So much has happened over the past two weeks, but I want to keep this post relatively short just so I don’t take up too much time. God has been working in amazing ways, and I am happy to have been growing closer to him, my team, and the people of Cape Verde.
Orientation week started over two weeks ago, and it was the first time that I was able to connect with my team. We participated in a variety of activities, most of which were intended to build strength within our team. Everything from simple team-building games to a kayaking relay race gave us an taste of what it would feel like to be a member of the first Global Year team to be sent to Cape Verde.
Our flight left early in the morning on the Sunday after orientation and we flew to Boston for a long layover. The layover was spent with the family of one of our team members, Hadassah, and they showed us around Boston. After some good food and cannoli, we boarded our uncomfortably warm flight to the Azores, refueled, and headed on to Cape Verde.
Monday morning around 10 o’clock we arrived in Praia, snagged our bags, and headed to the home of our host missionaries, Derek and Lauren. Over the last few weeks they have organized activities to familiarize us with the city and its zones, as well as the language. Many people have helped me to make this transition, and I have made many friends here.
Portuguese has been coming along smoothly. To all the people who ever told me it sounds weird: you were so wrong. Portuguese is one of the most beautiful languages I have ever heard. To everyone who said it was so challenging: you were right. Thank God I have had great language instruction that also taught me how to teach myself (shoutout to Señor Plotts). After about a week here, I have had numerous conversations in Portuguese, and I am constantly learning new words and phrases.
Today, I began taking classes in Crioulo, the Portuguese pidgin that predominates speech among Cape Verdeans. Although Portuguese is the official language, not everyone speaks it. Portuguese is notoriously nuanced and difficult to master grammatically, where Crioulo follows almost no rules and has a constantly evolving, mixed vocabulary that borrows from several languages. I am so excited to learn the language in which the locals love each other, sing beautiful folk music, and compose their cultural identity.
This journey has already been chiseled away and rebuilt parts of my worldview. I can feel every day how my mind is changing, my heart is breaking, and my ego is crumbling under the overwhelming call that God has put on my life. My agenda has the potential to be questioned by him and altered to further his own plan. I constantly have to echo that He must increase and I must decrease.
Without the people I have met on the way, I know that I would not be able to achieve all I have over this past while. I’ve been so grateful for my team and the many ways that they have both encouraged and challenged me. I am especially grateful for the two young men who are in this adventure with me: Isaac and Matthias. Isaac encourages me with his love and encouragement, and even when he annoys me I know that I can trust he cares for my best. Matthias has a work ethic and passion for creating beautiful art that impresses me to no end, and he finds excitement and thrill in all he does. Above everything: they truly love Jesus.
Please pray for me to continue realizing God’s calling for me to disciple other people here in Cape Verde and for me to understand more about my own skills and talents. Pray for unity in my team, and patience and understanding on my part.
Ate em breve,