Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Gratitude Makes All the Difference

It's been one of those days.

It actually started yesterday, when my healthy young laptop suddenly decided to stop working.  Since I am heavily dependent on my computer, I knew that I would need to take it in immediately today to get fixed.

Unfortunately, there is only one computer store in the entire city of Dar es Salaam that will honor my HP warranty.  And even though it is less than 10 miles away, I dreaded the drive.  I knew it would take at least an hour each way, which wasn't really how I planned to spend my Wednesday.

It was raining this morning.  That usually means torture for anyone who wants to drive to town, but I assured myself that we are only in the "short rains" rainy season and these days it only rains for fifteen minutes at a time.  About a hour after I left the house, I knew I was in trouble.  This wasn't just rain, this was African Rain.  The voice from Google Maps politely told me, You will reach your destination in one minute.  Uh, I don't think so, I said back to her (not so politely).  Your satellite up there doesn't see that the road in front of me is actually now a river.  

So I turned around and went up and down and back again and got to my destination a different way.  I trudged through the rain, up the stairs to the computer shop.....only to see a note on the door telling me they had another location deep downtown.

Two hours after I left my house, I finally reached my destination.  It was in a new mall I hadn't visited before.  Because of the rain, the power was off, and I asked three people for directions before I finally found the shop in a very dark, back corner.

I then sat. Without power, they couldn't register my computer or look up the warranty.  A half hour later, the power finally came on.  Not looking forward to making this journey again, I hopefully asked the receptionist, Can't I just wait for the technician to just...fix it right now?   She stared at me unblinking.  No, we'll have to order the part from the Netherlands. It will take two or three weeks.   

Yeah, that's what I figured.  Sigh.

So I trudged down the stairs and back to my car to begin the arduous trip back home.  I fretted about the few (thankfully not many) documents that were now lost in cyber space and would have to be re-created.  I inwardly whined about the inconvenience of the rain and the traffic and computer shop moving locations.

I was tempted to justify throwing myself a nice big pity party.  But being the day before Thanksgiving, I would have felt guilty.  You know, like being grumpy on Christmas.

So on the long drive home, I looked for ways to be thankful.  It really wasn't hard.  I'm thankful that I'm in this car, instead of in that wheelchair, begging for money in the rain.  Or trying to sell soggy boxes of Kleenex to people driving by.  I'm thankful that I own a computer, for the warranty, and that I can use Gil's until I get it back.  That I can come home to a house that doesn't leak, and I have no fear of it flooding....unlike thousands of others in this city.

Then I came home, opened Gil's computer, and discovered a message from our lawyer saying that the judge has finally released the paperwork necessary to apply for Johnny's passport.

In the end, it really was one of those days.  You know, the kind I'm really thankful for.

Since Thursday is a normal working day here, we celebrated Thanksgiving on Sunday with our Reach Global family.  And the best part?  The Edwards family finally made it to Tanzania just two days before--and 100% financially supported.  Thanks, American Church!  

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