Three weeks from now I will be in Malawi starting the adventure of my lifetime, so far. The idea that I’ll soon be there is still so surreal that it sometimes shocks me to the point of gasping when I actually realize it. There is still so much to do. I’ve got to rent out my apartment, wire some money over, move money from ING to a regular bank account, cancel the phone and internet, pack, get medication, book a spot for an extra bag and who knows what else.
I am so amazed by the generosity of the people around me. The members of the Port Rowan Community Church of which my parents are members, have been very generous in supporting my orphans. My staff and the students at my school have also been incredible. I am still nervous because I’m taking a massive pay-cut and may lose a lot of money on the apartment but these donations certainly ease the pressure tremendously. I also have to say that the words of encouragement from unexpected people, like parents of former students, are incredibly comforting. I am feeling much fear and anxiety right now and the words of encouragement and praise help me realize that I have made the right decision.
One lesson I am slowly learning throughout this process is that I am, unfortunately, dispensable. My job has been filled. My replacement came yesterday and I know that “my” kids will soon fall in love with her.
Although some are very clingy now and say, “I don’t want a new teacher,” the reality is the new teacher will replace me in their hearts. The unselfish part of me thinks this is good but the selfish part feels a bit sad at the short term memory functioning of six year olds.
I am also learning about relationships and how different people respond to change in different ways. Some of my friends are going out of their way to be kind to me, even bringing me home-cooked lunches while others have been very critical and distant. I have definitely been very emotional.
I am now quite excited about the adventure. I can’t wait to really get to know Malawi and experience life there. I know it will be exciting, enriching and intriguing. I know it will also be lonely and scary at times. I feel so lucky to have the opportunity to follow this passion of mine and see where it takes me.
Thanks to all of you for your kind words and gestures.