only a rant. No happy

28 10 2011

So.  It has arrived.  That time an expat faces when absolutely everything seems negative.  I think it is a lot sooner than in other places.  We are both at a point of total despondency, utter weariness and frustration. with everything. with everybody.

On Wednesday Deon brought home the work laptop with files destroyed. He redid them.  Today the computer came home with those programmes completely wiped off. All the back ups, all the templates, all that was needed for the job, gone.  It is as if every single task must face several Everest-sized challenges before even one step of progress can be made.  I was with him this afternoon as he went to collect a tool he had ordered, and it had not been made; and as he asked one of the mine’s worker when he was coming to work for Deon and he said he would not.  This is just a continuation of ongoing struggles:  Instead of a Ugandan saying, “No. I don’t know how to do that”, they would rather say yes and then not do it at all – in this shame culture seeming not to know how to do a thing is worse than not doing it.  So the crusher Deon needs 3 weeks ago is not available.  We know that the mine is facing great difficulties, but Deon has not received any assistance in preparing the next steps for them and their work. That he has not given up already is testimony to how enduring he is.

I also had a moment today, the likes of which I have not had since I was teaching frustrating adolescents high on hormones.  I was rushing about to several places looking for a number of hardware items.  To explain myself – I wanted to move with speed, no, I did not want to pay the most money possible, no, I did NOT want to sit and wait, or drive across town to get the cheaper piece of Plywood (which could be cut up at THAT SHOP) and bring it back for THIS worker to cut up (I do not drive a 4×4 m truck), no, I did NOT want to be told what I need to get.  It turned out that I did wait 45 minutes in the dripping rain  for them to bring me too thick gum poles that were shoved into the car, against my wishes, dirtying the car’s ceiling and my hands. Eventually I shoved the poles out onto the road, amidst laughter at the Mzungu’s actions.  (not a good move).  When I said this was NOT what I wanted it took another 25 minutes of standing ranting in the rain, crowds gathering, to get my money back. 

My issues are: do not tell me what I want – I know what I am needing.

Give me a choice as to how I want to get it, where I want to get it and how long I would like to wait for it.

Do not try to mess with the Mzungus – we are here to try to make your lives better but do not take advantage of us.  And don’t try to be my friend if you are not willing to give me service – I was told that I must please phone this shop owner from SA because he is my friend.  I don’t think so.


And  while I am ranting today, being screeched at just for having white skin, as all the kids do, has lost its shine. 


Ok. I’ll go now.  But we need prayer. Lots of it.




One response

29 10 2011

I am sorry you are having such a difficult time. So many frustrations at once are hard to deal with in one’s own culture. It must be exponentially harder in another culture.

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