Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving in Chad was pretty great.

Today was day two at the hospital. So far, pretty much all I've done is follow on rounds and such, trying very hard to learn people's names, understand a little bit of French, and learn a few new words, if I'm lucky. There's lots of patients with malaria and typhoid, some with cancer, some with abscesses and infections of various kinds. And other things, of course. Like surgery patients, and maternity patients, and things like that. Lots of skinny kids, too. They're sure cute, though.

One of my new favorite songs has a line that says "I need to know I can be lost, and not afraid." You could argue that I can't possibly be lost, because God opened the doors for me to come here, and he is with me, and therefore I am anything but lost. And that is true, of course. But some other things are also true. Like the fact that I feel pretty lost here at this point. Because really... I'm in a totally new place, with new people, a new culture, new languages, new food, a new climate, new ways of doing things, and a new approach to nursing.

Definitely the biggest "new" for me right now that the language situation. It's pretty crazy. I'm realizing that I've taken talking for granted all my life. This is quite startling, in fact, that I might be an extrovert by the time I get home just because I'm so thankful to be able to talk to people. Just to be clear, there are people here who speak English. But there's a whole lot more who speak French, Arabic, Nangéré, and a whole lot of other local languages. And a good number of people here speak multiple of them. It really made me wonder what I've done with my life when a 12ish year old told me that he speaks five languages. What.

As a side note, if I ever learn to read Arabic, I think I will feel like I have achieved a significant accomplishment. Look it up. It's super beautiful. I think reading would be even more enjoyable than it already is if the words were gorgeous like that.

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