Today has definitely been “one of those days”. It has been so full. Non-stop. Now, at the end of the day, I am tired.
|Playing games at Bomboli|
The day began with a planned picnic on Bomboli. This is the highest point in Santo Domingo and you can see out over the whole of the City. It’s great. We planned to take the kids there, on a school trip. There is space to play games, have a picnic and say goodbye to Victoria, another volunteer who is heading home soon. However, we woke up to rain. At the moment we are in the rainy season. I have never seen so much rain!
In England, if it is raining when you have planned a picnic, you can put your coat on and see it through. Here, when it rains, you just get soaked through. We waited in the school for a bit and finished off some preparations for next week. When the rain finally stopped and it became really hot, we headed off to Bomboli. 20 of us squashed in a 12 seater minibus. Health and safety rules are “flexible” here. We had a great morning. The kids were happy, played together, ran about and had a picnic. Once we were home I was exhausted. School trips are tiring at the best of times, even more so with special needs kids and when you are talking in your second language.
After this I read an email which actually made me cry. For several months I have been thinking about extending my time here. I have been looking forward to having more time here. I enjoy my time with my Ecuadorian family here, my work and was excited by the things I had in mind to do. However, this email told me I could not extend my time. It is something to do with the type of ticket I have. If I wanted to stay, I would have to buy another ticket home. To be honest, if I had that sort of money spare, I think I would prefer to just give it to the charity as it would be more use. It would be silly to buy another ticket just so I can stay for a bit longer.
So why did I cry when I found out I could be home in April, rather than waiting until July?
I think I had been mentally preparing myself to stay. Preparing to be away from friends and family for longer, living here without so many English friends, taking time to get to know more Ecuadorian friends of my own, excited by the new projects I could get involved with and thinking that is what God wanted me to do. It took me by surprise. So, after thinking about it, I am happy that I will be home in April. Writing this, and reading back over what I have written, it probably doesn’t sound like a very big deal. However, for me, it is quite a big thing.
Now, thinking that I will be home in less than 4 months, excites me. I have NO idea where I will live, what I will do when I return, or even if I can get a job. I don’t know why I can’t extend my flight. However, I do know that God has a bigger plan than my own. I just need to keep surrendering back to him, all my plans. God knows why I need to be home in April. I would like to think I could write a blog entry in June or July to tell you why I know I needed to be back in England for then. Watch this space!
So after all of that, I then headed to Laura Flores this afternoon. It is always so hot and airless there. It is tiring. The bible study didn’t happen this week as only one woman turned up. I spend 30 minutes with the kids, doing some basic work on big and small. They had a good time!
I rushed home and showered and went to a birthday party. I was invited to the party for 5pm. I felt bad knowing that I would not be home from Laura Flores in time. However, knowing more about Ecuador, I was reminded it would be an Ecuadorian 5pm. I turned up probably around 6:30 and that was just right! Ecuadorian birthday parties are different to the ones I am used to. In my family, if it is your birthday, we all go to your house for a cup of tea and cake and maybe a game. It is a fun evening. In Ecuador, in Christian families, it will be a time to share some words about that person; words to encourage them and thank God for an extra year of their life and for many more years to come. There is normally singing, food and cake.
What a day!
33 Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!
34 Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counsellor?
35 Who has ever given to God, that God should repay him?
36 For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory for ever! Amen.
Romans 11 v 33-36
|With the view of Santo Domingo behind us|
|All the children in the special school|