Day to day in Tamale
It's after breakfast on Wednesday, 5 days since our team members departed, as planned, out to their various assignment locations and arrived safely last Friday, John made three trips to the various bus yards that morning, beginning at 5am....then again, the next day he took Michael and Henrietta to the STC bus shortly after 5 am so they could get back to his language project, where he will continue his work there until we all reconvene at debrief. That leaves John and I as the only team members still at the Tamale Guest House...although two other members of our team (Neil and Rachel Ault, fellow members at Seabreeze Church in CA) are assigned to work in Tamale as well. On Friday night they moved into the home of Johnson and Lydia Asare, our long time friends who are also associated with Seabreeze Church. So I guess you could say we have a bit of a Seabreeze out post going on here in Tamale currently!
John and I had a restful and recharging weekend; Saturday was Tamale market day, so we went into town for three hours, purchasing food for the next couple of weeks. We really enjoyed our time there; it had rained a couple of hours before we left, so the temperature was cooler, and the sky cloudy, which made walking around more fun. We took our time, meeting and greeting sellers, some of which we have know for decades now.....as we sat chatting with our favorite groundnut (peanut) seller, Abdulrachman, a friend and associate of ours and Johnson Asares, rode up on a motorcycle to also purchase ground nuts from our friend; it felt like an impromptu party! Soon after that, we purchased some boiled corn from a different seller, found a coke stand and enjoyed a snack, chatting with the other people who were relaxing at that place. We really enjoyed the day!
Then came Monday.....and the party was over! I was surprised by how discouraged and overwhelmed I felt as I strategized what had to be accomplished in the next four weeks. It's somehow ironic; because I felt less overwhelmed when I was working 13-15 hour days during Orientation than I do now with an 8 hour day! I think it has to do with that plate juggling feeling...the same way I often feel in the US....as I seek to do my work, visit with friends, cook our meals, exercise as well as plan debrief, revise our orientation curriculum to reflect changes we desire to make after this year, etc, etc. During orientation there's so much to do you just keep putting one foot in front of the other.....now that I have time to think, it's somehow harder. Weird, I know!
John spent most of Monday working on getting our e-mail up and running.....a gentlemen in the GILLBT computer dept recommended he go to an internet cafe not far from here, where he was able to send and receive what he needed in a couple of hours time. Unfortunately, while he was there, there were some electrical problems, and when he thought it was safe to replug in his computer, he experienced an electrical arc and could smell something burning. Everything continued to work though (yeah!) until the next morning; now we are experiencing difficulty getting the screen of his laptop to come on when he boots up, and we fear his computer may not be long for this world. We would appreciate your prayers about this....it's going to put a major crimp in our productivity if his computer dies and we both have to share the one I brought.
Please also continue to pray for our participants in their various locations; that they would develop good relationships with their host families, the people they work with in the various language projects and their neighbors......that God would use them as well as work in them throughout their time there, and they would be encouraged by what He is doing. That they would continue to adjust well to the many changes they are encountering; that they would choose joy. Please also pray for Michale and Henrietta; they were both not feeling very well when they left, and Michael is heading into a busy time of working with consultants at his translation project. Before they left, it was obvious the project was experiencing some real spiritual warfare, as several key people were falling seriously sick as they were attemtping to gather to work on the translation of ... Four New Testaments that are in final stages. Their team is working from June 12 through July 9 to finalize the translations of four languages (Selee, Sekpele, Siwu and Tuwuli).
Next update I will try to send some excerpts from my Orientation journalings so you can get a feel for what it was like, and how some of your prayers were answered. Thanks so much for your prayers; we really need and appreciate them!
In His love;
Shevawn (for John too)