We truly had all the qualifications for our move to the village. By all accounts, we were ready.
- Speak the language: check
- Extended experience in country: check
- Support and advice from those who have moved to a village: check
- 17 years of life in a village setting: check
So, how in the world did we get to this place where our neighbours are shaking their heads at us murmuring, "Oh, I pity you. I am amazed at how much I pity you," over and over again?
The following list is for those of you who want to learn how to really blow a move to a village:
- Move before the house is complete. This ensures every single day something else will break and leave you without essentials like, say, water.
- Hire someone to oversee the construction of your house and be there only once in a while to check progress. You will find this provides interesting layout details like wood that worms like to eat, a western toilet lowered into the floors so you can stand on it and squat, and half of the floor with gaps in between the boards while the other half is bowing up in little triangles as the wood absorbs water.
- Make your home as western as possible. Then, you can cook upstairs in intense heat and have your workload much increased because you needed a large house. Truly, you know how to make things work so much more than the locals.
- Be afraid. Make sure your belief system includes that all your neighbours are potential threats on your wealth and person. Speaking every waking moment hovering over your children to protect them from snakes, scorpions, and falling out of trees. And, most importantly, make your home a compound to keep your children from interacting with local children who will teach them bad habits and be unkind to them.
- Hold tight to your assurance that, with the right amount of money, you can get all the hired help you need. Everyone will fall over themselves for your dollars and a chance to work for foreigners. Bonus: Overpaying your original construction team makes it possible for you to overpay for every single project thereafter.
Most Important Tip: Believe you can do ANYTHING! You are tough. You are prepared. You've got the skills and know-how. "Look at me, God! Just watch how I serve you!" should be your mantra.
Are you joining in the head-shaking and pitying yet?
Yes. I am sad to say we made all of these mistakes. Some of them we are laughing about now. Some of them we are trying to fix. Some of those beliefs have be tossed aside, by the grace of God. And, some we daily cry about.
For those of you who have it all right, who received the best training, who have the perfect personalities, laugh at us! We are honoured to provide you with a good chuckle.
For the rest of us, aren't you glad that from death comes life? Praise God. Amen.