It is crazy to think that just after my last journal entry I became very sick, and picking up a pen to write was not an option! I remember wanting to journal yesterday, but I did not have the strength to do so. I remember thinking that the only thing I can do when is let my brain wander while I lie in my bed and let my body rest. When the stomach pain and nausea were happening, the only thing my brain could do was pray for endurance and that the pain would go away. It's amazing how simple your prayers become in moments of physical sickness and pain. We serve a God that heals, and I have no doubt that he has helped me through this.
Saturday (Jan 16) after dinner I threw up until I had nothing left. My body could not handle me drinking water or eating anything more than crackers. I became very weak, and breakfast this morning was the first meal I have had in over 24 hours. I knew that when I woke up today without nausea that I should try to eat a meal to strengthen my body. I think it is working. I feel bad that I am missing out on teaching today, but I know that I need this time to recover completely before I put myself out there.
After reading the textbook (There's No Me Without You by Melissa Faye Green) today, I realized that reading so much narrative makes me think in a narrative. "Kayla stroked her yellow and black striped blanket, but removed her finger for a moment to scratch her sunburned nose." Another more notable connection I made to the text today was after school when I was talking with Tizita, a girl who is in grade 5 or 6, and she shared with me that her father has died and that she has no mother. Our text is about a woman who starts an orphanage and Melissa Faye Green tells bits of many children's stories and interactions with AIDS, poverty, sexual abuse, and other issues. Tizita continued to tell me that she has one sister who is 18 and lives with her uncle. She sees them about 4 times a year when she goes to visit them in Asau (I think?). It was a poignant reminder that each one of the house kids has their own story about their families and their lives outside of Project Mercy. Each child's story is different, but each story could encompass many different things as the children's stories in the textbook do.
Tizta is sometimes withdrawn and seemingly unhappy, and I wonder why. The language barrier can be both a good and bad thing because it keeps two people at a certain distance (which is helpful for not getting attached when we will be leaving soon), but then again it keeps two people at a certain distance. I would love to be able to get to know all the kids' stories, but I feel very sensitive to the amount of time we have left here to invest in those relationships. I am an odd case when it comes to getting to know people because I am really bad at making small talk, and I like to start in on deeper conversation right away. The language barrier, however, often forces me to live in the small talk stage. You can find out a lot through small talk, too, I have come to find. Another wonder in communication is nonverbals-- I have been extremely blessed by wonderful hugs and generous amounts of laughter and smiles. Tizita gave me a great hug after our chat, which made me feel like she understood that I was trying to show her love through this messy getting-to-know-you process.
I am afraid to invest because of the issue of becoming too attached and hurting myself and the people to whom I am attaching myself, but at the same time, I want those deep relationships with the kids here. How do I finish strong and give my all while keeping that in mind?