Today I went to the bazaar with Cayla. Cayla is PLC’s family advocate, and married to PLC’s press secretary and communications guy. She is such a sweet, fun person and is so comfortable to be around. Also she’s a pro at going to the bazaar and knows where everything is. We took a bus to the bazaar, got there, found what we needed (me- heels and a skirt, her- produce, and a seam ripper for Jessica), took the bus back, and I went to work. The bazaar was so much fun, and every time is such a learning experience. I thank God that He’s prepared me for cultural changes by allowing me to travel previous to Iraq so that I wouldn’t be so weirded out by the crowds, the smells, the drivers, the beggars, and the language barriers. I also thank Him for sending people who make these transitions as trouble-free and uncomplicated as can be. It’s been easy to fall in the trap of not thanking God, I mean I’m in a country where my social freedoms have been extremely limited, but God is so good and all praise is His. I need to remember that He has given me SO MUCH MORE than not being able to wear shorts- He’s given me incredible brothers and sisters in Christ. He’s given me encouragement 100% of the way. He’s given me strength and taught me to rely on Him, and to trust that He will provide. I am so blessed, so thankful that my Father sent me here. I can’t wait to grow closer to Him. I love that one trip to the bazaar could remind me of all this
(In the evening we got some news, but I’ll write more on that later).
I woke up around 8:00am (which is the latest I’ve slept in here), left the house around 8:30 to catch a ride with Jessica, and worked until lunch (12:15ish). After lunch we went back to work. Yup that’s how interesting my days are. It probably reads really boring, but my days are really actually very exciting to me. They’re exciting because I am learning each day how to do something different and I’m experiencing new things. I never in a million years thought I’d be learning how to post blogs/ edit them in Iraq (actually I never thought I’d be learning it in general), but, so far, I’m enjoying it!
In the evening Jessica, her kids (Micah and Emma), Cody, Michelle and I went over to Awara (you’ll have to ask me about his story. It’s way too awesome to blog about) and his wife’s house for dinner. It was an enjoyable meal of who knows what (rice in folded leaves?, onions, and fermented milk). During the meal we talked very little, because a Korean soap opera was on. OH MY GOODNESS they love their Korean soap operas here. I really feel at home in Iraq- the weather is similar to Albuquerque (it will get much hotter here soon though), the scenery is brown, and now Korean soap operas. Awara said that Korean soap operas were good because some of them reflect what’s going on in the government now, and that Koreans are respectful. Perhaps the most respectful people group besides the Kurds. I don’t know if ya’ll have watched any Korean soap operas, but I have no idea how he got all of that from a soap opera based hundreds of years ago. Awara is a pretty interesting man. He could be living in a huge mansion right now; he could be driving the most expensive cars, and he could have bodyguards around he 24/7, but he choses to live simple. His desire is to serve God and help the helpless. I’ve learned a lot these past few days, but something I know that will stick with me forever is how this man’s greatest yearning in life is to be a servant and how much I need to want that too.