Six months have flown by.
We have had to deal with new surroundings, new cultures, new languages, new crime issues and new types of work. It has been an exhausting start to our time here in South Africa and we were ready for a break. So a month ago we went to Mexico for a conference with our ‘umbrella’ organisation and for a holiday. Apart from the issues of finance and creation care (that’s another story) we were happy to explore a new country and meet loads of cool people.
On the plane back to South Africa, I honestly felt like I wanted it to be rerouted to Scotland.
I didn’t want to deal with the pressure I put on myself to ‘make a difference’ in Soshanguve. I didn’t want to have to be constantly on alert again. I didn’t want to have to over-think everything so I can be culturally sensitive. It would be much easier to return to my home country.
Once we were back I unburdened all my thoughts to Debbie and she asked me a question; ‘what are the good things about being in Sosh?’
It wasn’t so hard to answer. The community spirit of being able to hang your clothes up on your neighbour’s line. The massive hugs and smiles we got from our landlady’s boys. The fun of playing basketball with a group of teenagers who were all glad to see me. Being able to support a local in his fundraising gig for a creche. The surprise of an Afrikaaner woman when she heard that we live in the township. These are just a few of the examples that happened in the days after we returned.
One morning in the days following my frustrations I was conversing with God. I reflected and realised that I have been putting pressure on myself to live up to expectations and make a difference. I needed to chill out a bit and be fully present here.
So it has now been two weeks since we arrived back in Sosh and I am more content. I’m releasing the pressures and worries that I felt and aiming to be present in the moment. I’m trying to appreciate the wonder and goodness that is around me.
I’m learning to dwell in this place.