I love year end retrospectives.
As I glanced at our 2009 Year in (Re)View the other day I was astounded at how different 2010 has been. In 2009 we were jetting here and there and everywhere. We said hello and goodbye many times over to many good friends in Korea, Georgia, and Canada. It was an exciting year and full of anticipation for 2010.
2010 has been no less exciting but in a very different way. It has been exciting in the way that you never know what your day will be like when you wake up because you live in a country and setting that is so different from anything you have ever experienced that you just can’t wrap your head around what to expect. Sudan has changed and shaped us in ways that we can’t even tell yet.
Here it is:
The year started out snowy and cold in Saskatchewan and Manitoba visiting friends and family.
We were scheduled to leave for Nairobi at the end of the month but were delayed by a snowstorm that closed down the highways and prevented us from getting to the airport.
We arrived in Rumbek early in the month and settled into our little yellow house. We spent the first month in many meetings – learning how the Diocese operated and figuring out how to get around in Sudan.
saw us travelling – to Juba where we connected with the MCCers there and throughout the Diocese to get a better understanding of where the church is working.
In April we escaped the heat of Sudan (just in time because the heat was making me lose sleep and therefore making me a bit crazy) and went for MCC meetings in Nairobi. For a team-bonding-good-time we went to Nairobi National Park and looked for animals.
In May Joel went back to school in Zambia at the African Peacebuilding Institute. Meanwhile, I continued to lead mini-workshops to women’s groups and youth groups about finding peace in their communities.
At the beginning of June, with Joel still gone in Zambia, I was asked to give a homily in a Catholic church about Reconciliation. When Joel returned we continued travelling around the Diocese visiting and doing workshops. I spent my birthday on a bumpy, dusty road.
We spent 9 days in Ethiopia in July – eating wonderful food, drinking great coffee, visiting the dentist, getting to know some MCC Ethiopian people, and relaxing.
We started a two-month language class in August that kept us in Rumbek but gave us lots of field trips. We went to visit a traditional blacksmith, a local spiritual leader (who named our first-born son), and a cattle auction – complete with leashes ready to bring your new beauty home.
In September we visited a Cattle Camp where the youth proudly showed us their best cows.
October was a great month – we celebrated Thanksgiving and our anniversary with good friends and good food, we went on an amazing trip to western Kenya, and we spent time in Nairobi with the other members of MCC Sudan.
In November we participated in our and Mapourdit’s first marathon. It was 6km – the perfect length for a first marathon in Sudan heat. The whole community was involved and thought running around their village was a grand idea. The fact that it was to raise awareness about the upcoming referendum was nice too.
Most of December was spent nursing a broken leg. MCC Sudan also gathered at Brackenhurst in Kenya for a regional retreat and that was fun.
We’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – We have no idea what 2011 will look like. Because of the upcoming referendum in Sudan, which we will be watching from Kenya, we have no idea what our work will entail in the coming months. We have to wait and see. We also don’t know where in Rumbek we will be living. There are a lot of question marks but trust that life will work out, in some way or another, as it always does.