Hot tea & Donkeys

Had a while to spare today that also happened to be an hour that my best friend in the states was still awake. We caught up on life as fast as we could, shared funny stories and recent events from our small town. As she started asking me how I was doing here and how my work was going, I could feel the bubbles start to swarm in my head. The different bubbles of thought were I keep my ideas, hopes, to-do lists, prayers and 80’s rock song lyrics stored for easy access. The usual, “well things are good” slipped out of my mouth before I had really had the chance to pick a bubble to address with her. As I filled in some of the bigger “work” things that were going on, I accidentally spilled hot tea on myself for the millionth time in one day. Something about it made me laugh and I told my friend and she laughed with me, more likely at my clumsiness. It dawned on me that I was completely used to this spilling of hot things, hot water, hot tea, hot everything is just the way you get your drinks in this country, you would think I was asking for a spleen when I order my tea iced! I’ve become accustomed to the little nuances of life here, just like how I can cross a busy 4 lane street weaving through cars, bikes, buses, trash and motorcycles without blinking an eye ( mostly because if you blink you might die). I’ve reached the amount of time it took for my heart to truly love this place, and feel at home here. The little bits about life that frustrate me sometimes and give me culture stress, are also the things I enjoy gathering with friends and laughing about. The good and the bad. As I look forward to the next 6 months of life and ministry here I can’t help but think how much more I will need to cling to the idea that this earth is not my home, even more than when I left home for college, left college to follow my dreams, or left home for this country. I truly feel that the idea of leaving this place will take a greater step of faith than coming, but how gracious is my father in heaven to have given me these past circumstances and answered prayers to assure that all will be well, because He is faithful. As I shared these sentiments with my friend I felt joy at the prospect of being home with her and my niece and nephew, they have recently started attending my home church, and that in itself is an answered prayer and a sweet gift that brought me joy. Our conversation went from on the phone to over text as I had to get out of the house and head for the first leg of an hour of public transportation to get across town to see a therapy patient and a sister. As I quickly walked down the busy road, head down, texting away about how good it was to catch up and asking advice about which fit bit to buy, I noticed I was coming up on somebody and should probably look up. Assuming this person would also be moving, I pressed send, looked up, side stepped the person, only to realize I had nearly run straight into a donkey, A BIG SMELLY DONKEY! I laughed out loud and hadn’t made it two steps away before I heard the fruit lady laughing, hard, as well. I turned and made eye contact with the woman, sort of, her eyes were kind of shut from laughing but I just laughed too; thinking to myself, ya sorry I didn’t know your donkey was there I should look where I’m going. Normal, funny life here with my local donkey cart fruit lady. Ended my day yesterday feeling thankful that hot tea and donkey carts feel like pieces of home.