We have had a volunteer team here at Angel House for the last week. They went back to Nairobi today and will probably be back in the US before I find an internet connection with which to post this. They did a great job this week of helping some of the younger children that were falling behind in school catch up with individual attention. They also helped paint the secondary school that opens this January. However, one of the most interesting things about having a short term team here is the perspective they bring. Being able to talk with them as they experience so many new things all at once helps remind me of the things I used to find interesting, shocking, depressing, and joy filled. It is this ability to have your eyes continually opened that I most miss about being new to Tanzania. It is probably about the only thing I miss about being new to Tanzania. It is good to be reminded to not take the children for granted. The ability to be around, play with, instruct, and be in community with the kids at Angel House is a blessing and one I would miss if I were not here. When you see them every day you sometimes forget that, but it is good to be reminded as we see people blessed by them for the first time. It is also good to be reminded that we are not yet were we need to be. You can often times grow complacent with things the way they are when it feels like it is taking forever to change them or that they will never actually change. It is hard when you feel continually tired to find the energy to go against the grain where and when it is necessary in order to continue to improve the lives of those around you. To be reminded that we are far from finished is a blessing that I have found with short term teams. And certainly with the ones safely on their way home. Thank you Cari, Elizabeth, Anna, Amy, and John.
Sometimes though, you get a reminder all your own. One day while they were here I was taking out my trash. We have a place outside that we put it and then it is burned. It is not a good system, but it is what we have right now and I still produce a tenth of the trash that I did when I lived in the states so there is some comfort there as well. This particular time though two of our neighbors kids saw me. They started asking for what was in the bucket. I explained that it was trash and dirty, assuming that they thought it was something other than trash. Unfortunately I was wrong. They did want the trash…in fact they fought over it after I had dumped it in the trash pit. I cannot adequately explain my shock that someone I live across the street from would be interested in what I am throwing out as trash. This was a reminder and eye opener all its own that we are still a long ways from paradise, we are still a long ways from being fully part of the community when I do not know the conditions of my neighbors well enough to know they would be happy with my trash. I have 50 wonderful kids to work with at Angel House and I have had a great week of seeing them through new eyes, but we are still waiting for a new heaven and in the mean time there is still a long way to go.