Monday, May 11, 2015

“Where are you? Where have you been? Are you working yet?”

These are all the questions I have been getting and the very questions I am asking myself. I returned from Africa around Christmas. I had been living with a friend in Nashville who had graciously opened her home to me for the months before I would be going to Africa to allow me to work. On Christmas Eve she was diagnosed with cancer. That changed things a little and I knew that I was to stay in Nashville a bit longer and be with her through the process. The process has included two surgeries and three rounds of chemo, so far. A fourth and final round is scheduled for Friday. She will have a month off before beginning radiation. 

I have applied for loads of jobs with non-profits such as World Vision and Nashville’s Blood:Water and stores at the mall and the local supermarket and a glasses company and a nanny job. I only get rejection emails or silence. I cleaned a friend’s house and that was fun. I feel major pressure from society to work and find a job, but all signs and His still small voice say, “Not now.” So I am waiting and know that when the timing is right the best place for me will open up. Ideally, I would love to do some freelance work and write more. I would like to fund myself and frequent trips back to Kenya, Cameroon, South Africa and Mozambique to help them establish and grow social enterprises and create jobs. 

Mozambique’s Galeria dos Sonhos continues to remain open and we are grateful for Thistle Farm’s Shared Trade ( and Chattahoochee Coffee Company in Atlanta, GA for being our customers. 
You can buy these @! 
I am starting to see a little fruit from my last trip to Africa and that is fun. I am hoping to also have my friends from Bethel Cameroon join me in the Shared Trade program and will be consulting with them and guiding them though the process of becoming a partner. They plan to start out also in textiles and offering a line of children’s clothing and perhaps in the acquiring, and distribution of raw Shea butter! The guest house in Cameroon is also growing and taking in guests! 

My friends in Kenya will soon be opening a social enterprise based Coffee Shop and I would love to go and help get that started and will if finances allow. I want to continue to help the work in both of these countries.

For now my role is caregiver and consultant and, per your requests, I am attempting to write more and get more of The Story down. Currently, I am completely sharing my life with someone else. My life has suddenly become quite private as it is not fully my own. It used to involve wild adventures on the scooter and getting my students out of jail and living on the sea. Now it mostly involves laundry and vacuuming and doctor’s waiting rooms. I am figuratively in my own waiting room, waiting for what is next. I am growing content with it for the most part, anxious to go and see and do, but trusting in His plans and timing as they continue to surprise me and are always better than I can plan, image or submit applications for myself. 

The waiting season is turning into a very beautiful one. I have made a wonderful friend. I am not alone. We giggle most all day long. When weakness limits her, we color, draw or play cards.  On good days we piddle in the garden. We choose to live slow as the Africans taught me and are savoring this little tiny space in time before everything changes and gets hectic again. It is a joy and a pleasure. 

“Rest and laughter are the most spiritual and subversive acts of all. Laugh, rest, slow down.”   ― Anne Lamott