Gratitude: Finding peace

This week was a stress-filled mess. I had wanted to change things up and spend two days and a night at Hlane to see wildlife and take a relaxing break with nature. But like the wise, old, kung fu master in Kung Fu Panda says, there are no accidents.

It’s good that I had little scheduled for this week so that I could be as flexible as I could when all the punches – both good and bad – were thrown my way.

On Sunday, a fellow PCV spent the night at my homestead so she could be a short ride away from the girls’ camp that was this past week and next week. On Monday morning, I went with her to the school so that I could fill some time and help get everything organized before camp started. This was not to be because as I was retrieving my friend’s bag from the front of the khumbi, the front passenger door of the khumbi closed on my left fingers. Nothing broke, bled, fractured, or dislocated, but I spent the week with my hand bandaged, and this is the first time I have tried using my hand this week. It hurts.

So I postponed going to Hlane until Friday and spent Monday and Tuesday trying to not use my hand while entertaining my littlest bhuti who is visiting with his brother for the week. While he’s darling and makes me laugh, he touches everything, tries to put everything in his mouth, constantly asks me for cake, and loves turning things on and off, all of which cause me stress.

The Peace Corps doctor decided I should go in to the office on Wednesday so she could inspect my hand. While there I mentioned I had a headache for an extended period of time, and that medication wasn’t helping it. I would have to return another day for a vision screening to see if that was the cause of the headaches.

The stress and flexibility continued Thursday as I was supposed to have a visitor from the office. She arrived a few hours late because she was in a car accident in the morning [she was uninjured], which led me to canceling my eye exam and rescheduling for Friday and postponing Hlane again.

This allowed me to say yes when a new friend asked to meet me as he unexpectedly had the day off. This turned out to be the redeeming moment of the week I needed and happily exchanged Hlane for a slow morning of drinking coffee and chatting about things other than Peace Corps. I left feeling at peace and continued with my tasks for the day.

And today, although I could have tried squeezing Hlane in today and tomorrow, it turns out it was another good day to stay home and remember the peace I found the day before. I’ll be able to bake birthday cakes for two siblings who are unexpectedly at home today, and one of them brought two of his children with him. While I have been writing this, I have tuned out the four little boys that have been noisily playing behind me and I will soon bake the cakes with two of my bosisi.

*I am a especially grateful this week for one sisi who washed my dishes and another sisi who washed my clothes while my left hand was out of order.

Baking for the week

  • Chocolate chip cookies
  • Carrot cake for my sisi’s birthday
  • Chocolate cake for my bhuti’s birthday

Media for the week

  • I read more Rumi and Alexander Hamilton. There hasn’t been much time for reading.
  • I watched some random YouTube videos I had saved on my hard drive so they could be deleted to free up space.
  • The kids and I have watched The Lion King, Toy Story, The Incredibles, Kung Fu Panda, and Kung Fu Panda 2.
  • I’ve been listening to my mix of Swazi music, The Head and the Heart, and Alabama Shakes.
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