My class at language school finished book 2. So we had 3 days of tests–3 written and an oral test. I don’t have my score yet for the last one, but we all did pretty well and the teachers and director of the school were all pleased with us. These were the first Arabic tests I had, and it’s nice to sort of see actual grades and marks to gauge how I’m going with language.
I mentioned before that though I’ve been sort of stressed and overwhelmed the last few weeks, that my time at the centers has been one of the things I enjoy the most and is probably the least stress inducing part of my day. Which is awesome. I think that in large part has to do with the fact that I have enough Arabic now to really sit and chat for a long period of time with the boys. I think a big part of the stress of being there in the beginning was not being able to communicate effectively or joke or chat, which led to sitting there feeling kind of lonely and out of the loop and stupid a good part of the time. Having language has helped immensely, and not just my confidence. I can also figure out what is going on, lead programs on my own, and join in the lunchtime dialogues. Being there is less stressful and mentally draining than it was in the beginning. I still feel awkward sometimes, but really my time at the centers is generally the highlight of my day. At both of the centers the boys and some of the staff call me their sister. The director of the older boys centre fancies himself as my father here. I’m happy to be another one of his daughters. I feel like a part of the centre family and that feels fantastic.
There is also a girl from the States here visiting for 2 months. Getting a taste of what life is like here before she goes to grad school to see if this is a place she would like to be. Earlier this week I wrote her down some survival Arabic, and took her on two bus routes. Showed her the hand signs, landmarks, things to look for and be aware of. Cultural tidbits. That was totally me a year ago and it is so encouraging to look back and see how far I’ve come. I remember the anxiety of taking the bus by myself for the first few weeks. Feeling unsure of myself and knowing I would be totally helpless if I got lost. It’s more or less a piece of cake now. And that is pretty incredible to me.
Still dealing with some immense frustrations at present. Mostly related to our house having problem after problem. None of which are easy fixes. But at least some things are going right. If I didn’t love and feel invested in the work with the boys it would be hard for any of this to feel worth it. So I’m thankful that God doesn’t give us more than we can handle and that he fuels our souls and hearts always in the most perfect and timely ways.