Today was one of the hardest and one of the best of the trip so far. This morning I visited with some ladies that make the porridge for Ray of Light preschool. I honestly enjoyed learning more about them, but I really struggled. I struggle with "visiting" and chatting, not exactly my forte. God challenges me continually about this facet of my personality. I hate being shy and quiet and reserved. It sucks. But, at the same time - He allowed this trait, this weakness, to be a part of my makeup. Accepting my shyness has always been a struggle, but this week I smashed into a wall... I sat there talking with V, J, and V desperately trying to think of questions or how to make my responses longer. Small talk is hard enough, but throw in a different language and culture, makes it practically impossible for me! I felt as if my translator was so frustrated with me that I kept letting the conversation die. It was so awkward and I just kept getting more and more discouraged and frustrated. Which in turns makes me more quiet and at a loss for words. Finally, V decided we could go to the preschool across the way. As I walked into the schoolyard the children mobbed me - which is both exhilarating and a little disconcerting as they fight to touch and hold onto me. The teachers just watch me not looking exactly friendly (remember this is through the lens of my self-induced pity party). the rest of the story is more of the same, so I'll skip the gory details. When i finally saw Val's face peek over the classroom wall I almost started crying in relief.

Onto one of the best times from this trip... this afternoon Sue and I taught some baking to a bunch of teens and a few adults that tagged along. We made banana bread. For me - the baking part didn't make any difference. But, I knew my role and my audience was an age-group I feel very comfortable around. And I knew a lot about the subject matter... and I got to teach. So, anyways - we made a bunch of banana bread muffins. I won't go into all the details, but it was an adventure. I had a blast and we only burned about half of the muffins.

This evening... well, that is a post for another day. Or maybe you will just have to come to Mozambique and experience it for yourself.


Patti Cheney said...

Hey guys! Love your updates! Can feel the passion / exhaustion / exhiliration in your written words! We are praying for you! Take in as much as you can! You will never forget your time there! And you will never be the same. PTL!

Love you both! - Patti & Randy

Mere said...

Every day, I continue to lift you all up in prayer. I understand your struggle to open up to those whom you dont know, but God really likes to put us outside our comfort zones.

So stretch and learn.

Stacy Mariano said...

I feel your pain Shanna. Even though I don't come across as neccesarily shy, small talk is very hard and uncomfortable for me.

I'll pray that God will continue to grow you and stretch you.

Remember that God made you with shyness as a part of your personality. He knows what He's doing, so I'm certain that He will use your shyness to bless someone as well.

Dana Bea said...

It is amazing how banana bread muffins even burnt ones make communicating so much easier!! Remember those ladies are just teens with more life experience in older bodies!! Love you!! MOM

Mr. Mitchell said...

Small talk. Eeek!
Teaching. Yippee!