Another job, that is. And we are tired of the pattern.
To be honest, we were feeling the pressure. We were being pressured in some very unpleasant ways. Being made to cover costs that should not be covered in an expat job. Unpleasant things being said. But we hoped to hang on for a while longer. But then, around midday the call came. The contract is being ended. You are relieved of duties immediately.
So we took a week. Just a week, to pack up another home, another life and try to look into a future as dim as an African moonless night, far on the plains.
This is the third such pack-up in 14 months. The third redistribution of precious items scoured out in markets, or ferreted into bags on home visits. The third selling off of what-can-be-sold. The third all-too-soon packing up into bags…
When I was really not ready for it at all.
This pack-up has been the worst by far. I was loving Mwanza. The community, friends and life we led was the richest experience of fulfillment I had experienced in a very very very long time. I loved being a part of the lives of children in so many activities:
Ballet recitals and school concerts, various Bible studies, grills and potlucks, and the dozens and dozens of meals at Tilapia Hotel.
Our precious friends. I loved our friends. My precious ladies who each filled such a special role in my life. The prayer friends, the listen-to-me-moan friends, the lemon-meringue friends, the facebook friends, the art-together friends… How totally blessed we were to learn of this friendship. To step away from that feels like a part of my soul has been ripped apart.
Our precious Tulip dog, who herself struggles with anxiety issues.
Tulip was my closest companion. She was never far away, and we felt totally comfortable in each other’s presence. She is presently being taken care of my some friends, and the hope is that we can bring her across to live with us as soon as we have a livable space where she would be safe and comfortable.
Between the loss of separation faced at having to say goodbye to friends, Tulip and the last part, my art classes, I cried bucket loads. I stayed away from the public eye as much as I could because the week of the pack, I was a mush of soggy kleenex and red puffy eyes.
Mwanzart Studio, the blessing God allowed to be birthed in Bwiru, ended far far far too soon. The precious developing of creativity, developing art talents and simple times of chatting while seated in front of a canvas was a massive privilege to be part of. I put off cleaning out the studio for as long as I could, and the process was made possible because I had friends sitting with me, I am sure praying through the process.
One of the very sad parts of the process was that this all took place just at the beginning of the summer holidays: so many friends and students were away and we were not given the chance of proper farewells. At the time I think it may have been just too much for me to do.
So, it took a week to roll up the parts of our lives of this season in Mwanza. We wish to send a hug of love to all those who formed part of our fond memories of this time. We leave our prayers already prayed for the city to take root, and will continue to pray for the perfect work God longs to complete in the city.
The raw emotions still rise and there is a great deal of sorting and healing I need to do. We are presently at our SA bush house, which is peaceful.
We have very vague plans for this year: we travel to visit family in Sweden and attend a Special Brother’s Wedding. We hope to road-trip up Africa after that.
Then, the big open future.
For now, we bid a sweet farewell to a Lake, the city spread around its fingers and our precious, wonderful friends there.