I never, ever thought I would be living in a Muslim country; that I would be learning Arabic of all languages, that I would be in a place where I wear a headscarf most of the time so that I am not looked at as a woman of impropriety, that I would be in a place where I am awakened (early) every morning by the call to prayer being blared by the nearby mosque every morning. And I chose a darn interesting time in history to be here too. With the South seceding this summer, the political situation here and in surrounding countries, talk of sharia law…it is an interesting time indeed. One in which no one can really guess what is going to happen.
Of all times in my life, this would be a good one to start freaking out a little bit. I am in a brand new, very unfamiliar (and seemingly impossible?) city to figure out. A public transportation system involving hand signals that I need to learn, no friends yet, and in a culture that is by leaps and bounds very, very different from my own. I am living next to a desert, in the most dusty place I can imagine, with no backyard…and really not much of anything else that I could call familiar.
But I have this…I don’t know what to call it. It feels like a quiet confidence almost, that all is most well, that this is where God ordained my steps, that I am here for something. I can’t explain it, and I almost can’t believe it. If you saw the place maybe you would understand. It is a landscape that is harsh, dry, and kind of intimidating. I know I am only starting to scratch the surface of all of this. I know that many things are going to work against me while I am here. I know that there are many tough roads ahead–many involving discomfort, feeling dumb, and uncomfortable, and awkward, and getting things wrong. Lord knows what else. But I am happy to feel at peace, though not settled…yet. But this is home for awhile and I am happy. I am sure it will take all of the next 2 years to feel like I have any sort of idea about how to do anything, but I am looking forward to that point.
First impressions and such to come. To be honest my head is kind of swimming in the newness of everything and the mental exhaustion is kind of taking a physical toll as well. Stepping out a little more into the deep everyday instead of diving in headfirst…that seems the way to go.