Sunday, January 22, 2012

Be still

I find myself daydreaming as I sit on my front porch. I can’t believe how cool it is in Africa. I thank the Harmattan sands for the relief, however dirt comes with it; layering anything outside with dust. I just spent two hours reading “The Help” and listening to the latest Africa hit “Chop My Money” blaring from the street. It’s been on repeat, but I have learned to ignore it being totally engrossed in my book. My lunch plate is on the patio table also collecting dust, but all that is left are crumbs from PBJ sandwich. We are blessed during the week as cooks prepare meals for the patients and the staff. On the weekends, I look forward to new challenges of cooking and even more so Mexican food when I find friends to invite over. I went to the local grocery stores with coworkers and I was amazed about the selection, but not so amused by the overpriced imports. I need to learn how to make tortilla chips. From my patio, I can hear the women singing and smelling what is cooking in the kitchen- always something spicy, which my taste buds will savor as I try more African dishes.
My flat (aka apartment) is a little more organized, still finding the right places for things so I can find them later on. I’m not used to this much space, but it is an added bonus along with two windows that I more than welcome sunshine through everyday. My flat is on the second floor of the maternity side of the hospital. That’s right, I have women hollering in labor and babies crying as they breathe their first breath. Last night, was first time I had to use earplugs. Along with the rooster, music, and street noise- I cherish your prayers for me to have restful sleep. This weekend, I have cleaned from top to bottom like a good OR nurse would do and hopefully killed every bug in this place. I look forward to entertaining new friends- playing games, watching movies, and having a small group over. Last night, I went to a night of praise & worship with a group of ex-patriots/missionaries that meet as the international church here in Freetown. What amazing group of people to have as community here in this new place. I was encouraged by our time in the scripture reading Psalm 46. I needed to hear it, but also have time to just sit still. 
I arrived late Thursday night after traveling for 30+ hours from Dallas to Freetown. Waiting for my internet to connect so I can let my family know that I arrived safely, I sat down on my couch and started to drift off to sleep while brushing my teeth.  I fell right into my new bed allowing the mosquito net to enclose around me to protect from mosquitoes carrying malaria. My first day, I was in a daze from jet-lag and also had the case of information overload. I loved every minute of it as all the national staff welcomed me back- they all know my name, but I have all theirs to commit to my memory over the coming days. Since it was Friday, the VVF surgeons screen potential patients and the OR staff does chores in between emergency c-sections. I jumped right in to help with a c-section and watched a baby girl come into this world after her mother had gone through the trials of having a fistula with her first pregnancy.  It was a busy case and I had a lot to learn being in a new OR, but I had to give thanks to God for this miracle happening in front of my eyes. The rest of the day was filled with paperwork and meetings. We have a huge VVF campaign we are working on for March so this was the first meeting to prepare for the endeavor helping more women suffering from VVF. I cannot wait to see how God works through Aberdeen Women’s Centre helping the women and children of Sierra Leone.
As I sit here on my patio, I think about that and hundred other things I need to do. Clean my bathroom since I have a friend coming over, laundry at some point, prepare for another meeting, and even finish this blog.  I heard some generators fail awhile back and I imagine that is why it went quiet in the courtyard below me. There is no more music playing, but only a quiet stir coming from the ladies in the kitchen. There is little noise coming from the road since there is not much traffic on Sunday.
I remember the verse we meditated on last night and pray it for the year ahead. 

“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

Psalm 46:10


The views expressed here are solely mine and are not the opinion of AWC/Mercy Ships.