Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Feasting Before Fasting

The fast of Ramzan begins in 2 days, and everyone who has been planning on having a party of any kind has been cramming them in the last few weeks. Weddings, 50th birthday parties, circumcision parties... you name it, it's happening. One friend said to me, in response to a comment about how many parties there were, "I know-- we are all so tired!" Parties here, as I think I described before, are seriously intense affairs-- lasting until 2-3am, and consuming more hard liquor than we thought humanly possible. And then many of these same party animals will turn around, and for one month out of their year do all in their power to please the Divine Deity they think is pacified by external piety. We are interested to see how Ramzan is observed over here, and are glad we get to be here for at least part of it.

We leave the country two weeks from this coming Friday, and are heading into last days of organizing our house, getting it ready for winter, packing things into boxes, installing a padlock on our bedroom door so we can store valuables in there, etc... I am still struggling with trusting God about leaving a second home we love to have a baby (the last time this happened we weren't allowed to go back!), but it's getting easier as I realize the gift this situation actually is: in the west, there is a semblance of permanence, and everyone feels like their possessions and situation are theirs forever. But that's not really the case. In an instant, everything can change, in the west as well as here. Here, though, massive changes happen so often and so regularly that one learns to be always prepared for the unexpected-- such as keeping a complete inventory of every single item in your house and where it's stored, so if someone else has to pack up for you it makes it easier to give detailed instructions! I've decided to be thankful for the lack of pretensions over here, and to be glad I live in a place where I can't pretend things are permanent-- it forces me to hold everything with open hands, instead of leaving it optional.

So please pray for grace as we try to spend each day wisely, balancing last-minute house projects with last-minute hospitality invitations, trying to get in a few last language lessons, and continuing to adjust to life with a toddler in this new culture. I'm still struggling knowing how to discipline him and control him when we're at locals' houses-- not wanting him to get away with too much, but not wanting to discipline in front of them either since I want their approval and feel our relationships are still so fragile... and then I feel guilty for sacrificing Will's training on the altar of man's approval... there must be a middle ground, and some strategies I haven't learned yet. It just all takes time.

Anyway, thanks for your prayers-- more when I'm able, and hopefully more videos the next time I'm within reach of broadband. We love you all and are so thankful for you!


Post a CommentBest Blogger Tips