The Man told me that for missionaries, the reason many/most missionaries leave the field is not because of the local population or the country they are in while abroad. No, he told me that the main reason so many missionaries quit helping others is because of other missionaries.
Well, Man, you seem to be right.
Some fellow expatriates (or rather, white folks) are some of the most ostracizing, unwelcoming people I have encountered. I went to Sole Luna last night for Trivia Night - an expat favorite - and I managed to be sitting alone for about 1.5 hours while swarms of expats mingled around me, acting as if I was completely invisible. It wasn't until Denise and a friendly woman from work came in that I ended up feeling warm and accepted by anyone there. The place was packed before they got there! I got there early to nab a table, but it seemed to backfire, as I became the leper in the room. Well, everyone else in the room suffered; our team won second place for trivia and received free drinks as a result. I helped out a lot. Who would have thought that it would be helpful to know about plate tectonics in Africa? By the way, the only two countries in Africa with active volcanoes and volcanic lakes are the DRC and Ethiopia. And Beyonce has a horse fly named after her. Poor lady.
Interestingly enough, though, some of the people I find the best solace and friendship are expats. It's strange - you either hate them or love them. I don't understand how this works yet.
But onto other matters.
I came into work the day after my birthday with a few colored papers telling me "Happy Birthday!" That was nice.
After 5 visits, I finally was approved to apply for a visa. Please note, that means that all of the other efforts and painstaking days I spent waiting and begging at immigration was just for me to put IN my application! But it's there now - they have my visa, and it's in the hands of The Universe, now.
Motos are becoming easier to ride. And to negotiate. I have been finding it kind of entertaining, actually...the scenery that whizzes by is fantastic.
My classes recently have been better. That's mainly because I stopped teaching and have given them class groupwork to do instead. They seem to like it more, and then they teach each other at the board while I manage and facilitate the conversations. That works out fairly nicely.
It's pretty hot today. The kind when the hair on my head sticks to my neck and I have to put it up before noon. Some like it. I kind of do. But even I don't enjoy it being this warm. It's not sweltering, but it's definitely warmer than what I'd prefer. Cool at night and in the morning - hot in the day.
Lots of things have been happening recently, but nothing really to mention on the blog. Working out some more issues with my working situation, and talking with people. I have to tutor tonight, and I'll see a friend named Jane for dinner beforehand.
I think I need more sleep. I wake up at 5am to go to work by 7am, and then I get home around 9pm or 10pm. And then I sleep. It's a hard thing, working nonstop and not having enough downtime. I'm hoping it clears up someday in the nearby future. The Man mentioned one of the reasons I might be crying so much is because I'm not sleeping well. And it's partly my mattress to blame. Rwandan mattresses seem to be none other than cheap foam that is kind of puffy and a bit firm, but not firm enough. My bed already sags in the middle, and most of it is flattened like a pancake. I more or less feel like I'm sleeping on slatted wood. I'm not sure if people ever get used to sleeping on hard surfaces, and I'm not really volunteering myself for the experiment. So, I'm going to try to look for a mattress that is more than just foamy fluff that will stop being nice after a few sits. I have a feeling it might be super expensive. But I think it might be worth it.
The hustle continues for The Man! Stay tund as I figure out who I can network with and encourage to hire him!