It has been almost two weeks since my internship began… and I am just now getting a chance to post on this site! It has been a bit of a journey getting internet access but I think that things will have worked themselves out in a couple of days and I will ( hopefully) be able to keep things up to date. And now… some thoughts on internship.
When we first arrived, I felt completely lost. It was as if I was once again an infant, possessing no understanding for what I was hearing and seeing. I had no frame of reference for direction, language, eating, dressing, bathing, sleeping, etc. I didn’t know what was expected or how to meet such expectations. At home, I knew the rules of society, the etiquette, the right processes. Here, I was left without any sense of what was appropriate and what wasn’t.
It was a humbling experience to be sure. Feeling stripped of every bearing, I quickly rediscovered my need for the Son as my anchor. I don’t understand how it can be done without Him. It is knowing Him that kept my emotions from getting out of control. It was only remembering and focusing on His steadfastness that kept me sane. However, do not fear that I am on the verge of a mental breakdown! For it has been out of this very place of weakness that the Father has been dealing with my pride and false sense of security. For having been made so weak, I find myself reaching out to grasp true strength. It is my very sense of inadequacy that makes Him able to work in me.
Life here is very different than life back home in Florida. From taking taxis to taking cold showers, the list goes on and on. Things that didn’t require much thought suddenly become overwhelming. At home, I could navigate Wal-Mart in my sleep. Here, I walk into Hypermart ( kind of like a Wal-Mart) and have no idea as to where to find what I need. I think that one of the moments where the realization of how great the changes were occurred to me while buying bed sheets.
On our second day here we traveled to Hypermart to purchase bed sheets. Finding the correct aisle was the easy part. When I started to look for single size sheets, I discovered that they were not marked as ‘single’ or ‘twin’ but by number ‘100 x 200’ and ‘190 x 200.’ I had no idea what size my bed was! I finally decided to get the smallest size I could find, which turned out to be a little big for my bed. As I pulled the sheets from the rack I glanced at the price: 32,000. How much was that? I stood there for several minutes trying to calculate… “ $1.00 US equals about 9,000… or a little more…” Finally, I just took the sheets, grabbed a pillow (not caring what it cost) and proceeded to the cash register. I paid for my things without knowing what they cost and determined to figure it out when I got back to our house. It seems silly, but it felt like such a big deal at the time. Back in Fort Myers, I would have been put out if I couldn’t find sheets in the right thread count and color on sale. Here, I just had to make the best guess as to which ones were the right size!
However, I am adjusting. I still feel as though I am in over my head but I am beginning to realize that I am becoming more and more familiar with the culture and language. I cannot say that I feel confident, but I feel more confident than I did a week ago. I am not at home yet, but this place is becoming more and more like home with each passing day. I struggle with the language. It does not come so naturally to me as it does to others. However, I think that I am growing in my understanding. I have felt discouraged because I cannot hold a conversation. Yet, I am able to hear and understand many words and I am doing my best to learn to speak them. And for all of my feelings of discouragement over my linguistic failures, I have only been here a week. Did I really think that I would be fluent in so little time? No! As I am writing this, I am actually pleased with my progress. With hard work and much practice, I might actually be able to carry on a conversation before I know it!