In light of recent distractions, regular programming this week in Dakar just happens to include hopelessly daunting piles of work that need to be finished before Tuesday morning at 5:20 AM [oh, we’ll get there in a moment], and an apartment that’s completely gone to pot. I feel like I’m on Survivor. It’s embarrassing. If UPS had even the foggiest hope of being able to find me in this country, I would probably not even crack the door for the awkward brown-shorted delivery man-but simply implore him to leave his box sitting on the front mat and then slowly back away. The Leaning Tower of Dishes is teetering menacingly in the sink, and I’ve been surviving on granola, pickles, and chicken salad for approximately the last eight meals. [Which is what happens when you make a veritable vat of any one particular food. Lesson learned.] In a rather startling turn of events, sweeping yesterday garnered enough hair to make a small voodoo doll-and frankly, I’m having an impossible time ascertaining whether I am more disturbed by the level of filth on my floor, or the fact that there is the distinct possibility that I am going bald.
That, coupled with the minor detail that on Tuesday morning at 5:20 AM, sixteen Americans are landing in Dakar to spend six weeks doing my job with me, has kept life busy as of late.
Yes, it’s that time of year again-time for our summer project. With them comes a lot of early mornings and late nights-and a mound of paperwork as we get ready to teach them everything from Islamic theology to how not to die whilst crossing the street. [Never fear-I have no hand in that particular seminar.]In a dark city where hope wanes and poverty crushes, it’s exhilarating to think about sixteen extra people coming to proclaim a thrill of hope to a weary city that has none. And there is hope-yes, and amen!
In other news, exactly seven weeks from today I’ll be leaving Dakar for the very last time. Good golly Miss Molly-where has the time slipped away to? Last I checked it was November. As Michelle phrased it-we’re on the downward rush of the rollercoaster-and before we know it, we’ll be coming to a grinding halt and dizzily exiting the ride. As my stomach lurches and life starts to blur around me, I am both excited-and so very far from being ready. Faced with the bittersweet reality that change is inevitable, I am struck by the fact that when change comes our way, God is not simply watchful. I think He’s giving a standing ovation-savoring His grace and hard work in our lives. He’s celebrating the gangrenous, calcified pieces of our hearts that He has surgically removed in the [sometimes painful] process of making us more like Him. He is more committed to our character than our comfort-and in the midst of all my unknowns, that’s something I can hold on to. That, and the sweet truth that though my rollercoaster world may spin wildly out of control-my Jesus never changes. This, Africa has taught me.
Alas, the dishes are calling. I’m going to attempt to channel my African Snow White and get the roaches to do them for me-…but there is the distinct possibility that I’ll have to pick up a sponge.
I’ll keep you posted.