and goats sometimes! This allows Jade and Julius to not have to “taxi” me everywhere (which is nice for them) and it allows me to be a little more independent (which is nice for me)! That's one thing that I have definitely struggled with. It has gotten better now, but at first I felt like I was 4 years old again. I couldn't go anywhere on my own, I couldn't really communicate with anyone on my own, I even needed Jade and Julius to explain to me what I was eating at times. It was extremely humbling to be so reliant on somebody else for even the simplest of tasks. I am very thankful they were, and still are, so patient with me. I'm sure at times it feels like having a third child!
Dala dala's are 14-seater vans used for public transportation and are often people's main mode of transportation here.  I had the opportunity to take one home the the Village one day, accompanied by my friend Paul. It was so cool!! Paul made me do all of the necessary talking as well as pay our fare (forcing me to speak to the conductor of the Dala dala), which if I'm being honest, I totally hated in the moment but now really appreciate. I can now take a Dala dala all by myself if it is ever necessary. So awesome! This honestly made me so excited!
With every day that passes I wish more and more that I could speak Swahili. Although I know greetings and some basic words, being able to communicate fully in Swahili would be really amazing. I am finding it difficult to learn and practice Swahili as when I am at the Village people will automatically speak to me in English. Prayers that I will not loose hope in my Swahili learning would be great, and also that I wouldn't be afraid to step out of my comfort zone and try to use and practice Swahili. The El Salvador team from Bethany is leaving next Saturday for a week of building homes and serving the community in El Salvador. Please join with me in prayer for safe travels, that their week would go smoothly, be full of love, learning, and serving, and that God would continue the amazing work He has already begun in El Salvador through incredible teams like this one!
Once again I am overwhelmed by the love, support and prayers you so graciously pour into my life.

View from "Dancing Rocks!" God is an artist!

Loved getting to explore "Dancing Rocks" with Ezra!

A selfie to document my first time taking a Dala dala! 

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