Well I have officially been at Jumpah for one week! And what a week it has been.
I’m going to be completely honest and say that it has been a really rough adjustment so far. I expected homesickness, but not to this degree. I expected stomach troubles, but not this soon. I expected loneliness, but not this bad. I’ve never experienced anything like this.
I enjoy working on the farm, and I always love learning a new culture. My living situation, while different from home, is fine. There is delicious fruit here, and playing with the resident children encourages me.
But this is much different from what I expected. I was told that most people here speak English, so I would likely not feel lonely or isolated. However, it turns out that the two women I work most with don’t speak any English. For me, the joy in ag is not just growing things but developing deep relationships with those I work alongside. Many of the staff speak a little English, but they eat separately from us and go home in the evenings. One of my main reasons for coming here was to be able to have spiritual conversations, but this has been difficult with the language barrier.
I don’t remember as much ag as I wish I did, but it is coming back and I am learning a lot just working on the farm. I can definitely see why a masters in program development is helpful, and grad school looks more and more appealing. That being said, I’m also realizing that it’s not so much what you do but how you do it and how you relate to the people around you that matters.
Expectations have been pretty unclear here, and without the missionaries on site we volunteers just kind of come up with our own jobs and tasks. Thankfully with ag I can learn simply by following the other farm workers around and joining them in their work. I love the other volunteers here, and they have provided much needed community. It will be hard when they leave for sure.
So that’s a little snapshot of the heart and mind of Anna. I know God is here with me, but it can be hard to feel his peace. So please be praying for God to give me peace and joy here, as only He can provide that through the Spirit. And pray for me to be patient with my adjustment here.