I guess my last post sounded more pathetic than I really felt.
Since then the dorm has quieted quite considerably, there is still noise and strange disturbances, like the young men that just brought us new desk chairs (who quickly quieted down when I told them my daughter was asleep in the room they were about to go into), but mostly we're at a more normal decible. The next morning we had several of our students ask if they were too noisy or what time that Emma went to bed.
Yesterday afternoon while I was cooking dinner I heard two students walk in the door and one said,
"I don't know, I just came to see Emma," it was a male student. He then picked her up and started carrying her around the room talking to her and showing her things. This is becoming a very frequent occurence.
I love it.
Yesterday I was preparing chicken pesto and turned around and almost fell over a student, they asked,
'Is there anything I can do to help?'
'Yeah, can you put the plates out?' This happens to me several times a meal.
I love it.
After a year of living with our parents and seeing their friends I felt like I kept hearing about how much this country was going to hell in a handbasket. After a week with these kids I'm thinking we're going to be okay. I have been exceedingly impressed with how helpful, kind, and thoughtful these students have been. I took the approach that they are adults and I wanted them to feel at home in the kitchen. They eat out of it without my help over the weekend, and if you are in a kitchen that is not your own chances are you will not feel comfortable enough to clean it. I want them to feel comfortable enough to clean it. So far I have not washed a dish.
I love it.
So on Monday I was trucking through the administrative building with a staff member, a car seat and Emma on our way to purchase food for the week and I heard from across the lobby,
"Lara!" Okay I don't know anybody in New England. Not a soul. People never pronounce my name correctly. You usually have to know me to get it right. I took a chance and stopped my march and turned around.
My friend Jane started running across the lobby towards me. I had taught at Rosslyn with her husband and she had doula'd the birth of Emma. Their second oldest was interviewing for admission into Gordon. Jane, her husband, Wes, and I chatted eagerly in the foyer for about a half an hour. They still live in Nairobi and gave me the lowdown on my old school, I told them how we were doing and where we were. I think through the magic of Facebook they knew quite a bit already.
Do you even know what that meant to me? I almost started crying about it later. To think that in this corner of the country where I feel anonymous and alone I ran into the woman who was there at the birth of my child. Almost like God was saying, 'Look I know you, I know where you are, and I will take care of you.'
I feel like this move has rocketed me out onto this peninsula above Boston, lovely it may be I know no one and I still fit like I stick out in a crowd. Or completely disapear. It will take awhile to find people that 'get' me. We have had several invites to dinner and I have had several good conversations with new people, but that depth of knowing takes awhile. I feel like I have been so 'everywhere' that there are few people who know and understand all my experiences. Running into friends from Africa helped me feel 'known.'
A great and lovely coincidence.