Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Trying to remain calm

I almost posted a blog last night called 1000 things I hate about this place. But then I decided that a blog full of vitriol and sarcasm was probably not the kindest gift to the world at large. I'm increasingly finding it hard to calmly accept the many frustrations of life here, especially as so many of them are completely unneccesary. Simply a case of lack of consideration, competence or honesty. Yesterday morning Mr B spent 2 hours in town, and the kids and I rescheduled our plans, so that we could get to a bank to pick up money and then deliver Mr B to the garage to pick up his car and pay for the work, which, we had been told, was now complete. Except that it turns out it wasn't... So why? Why was he told it was ready when it wasn't? Was there any logic to that at all? I don't know.

The thing that is really getting me down is that it is now 16 days till the kids and I are booked on a flight to the UK for 4 weeks of R&R, visiting friends and family including a new neice and new baby of best friend, enjoying 'civilization' and great British treats like real sweetie shops, heated swimming pools, walks in the English countryside and, for me, 4 days free of the duties of motherhood, singing with old University friends..... except that at the moment we cannot go, and unless the inexorable process of re-instating Mr B's work permit and then getting the correct stamps on our passports manages to happen in the next 15 days, we will not be going.

I have days when all I want to do is jump up and down and scream and curse everything Tanzanian (okay, to be completely honest, I have had times when I have just about done that).... Except that, when I think about it, I realise that everyone else here has to deal with the same frustrations, and many Tanzanians have to deal with so much more. What is a couple of wasted hours driving round town compared to not having anything to feed your kids today? What is missing out on a welcome break back home compared to being dragged before the police by a relative who has beaten up your kids and now claims that you were the one at fault, knowing that the whole long and sorry process you are now in for has little to do with justice and truth and far more to do with who knows who and who is paying whom (one of my Tanzanian friends is going through this at the moment). In reality, of course, we lead an immensely priveleged existence here. It doesn't protect us from all the big and little hassles of life, but whatever else is happening, we do have a spacious and comfortable home to come back to, cupboards stocked with food and a family untroubled by disease, unemployment or abuse.

Reminder to self - next time you are about to leap about and curse, count your blessings and try to restore normal blood pressure.


  1. I am amazed your blogs have been so upbeat through all th edifficulties you have faced sine that fateful day. Your strength has been an amazing witness.
    You are upheld in prayer often please be assured of that, many people back here love you and care for you and are praying for you,, that though is nothing compared with how much God himself loves and cares for you and wants only good gifts for you.
    A favourite verse of mine is in Romans 8v18
    Our present sufferings are not worth comparing to the glory that will be revealed in us,

    Love and hugs

  2. Thank you Tina. I appreciate your prayers and encouragement, and the reminder of the love and hope we have in God. God bless you and your family in all of your difficult times too!

  3. It's normal to feel frustrated and although it's admirable to count your blessings, you've had an awful lot of stressful things happen. You're both just wanting to do what's best for your family but (off the top of my head) being imprisoned and things weren't really on your wish list when you moved out there. I hope you get to visit but, if not, I hope the rest of the year is less challenging. We must catch up either way.