The first day we moved into our new home, I felt like we were where we are suppose to be. Even now on my bad days, I would never chose to be anywhere else. That said, adjusting to a new culture has been hard. It helps that we know some of the language but culture is more than language. What I wear, what I say and how I act in public are very important. For a person who likes to follow the rules, it can be stressful thinking I might mess up and not even realize it. My brain is usually very tired at the end of the day. It has been comforting to me that the Afghans I have met personally are all very gracious and helpful in trying to help us understand their culture. This and the ladies on my team have helped me to be more relaxed in how I go about daily life. I am encouraged by the strong, godly women on our team who have adjusted well and are able to fully be who God has made them to be. My prayer is I can find that balance also. I want to be mindful of the culture and be a modest women but I also want to fully be the me God has made me to be. I am finding that my time with God each morning is even more of a must to keep myself on track.
One of the blessings for our family here is that we have more time together. After supper is a time where we can talk, read a book or play a game together. On a weekend night, we will often have a special supper like pizza or hamburgers and then watch a movie. We rarely go out at night. Another blessings is our neighbors. Our kids play together and it is just nice to have women nearby to chat with even if it is just for a few minutes. During these first few months, I have been able to also spend some time reading and studying which is a comfort thing for me.
So what do I do all day? Some days are full of being at home working with Winter on her school, cleaning, and doing other errands around the house. Other days we are a little more social and will go shopping with some of the other women or have coffee at a friend’s house. I try to spend a little time each day working on my dari and am part of a storying telling class once a week. Cooking actually takes up more time here than it does in the states when you count filtering the water, iodining the fruit and veggies and being your own dishwasher. For me, cooking has been a fun challenge to try new dishes but also to figure out ways to make some favorite dishes from back home. My main ministry right now is prayer. Sometimes praying for our team and the people we meet but mostly for all the people of Afghanistan that they can see the light.
What are some of my future plans? As always, Noel and the kids are my priority and so I will still need to make sure I have enough time at home and being there for each of them. In the next school year, I have the opportunity to teach math and PE to 4th through 6th grades at a small international school here. It will not be the same school as Winter and David but will be in walking distance of our house. I will have an opportunity to use my teaching skills without being overloaded. I also will continue my language learning since I still have much to learn.
What is the hardest thing for me right now? It is feeling helpless. For instance, one day this week the driver forgot to pick up Winter and I at David’s school to take us home. If I was in America, I would have just walked home. Here, I had to call someone who had trouble understanding me and find out where the driver was. Sometimes it is hard being dependent on others more than I am used to being. Overall our team has done a great job of helping us ladies be able to do what we need to do and for that I am thankful.
Lastly I just want to say thank you for making it possible for us to be here. Thank you also for your prayers as we find our place here.