I am continuing to do well here in Angola. We continue to enjoy and be thankful for the hospitality of our wonderful host family, the Evansons.
At this point, we are waiting for the completion of the process of paperwork for the car that one of my team-mates bought. As soon as he can legally drive it (it takes quite a while to get all that paperwork) we will move to Huambo. I think I may be taking a bus there, but we will use his car to haul most of our luggage. We are hoping that the move will be in the next day or two. We would like to get there before this weekend. We are all enjoying being in Angola and visiting with people and exploring the capital city, but we are all ready to move to Huambo so we can begin settling into our lives there. Once we move there we will set up bank accounts, begin locating permanent housing, getting to know the community, and beginning to build long-term relationships. I am really looking forward to this stage.
The longer I am here (all of about 10 days now) the more I realize what an intense process it will be to learn all the social norms and rules I need to know to build those relationships. But it is going to be worth every bit of work. Every time I speak with someone I learn something new. Either a different way to express something or a different way of interacting while I express it. I am sure this learning will continue for years and years and years. It is so hard to remember not to make eye contact or with men (this can be seen as inappropriate for a single woman), or to remember shake hands with both hands (this is a cultural assurance of respect and also an assurance that you mean the person no harm). I am sure there are tons of things that I don’t even know that I should or should be doing yet. However, people have been very friendly and welcoming so far as well. They are forgiving of my ignorance and helpful. However, it is not often that someone would verbally mention a social offense in this culture, so I am trying to keep my eyes open to observe and learn all that I can in this way. I am praying that as I settle in God will bring a friend willing to serve the role of a cultural teacher for me. They will have to patiently answer hundreds of seemingly ridiculous questions. 🙂
I often enjoy spending my time out just watching people interact in social situations to try and learn the appropriate or correct way to navigate them. Even buying a cell phone and getting a plan set up is seemingly complicated. Not because it really is that hard, but simply because the experience is so different from my “norm” that it is a learning experience from waiting in a line outside for the store to open, until I walk back out after finishing the process.
Well, not much of a point to this entry, just some thoughts of have been pondering as I try to take in and retain useful information from the flood of new things that bombard me at every turn at this point in my adjustment. It probably sounds very similar to what I experienced when I moved to Portugal. And it is to a certain extent. It is exhausting (I could sleep all the time), and I always have new things to process. And as some of you know well, when I am taking alot in, I don’t always communicate well verbally. But I will keep trying. And just so you know, I am loving it so far.