Work in Progress

It seems every time I have to do “move to Mozambique” related things, something goes wrong! My latest expedition involved travelling into the city and getting BCG vaccinations for the kids and tests for Cam and I. We all had to go in on Monday for the test and then back this morning for the reading and the vaccinations. Monday went pretty smoothly – apart from getting a tiny bit lost, it worked out well.

This morning was a different story though. Our appointment was at 930, the morning was going pretty well, we were even running early and then…
– I realised when we were almost there that I’d left the kids’ purple books at home – really should have turned around at that point (I’ve got a feeling… got a bit of an inkling…)
– We met Cam there, checked with the receptionist about not having the purple books “don’t worry – i’m sure it will be fine” and took a seat in the waiting room
– Cam & I had our checks (no TB – that’s a positive I guess, or a negative actually)
– Waited some more, realised Cam didn’t need to hang around so farewelled him back to work (wish he had stayed)
– Waited some more, got called down to do the injections… “We can’t do them unless you have your purple book. I’ll hold the appointment for you if you go home and get them”
– Got mad, had a rant (to the nurse) about incompetent receptionist, stormed back to car, kids in tow
– Drove home, got books, drove back, waited some more…
– Finally got injections: Jack cried a bit, Tilly had a mild freak-out, Sydney smiled, smiled, stayed still, smiled some more, had her shot, cried a teency little bit then smiled again!
– Waited some more (just in case they had a reaction), fed Sydney for the second time this week in the TB clinic waiting room
– Got back to pay for parking, machine wouldn’t accept my $1 coin, the only one I had left, God showed mercy  on me and sent an angel to swap coins with me (the angel looked a lot like Glenn from my church)
– Got Jack to school at 1pm, collected a very very very late note from the office

I really hate those sort of mornings. It just takes one silly little mistake to set off a snowball of events. I should have turned around but I’m a stickler for being on time and they told me 930am – silly me. The receptionist should have checked properly, then I could have left the kids there with Cam and come home to get the books – I would have made it back before the kids were even called in. I should have got Cam to stay, then when we finally realised, I still could have gone back for the books child free. I should have got Cam to stay because getting three kids vaccinated by yourself is just hard work.

The biggest should have by far though… I should have taken a deep breath and just taken it in my stride. I didn’t have to be anywhere else, I was in a lovely clean place with toys for the kids and clean, free drinking water, everyone there spoke my language, I really didn’t have to wait that long, I had a car to get me there, right from door to door.

It makes me wonder… how am I going to cope when I have to do these sorts of things in Lichinga, where I won’t speak the language, where things run on Africa-time, where I’ll probably be thinking (or saying) “kids – don’t touch that” constantly. Going on current form, I may well be able to put in a bid for the title of very worst missionary.

Oh to be gentle and humble… maybe I need to wear a work in progress sign around my neck. How do I write that in Portuguese?

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