It is now very long being away from home for me, living alone in a foreign context with different people and a different culture. When I first came here to Estonia, I was so scared and worried about how I would be able to adapt and survive in the new environment. Going from a warm and sometimes hot Zimbabwe to a cold Estonia was actually a very scary and shocking thing that I was afraid of, but to my surprise, I didn’t have any trouble adjusting. It just happened automatically and I don’t have an explanation for how it happened. Many people asked me how I was surviving the Estonian winter; the answer was that I enjoyed the snow.
When I started Estonian lessons, I thought that I was hearing tongues and it was so hard to listen to a new language. It even took me one month to find a phrase I always hear people saying, “ma ei tea,” meaning “I don’t know.” At first I thought it was one word and I heard it as “my dear.” I laughed at myself the day I found the phrase. Now I’m better at understanding Estonian. I can understand some things but still struggle. The beauty and good thing about living in a foreign country for such a long time as a Global Mission Fellow is that you have the opportunity to learn a new culture, new habits, new values and to build relationships with other people (though it was tough for me).
The truth is that when you have adjusted and adapted to the new environment, your work starts to be interesting. You get to challenge those norms, or in some cases, even re-evaluate your own norms and adjust to the new culture. I am surprised how integrated I became within my adopted community. I feel comfortable and a part of my local community.
I have grown very much through this experience of being a Global Mission Fellow. It is an opportunity for me to get out of the box and grow. Being away from home also helped to keep myself close to prayer. The more I think of any situation at home, the more I seek answers in God. I have learnt and am still in the process of learning to be more patient, to put my trust in God and rely on Him at times that I would have felt like losing patience and hope.
United Methodist Church
GMF International, Class of 2015-2017