Friday, October 30, 2009

Becoming Aquainted

Life is quickly passing us by here in Cape Town, and as may have been expected, I am not finding as much time to update here as I hoped. I still hope that will change, but I make no promises.

This week brought with it a great deal of change, as the SHADE office we were introduced to last week is now no more. As our office is in transition in preparation for the big move to Johannesburg in January, we have moved from our large space in Woodstock into a much smaller office only a short distance away. Monday was our last day in the old office, and by the time we left, all that was left of that office was the carpet on the floor. Really.

Following work Monday, we made it to pick up our Congolese dresses!! We tried them on, and after a couple small alterations were made on spot, they were perfect fits and we can’t wait to wear them!!! I’m so honored to have been invited to be a part of that evening in this way. Really. (Aren’t the dresses are BEAUTIFUL!?!)

As last minute preparations for the Sister 2 Sister Conference in DRC are well underway and the office was in transition as it was being moved, we were phoned after arriving home on Monday and asked not to come in to work on Tuesday and Wednesday. Surely the work we had to do could be done from home (as we are working on our personal computers anyway), not to mention the fact that by looking at us they could very much tell that we were in need of some good rest.

Goodness, were they right! We took advantage of the invitation to have some time to get a bit of much-needed rest and enjoyed some real quality Sabbath time. Friends, never underestimate the power and importance of this time each week. We had not yet had a day of rest since arriving, and these two consecutive days made a world of difference as we returned to work once again alive with energy, passion and a desire to work in the midst of the “stress bucket” that is the SHADE office in these days of important conference preparations. I only wish everyone were able to have a day off... I certainly know it would make a world of difference at the office!

The good news is that all staff going to the conference have been asked to have their preparations completed by now (confession: I have a bit yet to do, but I have 5 days to do it... plenty of time!). We have also been asked to take at least one day, but up to 3-4 days before the conference not just off from work, but truly to rest. We are not expecting to so much as sleep much during the conference, so storing it up will be wise. I am looking forward to our time in The DRC, but reality is we are expected to be awake and functioning 20hrs/day for 7 days, so it will be exhausting and we need to be prepared for this in as many ways as possible now!

While most were out of the office on Friday, we returned there in the afternoon to wrap up a few

things, including the newsletter distributed to the youth each month. Last week, we were handed a couple of old copies and asked to prepare an issue for this month. Always more work because it was our first one and we weren’t really sure what to do with it (as we hardly know the youth by now!), we had a good time making it and it felt good to print and distribute it today. I went to youth group this afternoon and am really enjoying getting to know them. Its really too bad exams, etc have come so quickly, as now we only have one gathering left with them (A Stay Awake in December) before we leave. It really is a great program, I was glad to learn today that Yannick will be continuing it.

That wraps up our week. Oh - and how could I forget? We have internet now! We have purchased a couple of wireless cards to share and have each purchased our own DATA packages to connect, so we should be able to use it anywhere in South Africa - meaning this connection will move with us to Johannesburg and we shouldn't have such a delay again when we move. That being said, I must also confess I am enjoying this bit of disconnect from cyberspace, as it allows me to be more fully present here and now. That is, after all, why I came here, and so I am enjoying the opportunity to embrace it.

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