Thursday, September 13, 2012

What I have learned in a (almost) month.


So, it is nearing, a month that I have been living in Rwanda. (And how stinking crazy is that?!) and tonight as I zipped back home on the back of a motorbike, I was thinking of the things I have learned in this month here, and also chickens. I have been thinking A LOT about chickens. I will explain more on that later.

1. Always get off the back of the motorbike on the left side. The right side has the exhaust, and it will cause a pretty icky burn if your leg touches it. But the burn on your leg (and later scar) will always remind you, what side not to get off.

2. You really do not need a whole lot, to get by just fine!

3. I have learned that it is one thing to say you trust God, and another to be in a situation where you  need to totally trust Him. If you didn’t know, about a little over a week after I got here, I was woken up at 3am, by 11 girls SCREAMING. I leapt out of bed, and came to find out, we had thieves outside (yes, as in plural). Two of the girls went in the dining room, and shined their flashlights on them through the window, so they knew, we knew, they were there. The gutsy thieves only shined their bigger and brighter light on them. In which the girls told me “So we turned away crying.” Which cued one of the girls to begin to slam on the wall and scream for help. Which cued the rest of the house, to begin screaming at the top of their lungs. (Of course I was sound asleep and had no idea till the house was resounding with screams echoing fear, and hands slamming against the walls and windows! Not my favorite way of waking up.) And a house full of girls screaming, is pretty stinkin’ loud, in case you are wondering. Thankfully the two awesome guys who live behind me, and a guard up the road at a friend’s house, came running. After we all prayed and talked, the girls said “Ok, goodnight, see you tomorrow.” I kinda looked at them like this O_o I will report I stayed up the rest of the night clutching my flashlight like it was a light saber. Hello, faith that is tested by fire and comes out refined and more beautiful than gold, nice to meet you, lets hang out awhile. I apparently have so much to learn from you!

4. I have learned to dance. Seriously. Well, maybe not that good. But, I dance. Dance about dinner, dance at church, dance because… well, just because. We do a whole lot of dancing in this house. And the girls have taught me quite a bit of Rwandan dancing. I can do the dance about washing clothes (I am totally serious!), and the dance about cows returning from pasture.

5. I have learned that love, needs no language.

6.    I have learned to not trust that we will have electricity every day, and be OK with it.

7.  I have learned some of the girls like to duck out after prayer at night, because they know I will go look for them to say goodnight and I love you. And they beam ear to ear when I go looking for them to just say goodnight.

8.  I have learned to not be too entirely freaked out to see a kid knock down a bug, and then pull of the wings and pop it in their mouth like it was candy.

9. I have learned that God’s plans are so much better than our plans.

10. I have learned that it is alright to be scared, as long as it does not stop me from stepping out in faith.

11.  I have learned to start a charcoal fire without lighter fluid.

12.  I have learned the girls get REALLY excited and impressed to eat an American meal of PBJ. Like REALLY excited. And will talk for about a week about the “special food”.

13. I have learned how putting a date on the calendar for your birthday is kinda important. I got to bake a cake and celebrate a girl’s birthday. She does not know when she was born (as many kids here from the orphanage don’t) And I got to see how important and amazing it was to her, to get to have a date to celebrate her birth. Was totally a highlight!

14.  I have learned what it does for a person’s heart, to be celebrated for the first time in your life.

15. I have learned to fall asleep, even after seeing that really big spider run behind your armoire. And perhaps slept with one eye open.

16.  I have learned how to wash my clothes by hand. (Much to the girls dismay.)

17.  I have learned God created us to be in family, and when family is missing, kids make their own families. (Even if who they call Mum and Dad are the same age as them!)

18. I have learned more Kinyarwanda, and shock myself when I am able to utter a sentence in Kinyarwanda.

19. I have learned sometimes just saying “no” I hundred times, is not enough. And you must “refuse” very sternly.

20. I have learned not to ever mention to the girls something like “I am not used to eating rice everyday, that’s all.” Because they will then make potatoes, and pasta, and every other carb possible and refuse you to take rice. When now you really want rice, because you are tired or potatoes and pasta.

21. I have learned I cannot save anyone, I can only love them. (And pour buckets and buckets of love on them!)

22.  I have learned it doesn't matter what you are looking for in life, you will find it. The good, the bad, Holy in the common place, *ahem* Diet Coke in Africa *ahem*, the worst or the best in someone, hope, faith, love, a reason to fight harder, a reason to give up. If you are looking for God, you will find him, if you are looking for a reason to turn away, you will find it. If you are looking for a excuse, pain, sorrow, joy. Whatever it is you are looking for, you will find it. 

Some of the most beautiful girls (inside and out!) 
I get to live with. 

Oh, be still my heart!
I get to go love on faces like these everyday. 

Oh, Rwanda. Your beauty is unmatched!! 


The cutest neighbors ever, who live behind me!

Two things I adore. One of my neighbors, and chicken. 
(And yes, I love the chicken because it tastes good, and is protein
 I try to look past the whole cute part!) 

Doing the dance about the cows returning from pasture. 

Yeah, in case you are wondering, I live this insanely blessed life.
 And even if there has been some craziness (like waking up to thieves, burns 
that get infected, and all that stuff) you could not convince me
that this is the best life. 

And I am pretty sure, that outside of my comfort zones, 
is where the awesomeness happens. And that when
we follow God, and lay down our own plans. 
And you find yourself laughing so hard your sides hurt, 
and your faith being refined. And seeing Jesus in 
new ways. And your heart races with adrenaline.
And you see God in new and exciting ways. 
And it is MUCH MORE than you could have ever dreamed 
or imagined. And its so much more than you could ever do. 
I think that is what Jesus was talking about when He 
was talking about a life, and a life more abundant.  

It's not a easy life, but it is a good life! 

Lots of love from Rwanda, 
Tina
















1 comment:

  1. I love you Tina, and was so happy reading this. Smile frome ar to ear!!

    ReplyDelete