Sorting it Out

“We’ll sort it out” is one of the favorite, often used expressions used in Swaziland. I realized this morning that this phrase describes perfectly what I have been doing since coming back to Swaziland. It has been a rough re-entry back into Swaziland this year. I think one of the reasons is that I came back pretty tired from the last couple of weeks in the U.S. and then Christopher, Jen and I spent basically a week driving around South Africa and Swaziland before they had to leave. We only had two days in Swaziland and in those two days I was completely overwhelmed with all of the updates on needs and things that couldn’t be resolved for one reason or another while I was in the U.S. I was emotionally and physically drained at the end of those two days in Swaziland.

Another reason was that there were several things that needed to be sorted out and unfortunately, they continue to need sorting out. There are a lot of changes going on this year (more on that sometime in the future). Between the needs and the changes I had a brief little melt down and then remembered that I don’t have to know how things will be sorted out, that is God’s job. Returning my focus on the Lord I was able loose the panic and feel the peace and then I started making sure I got some rest, started eating better, and focused on taking on one thing at a time. There is still much to be sorted out, but I am remembering the words “Kancane, Kancane” (Siswati for bit by bit.)

Most of the programs kept going while I was gone. Thoko managed Lutsandvo Lwa Krestu and with the help of Thini, Gladys and Dumsile where able to get the kids to Baylor at RFM in Manzini each month for their monthly medication. The other issues with the kids we will tackle as we can.

One of the issues I am trying to sort out is my vehicle. It is unsafe to drive very far so it is limiting what I can do. (Richard in South Africa loaned me his truck while Christopher and Jen were here so we didn’t have to deal with my car.) On Monday, 3-15 I took it to a mechanic I used last year. He said the upper control arms on each side needed to be replaced. I replaced them one year ago. The owner of the service shop called the parts store and was assured they had them but that they needed to see the vehicle to make sure they ordered the correct part. So I slowly and carefully drove to Mbabane to get the parts. Clearly the people that came out to look at the car didn’t have a clue what they were looking at. So I bought what they assured me was the correct part. I took it back to the mechanic and got a ride from a friend (Julie) back to Manzini. Early Tuesday morning the owner of the shop called me again and said the part was wrong. It was too short. He wanted me to go back to the parts store and take the old part with me to exchange it. I told him I didn’t have transport so he had his receptionist drive to pick me up, and then he let me use his vehicle to drive to Mbabane and get the correct part. After much discussion and many phone calls it was determined that parts stock was marked with the wrong part number. They thought they had the issue solved and ordered the part again to be here the next day. So, Wednesday, which is my bible study day, I had to “make a plan” (another favorite Swazi saying) to go get the part. I had a great plan. Julie said she’d give me a ride to bible study which is about half-way to Mbabane. Then I would get a ride to Mbabane after bible study with another woman who lives in Mbabane (Monica). I’d get the correct part and then hitch a ride back to the auto repair shop to drop off the part and then to Manzini with yet another friend from Bible Study (Jacci) that was going to be coming to St. Paul’s to have a meeting. The plan almost worked – except we forgot about the lunch hour which made it too late for Jacci to be to her meeting on time. But at the last minute, as I’m beginning to panic, Jacci remembered that yet another woman from bible study (Jodi) who lives in Manzini was going to have lunch in Mbabane and SKYPE her mom. So I called Jodi and she was more than willing to bring me back to Manzini after I exchanged the part. So, after waiting for the parts store to open up again after lunch, we discovered that the incorrect part was shipped again. Obviously I wasn’t a happy camper but neither were they. The owner of the store was really angry and did his best to try and figure out what the problem was. He also called several of his suppliers and asked them to go physically check their parts to find the longer one for the Honda CRV. I was getting concerned that I was holding Jodi up, so he told me to go and that he would call me back in 30 minutes and tell me for sure if one of the two vendors who said they had them, actually did have the correct one. Of course the longer ones were more expensive, but he was also trying to get me a lower price. I of course could have cared less at this point about the cost. I just wanted the parts, but I did appreciate his efforts. So I walked a couple of blocks to where Jodi was. As it turned out, Jodi wasn’t getting as much done on the internet as she had hoped because her 5 ½ month old baby wasn’t cooperating. So I was able to help her out by taking her sweet baby girl and walking her around while her mom did what she needed to do on the internet. What she thought was a blessing to her was really a huge blessing to me. The baby and I had a great long talk about cars, parts, life in Swaziland, mommas, daddies, grandmas, babies and we prayed about all of those topics and we sang. She just kept chewing on her fingers and looking at everything all around her. All my troubles melted away while I was holding, patting and kissing that sweet baby girl. Her mom was able to finish and she even took me to the grocery store so I could get some food to hold me over for a few more days. The parts guy called as promised and said he can get me the correct part but it won’t arrive until Friday. So now I have to make another plan to go get the part and take it to the mechanic on Friday. This scheme will be a bit more difficult to organize.

All that ends well is well. Right? Well not quite. All ended well, but when I got home I discovered that I have no water. Not even any in the toilet tank so that means there had been no water since the morning when I last flushed the toilet just before I left for Bible Study. It’s now Thursday evening and I still don’t have any water. Ah, such is life in Swaziland. And so the challenge of reacting to all of life’s problems, big and small, in a Christian manner with the light and peace of Christ showing though continues. But the good news is, now I don’t have to worry about what am I going to do first, second or third. I’m limited to what I can do from my little place at St. Paul’s without transport or water which means I can catch up on my blogs, e-mails and other paperwork. See? Life is always full of little blessings. We just have to look for them every moment of every day.