Sunday, May 11, 2008

There are plusses and minuses to being surrounded by “free-range children.” I have written here several times about the much more lax parenting style here. Well, having so much freedom and very little structure is probably healthier for the kids (as opposed to being over-scheduled and locked down as many children in America are). But when it comes to organized activities such as church, free-range children just can’t cope (and neither can their parents and grandparents!) Today was mothers’ day, and the little hellions at church were in fine form! The were running up and down the isles, showing absolute disrespect for all adults present, running out the door, down the street, returning with corn nuts and noisily eating them during the service, etc... Meanwhile where are their fathers and mothers? Sitting quietly ignoring their antics and giving them money to buy the corn-nuts! Ok, this is unfair because there are a few families with exceptionally well-behaved children (well, one or two) but in general, the scene was chaos. But no one seemed to mind. The assortment of 5-6 year old girls sitting next to me (far from their families) seemed puzzled when I told them to “jab keroro” (don’t talk) during prayers and sacrament. It’s usually a bit chaotic, but today seemed worse than normal. Maybe it’s a concerted effort on the kids’ part to make their mothers regret becoming mothers!!

That reminded me about an experience from my own family. When we were little, my brother and 2 sisters and I were usually well behaved at church but saved the hellion antics for when we got home. I remember for about 7 consecutive years my mother told us that her only wish was to have a peaceful Mothers’ Day Sunday without any fights. And it took us 7 years to give her one. I will never forget the glorious day it finally happened, she was on cloud-9. And all the while the people at church thought that the Mitchell kids were such angels! Ha!! Happy Mother’s Day mom!! Aren’t you glad we all turned out somewhat normal in the end? (and we all love each other now!)

My plans for this summer are taking shape, and I’m so excited! My friend George came to the rescue and invited me to stay the weekend in Bristol on my layover between San Francisco and South Africa. We have been friends since we served missions together in 2000 in South Africa, and it will be great to catch up a bit. When I arrive in South Africa I’ll hang out with 3 fantastic friends in Joburg (that’s short for Johannesburg) and then take a road trip to Durban with my ex-boyfriend, Mbuso. We've always been good friends and haven’t seen each other since I was there last time in 2004. He has such a wacky sense of humor; I'm looking forward to laughing alot. Then I’ll probably head up to Zululand to see Mbuso’s mom Lindiwe. She was my South African mum before I even got to know Mbuso and she’s such a sweetheart! I can’t wait!! She is the nurse manager at a hospital in a rural village called Mbongolwane set in the beautiful countryside with rolling hills of sugarcane and traditional round thatched houses. From there I’m hoping to catch a bus up the Malawi via Mozambique. It’s a part of Africa I’ve never seen before and I’ve heard the ride is beautiful and scenic. My friend Ireen is Malawian and I can’t wait to see her and meet her kids and family!! Though I’ve known her for about 8 years, I’ve never met her children, so I’m really thrilled. Then it’s back to Joburg for some last minute partying. Nelson Mandela’s 90th birthday will be happening while I’m in South Africa, so I’m sure there will be some fantastic celebrations! Then I’ll head back to Michigan to visit with some friends, eat the most mouth-watering Pad Thai in the world at my favorite Laotian restaurant (Banh Na), and get the restoration of Daisy (my 1971 VW Beetle) underway. Perhaps a quick road trip up to Northern NY for my 10 year college reunion, and then home for a few weeks relaxing with the family in California (maybe with a quick stop through Salt Lake to see my sister and her family) and then back to Majuro. It’s going to be a wonderful break! While I’m going East to Africa, Susan and Isabel will go West and South respectively. Susan is headed to Thailand for a TESOL certificate course and then home to North Dakota for a little bit, and Isabel is headed home to LA and then to Peru, Columbia, Panama, and Costa Rica for her summer vacation. We’re going to have lots to catch up on at the end of our trips.

When I get back to Majuro in August, I’ll be moving to a new apartment, and I’ll also move to a new office in the brand new Math/Science/Nursing building. The new office is about twice the size of the one that Peder ( and I currently share. Poor Peder has been such a good sport. I was supposed to move out of this office at the beginning of last semester, but the new building was nowhere near functional (what a surprise!!). So Peder good-naturedly let me stay and share the office with him. It has been wonderful to have an officemate, but we’re both such talkers that we get going and really distract each other a lot. It’s going to be very strange not to have someone constantly sitting there to say, “You will NOT believe the email I just got from so-n-so” or “Hey, guess what?” I’m happy for Peder to have his own space, but it will take a little adjusting. Susan and I have decided that we need to find Peders to marry someday. Of course not this one, he’s the same age as my father and already has a wonderful wife Linda. It’s such a shame they don’t have any sons!

Well, that’s all I can think of for now. Finals week is approaching, so if I get any entertaining answers on any finals, I’ll let you know. Unfortunately I’m not teaching Survey of Math this semester, and that’s where most of the funny comments came from, but we’ll see if anything good turns up this semester. Happy Mother’s Day!

1 comment:

Katherine said...

Britt, I really wish that my life were even just HALF as interesting as you! Maybe even at least a quarter as interesting! I'm so excited that you're in Michigan!