I fear that sometimes I portray myself as I want you to see me rather than the basket-case that I actually am. So in the spirit of transparency…
This is the real me and the hot mess which is my life.
My time away, be it ever-so-brief, was terrific. But as I made the physical transition from the mountains of Muramvya to the valley of Bujumbura, my emotions decided to tag along. And all too quickly, my soul has descended the mountain top to rest in the valley.
The soul forgets too easily.
In the mountains, my soul was restful. Upon returning, restful became restless…
- Calm became agitated
- Energetic became fatigued
- Tranquil became troubled
- Inspired became indifferent
My first task back in Buja was to finish the signage I’ve been working on for the Amahoro shop. Great plan. Excited to check it off my list.
But then, I dumped a bucket of paint down the front of me and all over the pavement.
A full bucket of oil-based paint.
Black, oil-based paint.
I didn’t get to paint the sign. Shocker, I know.
Instead, I sat in my puddle of black, oil-based paint waiting for someone to bring the only type of remover available in Burundi—petrol, a.k.a. gasoline.
I didn’t sit for long. My impatience—magnified by the midday sun—got the best of me. Alongside one of the Amahoro women, I attempted to clean up the mess with water. Fail.
+ For my skin and clothes, water was useless.
+ For the pavement, water was disastrous. The damage spread like juicy gossip and soon the whole patio was coated in a film of black, oily, watery paint.
Rather than cause any further destruction, I resumed my position, perched on a small rock and roasting in the heat, waiting for petrol.
As the evidence of my oil spill increased, so did my bad attitude.
To be candid, I’m spent. I feel defeated. And GROUCHY.
I feel like God is being unfair, asking too much of me.
Wasn’t 9 months in Congo enough? Was I out of my mind when I followed His call to Burundi rather than return to America? Will I even have enough energy to make an impact at Amahoro?
- I miss my family and friends. I miss my church.
- I miss Milwaukee, discovering new music, and high-speed internet.
- I miss electricity, Alterra coffee, a postal service, and hot showers.
- I miss chocolate and Sherwin Williams water-soluble paint.
In the midst of my pity party, I am ashamed. On multiple levels.
+ I loathe that the aforementioned list contains mostly material items.
+ I’m alarmed that my paint-spill fiasco roused a spirit of bitterness rather than humor.
+ I’m embarrassed as I type these thoughts, considering they will soon be irrelevant as I return home in a mere 5 weeks.
+ I feel guilty complaining, knowing that my lot in life has been exponentially easier than so many.
In a nutshell, that’s where I’m at. That’s the real me. A broken, hot mess who is crying over spilled milk.