Rediscovery.

I know who I think I am, but who am I? How do I describe myself? Who am I to those around me, who am I to myself? I don’t have split personalities trying to figure out who all the other personalities are, I am simply in a moment of rediscovery.

Who am I?

I have moved across the world to a place where almost nobody knows me and am introducing myself to a new world, community, colleagues and friend group.

People don’t know my past, my experiences or my idiosyncrasies; they don’t know how weird I really am! People don’t know my strengths or my weaknesses (thankfully… however these will be revealed in time). When they see me they simply see… a tall red head from Canada, ‘the new girl’, a person they have only heard about and don’t actually know.

Entering an already existing community is difficult when questions keep flying through my thoughts.

Who do I trust?
Who is my friend?
Who do I go to when I don’t know how to use my oven? (#thestruggleisreal … I don’t know how to use my oven right now…)
Am I living up to what they think about me?
What preconceived thoughts to they have about me and me about them?

Who am I? Who are they? When will I become them?

All of these questions are specifically to my work/living environment/community and they are all questions that will be answered in good time, but some I just want answered sooner than later!

I do know one thing and that is what is tattooed on my foot. I am a child of God and am proud of it! (John 1:12)

This is all part of transition and part of the process of entering a new community and country. Nevertheless I do feel like I’m back in High School trying to make new friends and establish my role in the community!

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Geckos.

Why do so many of my experiences living in Africa for 3 weeks – 3 years have something to do with Geckos?

Why are there so many stories surrounding the washroom (toilet or restroom for my American friends)? If I learnt anything from PFO (Pre-Field Orientation), missions trips and mothers, it’s normal to talk about our… well bowel movements and things surround the washroom.

I wasn’t expecting my first blog to be about Geckos and the washroom but perhaps it is suiting to life in transition.

Last night I had a wonderful evening of laughing, telling stories (including ones about how I don’t really like geckos!) and learning more about some new friends on campus. I came home and it was time to get ready for bed, I really had to pee at this point in time and went into the washroom to use the toilet, which I think is quite logical! As I look into the toilet bowl what do I see staring back at me… a gecko.

At this point I jump back dancing back and forth on my toes doing a little “pee dance” and exclaim… “noooooo” in a somewhat whinny voice. I know I have to deal with this but am so close to calling someone to ask if I can use their washroom and have them come retrieve the Gecko from my toilet. No. I have to deal with this myself. I am adaptable. I live here. I can do this.

So I do what I think is most logical, I flush the toilet to flush my little gecko friend away! Does he flush away…. No! The stupid thing crawls up into the toilet bowl where the water comes down to re-fill the bowl. WHAT! The stupid thing tries to hide from me! I am not losing this battle.

This has now become a fight. Ashley vs Mr. Gecko and I am competitive. I may have left your little friend wandering around the apartment because I know you kill bugs… but you Mr. Gecko hiding in my toilet; you are not going to stay there because… well… I just don’t trust you.

I flush the toilet again… Mr. Gecko doesn’t move. One more time, still nothing.

How long has Mr. Gecko been living in my toilet? Has he been there the whole time I have been using it!? I don’t want to think about it.

Flushing isn’t working and I think about giving up, but then I start dancing again… I really have to go!

I grab a hanger, which is now in the garbage, because it was small enough to try and knock the Gecko out of his hiding place but big enough to keep me at a distance. I poked around and couldn’t find the stupid thing. I danced and complained and again thought of called someone, all of a sudden I SEE THE TAIL!

I push on the tip of Mr. Geckos tail with my hanger and it breaks off… fail. All of the sudden I see Mr. Gecko I push him with his beady little eyes looking at me into the water bowl and FLUSH!!!! The water settles and the tip of his the Gecko’s tail is floating there, trying to cause me remorse for the awful thing I just did.

I flushed the toilet again.

Away goes Mr. Gecko and the tip of his tail somewhere into a septic system, I hope he survived this traumatic experience is enjoying life somewhere away from my toilet.

Relief.

So how is transition and settling in going for me? All in all I think as good as can be expected!

I just don’t like Gecko’s.