Today, after I had finished all my clothes and sheet washing and after I had gone into town to buy phone credit and veggie fajita supplies, I was sitting by my window and I just watched the most delicious thunderstorm roll in. Above me and to the West it was still blue skies and white fluffy clouds but coming quickly in with the strong breeze were the most wonderful dark, heavy looking clouds. Here, rain is such a welcome change. The rainy season is my favorite (even though, granted, I've really only had one other to compare it to). BUT especially out East, where it's so hot and the sun is so strong that you just bake within minutes, the rain is the most exciting thing for me. It makes the temperature bearable and I can sleep to the rain dripping off the corrugated tin roof. It also means there's no pressure to go outside...because they all stay in anyway. It's the perfect excuse for tea and a book, even more so than in the states. Here, any time I stay in, it comes with a fair bit of guilt. I should be out greeting people. I should be out learning kinyarwanda. I should be doing a lot of things, but those things are exhausting and there are only so many times a day or week when you can pluck up enough everything to go out and face the confusion...but when it rains...no excuses necessary, enjoy your book.
With the rain came other good omens, granted, it was yesterday when I had this overwhelming feeling of good. (It was, of course, right after an overwhelming feeling of "what am i doing here?" "is this work enough to keep me here?") But I was working with these local women that are starting up a small handicrafts association and I was offering suggestions on the stake the women can play in the creation of it. Previously, most of the heavy thinking and logistics were being take care of by the nun whose idea it was. When I was talking with her about how the women would invest more in the work and everything about the association if they had more of a hand in creating it, I realized, this is what I'm here for. There has been some purpose to my training. I do have useful skills for them just by the nature of how we live our lives in the states. Seemingly unrelated experiences have contributed into this person that can be an agent of change and help these people live better lives. The best part is, you let them do the work, that's the point. I already know the things I'm trying to teach, and it's not like teaching English. That can be very one-sided. Here, they are learning things they can pass on and furthermore, they are learning things by doing them themselves, by making mistakes, by trying. I feel like maybe that's the biggest mistake you can make in development and it's sooooo tempting just to be like, "here, lemme show you" or "here, lemme do it." But we didn't learn like that and neither can they. It's certainly more difficult but infinitely more rewarding. None of this has even happened yet, but just imagining it happening with these women was enough to make me unbelievably excited and hopeful and motivated. So yay for that and yay for rain!