There is no question that life is going to be very, very different here on the farm. I got an email response from my mother yesterday that reflected a bit of concern over all the changes and unexpected issues we’ve run into. It suddenly made me very, very aware of how the words one uses to describe a piece of a situation can so vividly paint a picture very unlike the reality I’m actually living in.
That is to say, things are pretty great here. There are lots of things yet to be worked out, construction projects yet to be finished, items large and small still needing to be moved in, out or unpacked. The stories that are easy to tell, some of which I shared with my Mom and are the cause of her concern, are the ones that have raised blood pressure or have come with element of surprise. Stories that are not unnatural for life on a farm, as we are out “in the bush” as they say. These are stories of the field mice that have made themselves comfortable in our home. Yes, our home - not just our kitchen! The third night we were staying here, I stood in the hallway speaking to Hannah when one unexpectedly ran right across my foot and into her room. Element of surprise. Blood pressure. Trying to shoo it away until we gave up on knowing where he (now nicknamed Stewart) was, so we slept in the extra room.
Of all things, one thing we will not claim here on the farm is to ever be alone. For example, we have 3 dogs that live here and are great guard dogs. Hannah even calls one of them Simba because she thinks they all look like lions, haha. Fortunately they’ve warmed up to us quickly, though I have discovered they don’t like it when you’re up to early, such as for a morning run this morning. I got some great growls and wondered with good reason if they weren’t going to bite if I didn’t stay away. They have a good memory, though, and the sound of my calm voice is enough to keep them calm, though if I stop talking to them for even a brief moment, the growls running after me are quick to return. It is good to learn these things early, if for no other reason than to pass such advice on to the boys (Vixa and Clifford) who are very, very afraid of dogs and are to move here (cottage on same plot) sometime this week.
We also have lots of other creatures roaming about in the area, including some toads that seem to really like our house. At first they too surprised us, but now that we’ve found 5, I’m kind of getting used to them. We even have a method for getting rid of them, though there is no doubt they don’t like it. This morning I found one in the bathroom, and once he was safely outside and I closed the door, he stared at the window for a good 15 mintues, not moving. His first move? A pounce to try and get back in the house. Poor guy, I do kind of feel sorry for them!
My least favorite visitors, though, are the bugs. Lots and lots of mosquitos, so I’m grateful for my mosquito net, though there was one night that I killed a giant one inside the net. I’m not sure how he got in, but I just imagine him outsmarting the net was linked to his size. Older, more wisdom, right? I suppose if you really want something and work for it, anything is possible, ha. Also, I’m not sure if its some mosquitos or some other bug of sorts, but something out here keeps biting me and giving me allergic reactions. Its happened 3 times, resulting in large swells around the bite that do eventually go down in about 24hrs time. Not fun, pretty annoying, and yet somehow intriguing - I wonder what I’m allergic to?
These, friends, are the kinds of questions I find myself asking these days. Intriguing, right? Perhaps not. But I have appreciated this more relaxed time of settling into life out here. Next week our students arrive, and with each passing day, I’m also getting excited to get moving with this center we have talked so very much about. Life in Walkerville should not be reduced to life on the farm, afterall, for there is lots and lots of work awaiting us through SHADE and throughout Africa. I’m ready to get my hands dirty and see where God is taking us.