Tuesday, 15 September 2015

The little things

It is often the little things in life that can prove intensely frustrating or stressful or that can bring unexpected moments of pure joy. Here’s some ‘little things’ that I have experienced recently that have done just that.

The little things that frustrate:
  • Going to the one bank that I can withdraw cash from without a fee, only to be told my card issuer is unavailable. I try again another day. It still doesn’t work. I end up going to another bank and paying the withdrawal fee and now I have cash. Why was my card issuer unavailable at the one bank and not the other?!
  • Breakfast time and I go to get a banana for my porridge only to discover that fruit flies have been busy and eaten large chunks out of my bananas!
  • My generator has stopped working. As this is my only source of electricity in Mshewe, this has made charging electrical appliances stressful and makes evenings tiring as I do things in much dimmer light than electricity would supply.
  • Wanting to have people round for a meal but not having access (here in Mshewe) to the food I would normally use when cooking for guests.
  • Time to wash the dishes, but when I turn on the tap there is no water. I can get some from the garden tap, but it’s just another of those ‘little things’.
  • Finding bat droppings all over the sofa and floor every morning. (I am kept company in the evenings by the squeaking of bats in the attic! Their droppings fall down the gaps round the edge of the ceiling boards).
All these little things have solutions, but one after another can be tiring and stressful. Thankfully there are also the little things that bring a smile to the face:

  • Stepping out my door at night and being wowed by the stars.
  • Getting three letters from my parents all at once (one of them was posted over two months ago) and getting a surprise parcel of dark chocolate from a friend.
  • When staying at my Mbeya home for a couple of nights, I found I had chocolate cake in the freezer. I’d forgotten about that. Mmmmm.
  • Chatting with a guard from the coffee plantation one evening, I discovered he couldn’t read. I whipped out my phone and a stool and he sat and listened to Mark’s gospel, chapter one, in his mother tongue (Safwa). The next evening I found him by his fire and he listened to chapter two. Another evening, he was ready waiting at my house, eager to hear more, together with another guard. It made me smile to hear them laughing with pleasure as they listened to God’s Word in their heart language.
  • Watching a stereotypically big red ball of African sun sinking in the sky at sunset.
  • Holding someone’s baby at church, smiling up at me. (Some children here are afraid of white people as they are not used to seeing them, so it is a particular joy to hold a baby that shows no fear).