Amazing. That is the one word I would use to describe my time here so far. The only thing that I didn’t really enjoy that much was the cold during winter. Now, I know what you must be thinking; how cold could it possibly get in Africa?
Amazing. That is the one word I would use to describe my time here so far. The only thing that I didn’t really enjoy that much was the cold during winter. Now, I know what you must be thinking; how cold could it possibly get in Africa? Surprisingly it can get down to freezing temperature here occasionally during winter, and they sometimes (rarely) have snow! But the major thing that makes it feel so much colder here is that houses and buildings are not built for winter. There is no central heating and houses are not sealed with weather proofing strips and insulation. It has been quite an adventure living through a South African winter and I can honestly say that I am so excited that it is getting much warmer now.
Working at TEEC has been going great as well. Right now the students are busy going to their local exam centers and taking their final exams, which is making the college quite a busy place right now. On top of exams, registration for 2010 has begun. This week I briefly had to run the switchboard and oh my goodness, talk about hectic. I give two thumbs up to our receptionist who handles that all day, Monday –Friday.
But the best thing that has happened at the college lately was something that a student said to me a month or so back.
Occasionally a student will phone and ask if we have certain books or a certain type of book and then ask you to pull them off the shelf for them so they can just come in and grab it quickly. A lot of times this shows their trust in the Librarian (me) to choose the best books for them, which also makes me nervous and hoping that I picked out the right ones. This particular student phoned asking about books on women abuse and said he would be by within the next couple days to get some. I picked a few for him and had them ready when he showed up. He then spent a few minutes just going through the shelves seeing if there was anything I missed or that he wanted instead of the ones I chose. When he was ready to go, he stopped halfway to the door and turned around and told me about how much he appreciated me helping him and that I have been a huge help in his studies and that we will be sure to remember me once he has his own platform (pulpit). Also that he was impressed by me having the books ready and that it showed that I look after my “clients”.
This was the first time any of the students had told me something like that and it made me feel so appreciated and I really felt like I was doing some good.
One thing I have learned here is that no matter what you are doing, even the smallest thing, such as giving someone a smile, can make a world of difference.
Emily Christmas serves as a Global Mission Intern with the Theological Education by Extension College (TEEC) in Johannesburg, South Africa. Her ministry is possible because of funds provided by Week of Compassion of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).She serves as an Administrative Assistant in the Academic Department and Library.