I've been under a lot of pressure the past few weeks and it's showing in my stats. I've been AWOL from Spark, too. I hardly noticed that I was Firecracker of the Day last week! Thank you to all that sent greetings and goodies. Every bit of encouragement has been appreciated!
Last weekend, I temporarily moved out of my apartment so that painters could come in and redo my kitchen and living room. I also tossed all the kitchen furnishings and appliances except one small table, as well as most of the furniture in the living room. What's left? the big desk, the small desk, the recammiere and three Ikea bookshelves.
I'm not one to ask for help, so coordinating the packing and not-really-moving-but-almost-w
orse project was difficult. I hired one of my Bible school students who is in need of funds, a couple of neighbors and some of the refugee/immigrants who I tutor in German also helped out. It got done. We packed some 60 boxes which are all stashed in the hallway and in the cellar under the stairs. We totally cleared out and reorganized my cellar storage to accommodate some of the boxes.
Along the way, I decluttered a ton of stuff - piles of paper, old cassette tapes (about 3 boxes of them!), floppy disks, and 3 defunct laptops, etc., etc. Such a fantastic feeling to release all that junk! but also an exhausting process, emotionally and otherwise. I only cried twice, though.
In the midst of all this, I came down with a cold, aggravated by the dust stirred up with the packing process. I was supposed to be preparing for a two-week course teaching intercultural communication. I was just too overwhelmed and sick to be able to concentrate fully. I'm in the middle of that course now and have seldom felt so unprepared! But it is what it is and I'm doing my best. My students have been very understanding when I've had to spend extra time searching my notes! In spite of my shortcomings, God is blessing us with some good insights and discussions. It's one of my favorite subjects to teach.
I also learned that - yay! - I'll be going back to Africa next year! Unexpectedly, I was asked to go to Togo for a one-week teaching assignment. I'll also spend most of the summer in Kenya at the Bible school where I taught in August, 2018. The courses in Kenya will be new preparations so I have my work cut out for me in the new year. VERY EXCITED about these opportunities. I'm seeing God answering prayers that I've been praying for some 20 years. Since I go freelance from the language school in January, I'll be free to travel.
Meanwhile, back at the apartment, I'll be without a kitchen till mid-January. It's a good thing my parents took us camping when we were kids! I'll have little trouble as long as I have my microwave and electric tea kettle. Sorry it wasn't possible to get the new kitchen installed before Christmas, but I'm looking forward to having some kind of housewarming party when it's done. The kitchenless phase may not be the best for my eating plan, but I'll work out some strategies so I don't gain. The naked kitchen, pre-new wallpaper.
I won't have a lot of time to enjoy the "new" digs before I fly to the States for a month at the end of January. Then, when I come back in will be Togo time!