Be Silent, Be still

Today, I gave an English lesson. They knew I had a TEFL certificate, but I haven’t actually prepared a lesson in four years. Thankfully, they don’t know a lot of English, so I think it went rather well. Haha

In the afternoon, I played with the campus staff’s kids which happens to be all boys. I learned how to play rugby and cricket.  Since I am competitive, it was actually a lot of fun, and my teammates, Timon and Simeon, and I dominated the field.  I wore jeans and was sweating perfusely.  I’m not really sure what type of work out clothes to wear here. I can’t wear shorts or stretchy pants, so that rules out my whole gym wardrobe… I need to look into this.

I ate pizza at Spencer’s house and got to meet his wife.  She shared stories with me from India.  They are both originally from South Africa and lived in India for 16 years.  Karyn opened a safe house to get women out of human trafficking there.  She was in the process of opening another one when the Indian government would not allow them to renew their visas.  After trying everything, they took it as a sign that door had closed and moved back to South Africa with their three sons.  Her stories were so inspirational and made me want to visit there.  I will be adding that to my endless list of destinations to explore.

Eben informed me this evening that I will be sharing briefly with the students tomorrow morning about what I’m doing here…. Good question, I thought to myself.  Let’s see: I’m lost in my life, felt complacent, and was about to explode, so I decided to run away to Africa to help people with their problems there to somehow gain clarity and fix mine.  That brief enough? Instead, I said to him, “I’m just here to help wherever you place me, and the community needs it.”

“You’re welcome to preach a whole sermon if you’d like,” he replied.”Five minutes is good.”

Peaceful walks by the campus.

Peaceful walks by the campus.

So, I have quite a bit of downtime in the evenings to relax.  The wifi here is very fickle and only lets me connect to the internet browser and email.  I don’t have a power cord adapter (apparently my international adapter isn’t for Africa), and I’m trying to limit my battery usage until I can get one.  This leaves me with my journal, one book, and my thoughts.  Coincidence? I think not.

Meditating is something I’ve never been good at. And silence? Forget about it.  I listen to music constantly.  At home I even listen to an Ocean Waves Pandora station at night. After hearing a sermon on be quiet with ourselves and God, this is something I’ve been longing to do.  It’s a little different when you have no choice.  I guess this will give me plenty of time to practice (and think about my 5 minute speech tomorrow).  I think being in silence is healthy and needed to reconnect with ourselves.  Thomas Merton touches on this topic:

“Silence makes us whole if we let it.  Silence helps draw together the scattered and dissipated energies of a fragmented existence.”
“Only silence can reach that dimension of reality that is too deep for words.”

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