Wednesday, July 24, 2013

My Swahili is So-So

I'm putting on my "thinking cap" and trying to figure out a way to do more of the amazing and exciting things that I see others doing. I have my limitations so it's a challenge, definitely.

What I'm referring to is learning new things, going to new places, meeting new people, growing, and changing what needs to be changed. I have, and never have had, fear of these actions. No one should with the Gifts we've all been given.  The existing challenges, for me, are that age is catching up with me (excuse??), I have legitimate fears of what might happen with the Multiple Sclerosis (hasn't happened yet...don't worry about it?), and my brand new knee that hasn't quite healed yet (but it will!).

Sounds like I just talked myself out of my own challenges, doesn't it?

I look around and see new careers that didn't exist years ago. People are being creative in new and fascinating ways. Opportunities abound that I didn't recognize when I was operating at full capacity!

There is FUN to be had in this life!

True, there are personal trials, wars, political conflicts, protests, poverty, hunger, anger, frustrations, and sadness in this world that can break your heart and your spirit. But there is good, also. And we know that Good ALWAYS triumphs over the bad. We may lack patience waiting for the Good to happen, but it will always happen....just not always in the time we want.  If we sit and wait for a person to knock on our door telling us it's alright to come out and live our lives, well, that's just not going to happen.

There are activities I know I'll never be able to do, like apply make-up.  I just don't have it in me.  I've tried and it's laughable.  I won't run a marathon. I'll never be a starving artist in a Parisian attic apartment. I won't have 'Doctor' in front of my name. And winning the lottery looks waaaay out of reach. So, here I wait, trying desperately to be patient. I wait for my knee to be 'normal' again to carry me better than it used to. I exercise, I read, I learn, I study, I PRAY, I love, I go out, I travel when we can, and I meet people....everywhere.

I know I cannot live without challenges or I become bored. I always say, that only boring people get bored. With each day, I try to learn something true. I learn even if it's a fact mentioned on a television show.

I know I cannot live well without people in my life, especially new ones! We may not become lifelong friends or even see one another again.  But the time we spend, when we spend it, can be a precious memory.

I have a girlfriend that has an open invitation to any holiday get-together or party at our house.   She has no family here and considers us her family now.  She recently had a party given in honor of a former U.S. Ambassador to Kenya. He and his wife and family were lovely people. Of course, I put the 'bug' in his ear to come home to the Faith in which he was raised. It came out of nowhere but as soon as I knew he'd been away, I just blurted it out. He didn't seem to mind and actually, though surprised, he seemed to be considering it.

While everyone is having a great time, Kenyans, Ugandans, and a few Americans, their little grand-daughter comes to me as I 'chair-danced' and places her tiny hands on my breasts.

         "You have big t..t...t.." struggling and searching for the word.

         "Teetees." The Ambassador's wife helped her with her observation.

I've never been called out by a 3-year old before. I genuinely laughed as she pointed out her grandma's teetees were big, too, but that grandma's belly was bigger than mine! So many mixed reactions at that, my head was spinning. Children always bring me joy with their honesty!

We had the greatest conversation as we sat together, of tragedies, and of triumphs, of personal heartaches, and of joys. Let me remind you, that we'd known each other for 2 hours, by then.

My point is that you never know who you will meet and how they will affect your life or, you, their lives. I felt so close to everyone I'd met that we all hugged and promised to meet again, left with invitations, blessings, and fond farewells. "Grandma" made sure to give me her card and I do plan to stay in touch. She is doing great work in fighting against FGM (Female Genital Mutilation) which is common and still practiced in many countries.

In less than a day, I learned much about a proud culture, yet still know so little about it. My background may not even include Kenya OR Uganda. People think Africa and see only one continent with all the same kind of peoples and culture. I'm guessing there is no other continent with such a mixture of languages, peoples, music, dances, and landscapes. I recently learned that there are 68,000 languages in the world. I'm guessing again that half of those are in Africa, alone!

What did this spark? Now, violin lessons aren't enough for me. I'll be brushing up on my Spanish conversation and any other language that intrigues me. I'm increasing my exercises as I heal. I will narrow my interest in the 5 books I'm trying to read to ONE and finish it! I will continue to learn and change our diet to a healthier, nutrient-rich one that won't only tickle the tastebuds but make us feel better. I'll be with my church ladies knitting and crocheting shawls for the elderly and ill. And, I'm still working on this 'hair project' which doesn't require lots of effort. I love that! Then there's this blog-posting-thingie.  I'm enjoying being able to focus long enough to do this.

Meanwhile, I hope this encourages someone to take up the gauntlet and get out there. Learn. Do. Act. Sing. Dance. Paint. Read. Play. Live. Love. Be. This isn't a dress rehearsal.

Until we meet again here, giving thanks for every day I wake up and hoping all feel that way! Have a greatly blessed rest of the week!