Some days are difficult, but there are always signs to keep going

Since I made the decision to move to Angola, I have encountered a variety of reactions.  Some people have looked at me like I’m completely crazy.  Usually those people respond with an, “Angola??? Have you been there before?”  Or admiration, “Wow! That’s so amazing! That’s so wonderful! You are so brave!” or envy, “Wow! That’s going to be amazing!  I want to hear all about it and live vicariously through you.”

None of these responses have felt comfortable for me.  Obviously, those who look at me like I’m crazy make me uncomfortable.  Yes, Angola is a more challenging country to live in in many ways than Namibia, but I was ready to try something uncomfortable.  I made the decision to do this when I realised that the fear which was keeping me from moving here was the same or similar to the fear which keeps global leaders from taking action on climate change, or changing the structure of our global economy to be more equitable, or providing universal health care in the US. Concerns like: “But what if it fails?” can be answered with:  “But what if it succeeds?” Or “What if it fails, but we learn something from it and we are able to create something more beautiful the second (or third or fourth or fifth) time around?”  Besides its not like what we have right now is not a failure either, by many measures?

Those who looked at me with admiration or envy made me uncomfortable too.  I’m not so brave. It took me 7 years to very hesitantly make this decision.  And even now that I’m here I definitely don’t wake up every day and say, “Wow! Yesterday was absolutely amazingly fantastic and I can’t wait to see that today will be also!  Every moment is so amazing and perfect!!!”

I definitely have had tears.  I have had a few moments where I thought, “Forget it, I’m going to pack my bags and run off to the US, or a beach somewhere, or both?” I have had days where I have thought, “Let me just go get a job that offers job security, work in an office until I have a peaceful retirement, shop at the Purple Porch and live happily ever after.” But that doesn’t actually sound all that happy to me either.

However, the universe is really working overtime these days to make it clear to me that I need to stay here. To trust that everything is working perfectly and that all is well. In addition to everything that worked out well for me in the US and to having an amazingly wonderful group of students to work with on the customized program I was with recently, there have been some fantastic things that have come up here as well. I love the little signs that say, “You are okay, just keep going.”

First, we were able to find a shop in Luanda that sells quinoa, coconut oil, organic veggie burgers, chia seeds, etc.  All the ridiculous products that wierdos like me are happy to find available.

ChocolateA friend of mine in Namibia was giving private classes to a woman from Angola who was getting ready to return to Angola.  I’ve now started teaching her private classes when I am in Luanda and it’s wonderful. I teach in Portuguese but she understands English, so I can fall back on English if I need to.  She is also very educated, intelligent, well traveled and a wonderful person to get to know.  She also recently had an intense experience of caregiving, so I feel like we “get” each other.

After our first class, she asked me how much I charged.  Not ready to go into my critics of capitalism, I simply explained to her that teaching her was giving me an amazing opportunity to learn Portuguese.  I’ve just arrived in Angola and am not ready to teach a regular class, but I am loving the opportunity to teach privately.  To my pleasant surprise, she didn’t argue or seem confused.  She just agreed.  But, she showed up to our third class with chocolate! Fancy dark chocolate! Be still my beating heart. Chocolate is way better than money any day! She gets gifting without me explaining it to her!

I’m so grateful that the universe keeps giving me little signs that I am on the right path, even as I doubt it quite regularly.

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1 Comment

  1. Andrea Mather-Stow

    Quality chocolate is a beautiful offering in exchange for lessons! Your writing style is so real and a reflection of a deep, wise soul. #LindaRavenLove


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