Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Deep End

Pictures coming tomorrow, hopefully! The ones I took today are no good.

Today has been a test for me.

I have unofficially set several goals for myself in this new adventure. Some of them I started before I left and others have been wavering in my mind for quite some time. I’m terrible with resolutions, because once I sense failure, I easily abandon the cause for another more worthy. So I have tried to be less definitive in my goal setting in hopes that I can work on things as they come. I now, however, believe that some definition might aide in progress.
  1.   Learn to say “no” and be less of a go-to person for things.
  2.  Be more flexible and carefree.
  3. Ask fewer questions and resist the need for clarification.
  4. Figure out and remember what is really important.
  5. Categorize frustrations with the Serenity Prayer. Is this something I cannot or can change? What is the difference?
  6. Appreciate the outdoors and spend more time there. (This one has been the most successful!)
We were scheduled to move into our apartment today. Susan and I were very excited to see the new place and prepared to sleep there tonight, even if it meant passing out on the floor without air conditioning.

I awakened early to pack my bags and still have time for breakfast. I knew it was likely the bus and/or persons involved would be late, and because of Goal #2, I was not worried. Some of the others were just viewing their apartment today, planning to drop off some items and move-in officially tomorrow. Marcia, Susan and I were ready to move, though, and were told to be ready.

Turns out, everyone’s apartment was ready except for ours. So, bags back up to the hotel room, check-in at the front desk (again) and try to talk someone into letting us at least see the apartment since a shopping trip was scheduled later in the day. The small bus of folks living in school housing left around 10. At this point I stopped putting effort into Goal #3, mostly because I was expending too much energy trying to stay calm. I put the situation out of my mind.

We drove to several apartments so others could look at their assigned buildings. Ours was second to last, and though great potential engulfed each room, it was not nearly finished. Light fixtures, counters, air conditioners, etc, all needed to be put in and we were promised everything would be finished before tomorrow. It is interesting, because another group was frustrated because of the size of a bedroom and I was telling them that they could switch with me if they did not want the small room (I don’t mind small rooms). Some things I am very flexible with, but at other times, I feel so rigid. It is probably because I still have yet to understand about my personal basic comfort level.

I was excited again, and even glad that we were not moving in right away. But I think the administrative assistant handling our viewing was worried the apartment would not be done in time, so they showed us another, basically the same but almost completely finished. I was even more excited.

I won’t try to tell you about the shopping market (think Target X 1,000,000), which I found quite overwhelming, causing sensory overload and an internal breakdown. I won’t go into feeling like I was turning into a leader while on the bus and my great concern about Goal # 1. I won’t go into challenges in working through the above issues while in a culture that does not have: lines, order, schedules, routine (except prayer) but has an abundance of kindness and patience. It is kind of like a non-swimmer being thrown into the deep-end (but sometimes that is the only way to learn).

I learned a lot today. I learned how some of my goal-settings have limits or boundaries that will need to be stretched and expanded slowly. I learned that there is extraordinary value in patience and freedom. And I learned that I can and will make progress, even if it is slow progress.

And I remembered that I need to learn Arabic. As fast as linguistically possible.


  1. Good goals.
    Good ol' Egypts.
    When do you start your job?
    I realized that I have questions for you, but you have probably answered them in previous posts. So a-reading I will go. Soonish. When I have some time.
    More pictures, though, k?

  2. Your wish is granted!

    I start with Pre-service stuff on Thursday and have a full week of that. Then the kids start September 2 or 3. It's weird because it is a Sunday-Thursday school week.