My old USA/Texas/Washington/Kentucky home…
“How was your shower?” It’s a question that we ask of each other every day in Rwanda. The answer is never the same as the day before: “So-so,” “The city water went off in the middle,” “Cold,” “Somebody turned off the pump,” “It took forever to heat up,” “Good pressure,” “Perfect.” In America we’ve continued to ask the question but it’s a hollow question because the answer is certain. The showers are always good.
Our African life is peppered with uncertainty and we’ve become used to it. From things as tiny as a shower to things as important as textbooks in the classroom, we’ve come to expect irregularity. We treat our world with the utmost flexibility. The surprising thing, as we visit the States, is how uncomfortable that lifestyle appears to people. Our stories provoke pity instead of faith, apologies instead of adventure. People want to help us “fix” our uncertain world.
We attended the funeral for Robin’s great-grandmother last week in Kentucky. It was not something that we had planned for when we packed for this holiday, so thank goodness for father/son hand-me-down suits. The whole situation was another reminder that flexibility is required on every continent. Nothing can be “fixed,” only experienced.