Monday, March 25, 2013

not sure how to title

It’s been a little over a year since I returned to the US.  I’ve not updated my blog much in that time.  It seems like there’s not been too much going on.  There’s some of the same stuff that I’ve always written about – some stories I can tell about people I’ve known and am trying to help get through school, requests for assistance with this effort (and trust me, very very soon I’ll do an update about that with a  request for the above mentioned assistance) – but not much else has been going on.  I’m a part of the “Formation Team” – or, as most people call it, “The Team”.  The Team is made up of Fr. Dan, Theresa, and (Dr.) Steve.  And now me - The Other Steve.

Actually, I was just thinking about it, there have been a few things.  But, I already wrote about them – my field support visit last year, the calendar ( If anyone forgot to ask for one and still wants a beautiful desktop calendar for the rest of the year there are still some left – so make an offer.  You can use the photos from the already-gone-months for making cards or something), and Morris’ citizenship. 


Usually we The Team do our training period for new people who are interested in going to Africa as an SMA lay missionary from Sept – Dec.  We had one candidate this past fall, so I had my first chance to teach the Mission Topics class and the African Culture class.  It turned out that the candidate who was in training wasn’t such a good fit with us, and actually took up maybe 97.8% of our (The Team’s) waking time, either interacting with her or interacting with each other about her.  That’s pretty much a bad sign.  Not much else was able to take place in that time.

In January, my younger sister had her 2nd child – a 10 pound baby boy, named Lochlan Sita.  Sita was the name my friends and neighbors used for me when I was in Peace Corps in Niger many years ago.  My younger sister and a few friends still sometimes call me that.  And I kind of love it.  Peace Corps was a very formative time for me.  So, it’s kind of wonderful I have someone named after me in the best way.

My niece Isla holding 6-wk old Sita

In early February, a friend of mine from 20 years ago came for a visit.  It’s the first time I’ve been able to host a friend from Africa.  Bob (I only recently learned that all these years I thought his name was Bobby, but really it is Bob E. – 20 years ago he must of introduced himself as Bob E. ___, and I understood it to be Bobby, so he’s been Bobby to me ever since) and I were good friends back in Cote d’Ivoire in the 2 ½ years I was there.  But, when I moved to Ghana, he was away in the field for the work he was doing – so we ended up losing contact for many years.  Then, maybe 4 years ago, another friend (Samuel) called me from Liberia to tell me he had run into Bobby on the streets of Monrovia.  But, for some reason, our phones couldn’t connect with each other – so we still weren’t in good contact.  Then last year, during my field visit, I had some time one afternoon and Samuel also took a little time off so we could go to Bobby’s workplace where finally we met up again and have been able to stay in touch – all the new, usual ways – texting, Skyping, Facebook, etc.  He knew that when he came to visit me I’d be in the middle of work, unfortunately, but he’s been patient.  And fortunately, he does IT stuff back in Liberia and has needed to stay in touch with people back there – so, all has worked out.  He also has family in the US and is spending about half of his visit with them.

We also have someone else in training right now – since January.  Actually, she just successfully completed her training and had her commissioning mass this past Saturday.  She seems to be a good fit, a comfortable fit (and The Team exhales a sigh of relief).  She’s from Wisconsin, so it was to be expected that she’d be a good fit (we’re a good group of people out there).
Me, Bobby and Jean (the woman who just completed) 
with our snowman

 Our Snowboy (as Bobby called him) after I re-claimed my hat and scarf,
sporting his new, natural fiber, free-trade, organic and bio-degradable (not to forget free) leaf scarf

And then, about a year ago, all the countries that have SMA lay missionaries were asked to send into the SMA headquarters in Rome the name of one person to represent all the lay missionaries at our General Assembly in Rome this April.  The US chose to send my name.  Then, from all the names submitted, our bosses in Rome chose me to come represent everyone.  I’m honored that I was chosen – it’s a big thing.  Every 6 years, SMA has its General Assembly.  During the meetings (which last for over 3 weeks), the goals, direction and priorities for SMA over the next 6 years get discussed and decided upon.  Also, the new General Superior (the top top bossman of SMA) gets chosen, along with his Council (I’m not allowed to vote during this time, though).

But, the truth is, not much has been going on.  I still feel out of place.  I still feel like I’m not being at all useful on day-to-day basis.  I feel I have very little responsibility for anything that really matters – or for anything at all.  I still don’t understand the constant levels of stress and the obsessions I see in many people around me all the time, day-to-day and moment-to-moment.  I feel I’m not understanding something about life, and at the same time I don’t want to understand whatever it is.  I still feel I’m out of place and that I don’t really belong here.  I still feel that I’d much rather be back where I was constantly busy doing what I’m good at doing – doing things that I care very much about with people who I care very much about.  (The field visit I made was the most useful and meaningful thing I’ve done since I left Africa – it put my skills to good use – I did something that I’m good at doing – but it only lasted about 4 weeks.) 

Recently, I was mostly in an angry mood for about a month, constantly feeling angry with some of the sweetest people in the world who I love like brothers and sisters. And I was tired of feeling busy, but accomplishing nothing, and the few things I did accomplish having absolutely no value to anyone or anything.  Uggh.  I was in a bad place, still a little bit am, but am gradually lifting out of it.  Maybe because there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.  In a week I head off for those meetings that will last for over 3 weeks – 6 days/week for 3+ weeks.  Hard to believe that I see meetings as being the light at the end of a tunnel . . . but then again, not if you consider they’re in Rome during springtime, and that some friends I’ve worked with over the years will also be there. 

Anyway - - I will update this once more before I leave for the General Assembly with a plea for some financial assistance, not with Rome, but with some students I’m really struggling to help.     


At 7:39 PM, Blogger MJ said...

Love the snowboy--great job on it-- and also love the designer boots you're all wearing.

This will be an exciting time for you to be in Rome with having a new pope even though Benedict is still alive, great things going on in the church right now and a lot of new things taking place.

At 7:53 AM, Blogger Samuel Whodokweh Jacobs said...

It is so good seeing a good friend from far back and showing him your country. I have followed Bob E. posts on Facebook since he got there and I know that if I am granted Visa my stay will also be rememberable. I am coming in July Steve.....

A great post anyway...

At 2:01 AM, Anonymous Florence said...

Great update. So sorry I didn't call back on Sunday. I got home and Mark was sick and my mind was gone and there's no other excuse except that I'm a terrible, horrible, friend. Oh baby give me one more chance to show ya I love ya! Call when you're back.

At 8:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was extremely pleased to find this website. I need to to thank you for ones time for this fantastic read!
! I definitely loved every bit of it and i also have you book marked to look at new stuff in your website.

Feel free to surf to my web blog ... hack a twitter

At 6:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really appreciate this post. I've been looking everywhere for this! Thank goodness I found it on Bing. You've made my day!
Thanks again!

Here is my web site dragonvale cheats walkthrough

At 9:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not sure exactly why but this web site is loading very slow for me. Is anyone else having this issue or is it a issue on my end? I'll check back later on and
see if the problem still exists.

Here is my homepage - sharecash downloader 2012

At 10:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unquestionably believe that which you said.
Your favorite reason appeared to be on the internet the simplest
thing to be aware of. I say to you, I certainly get annoyed while
people consider worries that they plainly do not know about.
You managed to hit the nail upon the top as well as defined out the whole thing without having side effect
, people can take a signal. Will probably be back to get more.

Here is my web-site: Aim Bot

At 3:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very interesting information!Perfect just what I was searching for!
"Fear not that thy life shall come to an end, but rather fear that it shall never have a beginning." by John
Henry Cardinal Newman.

Here is my blog post Minecraft Premium Account

At 8:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not sure why but this web site is loading incredibly slow for me. Is anyone else having this problem or is it a problem on my end? I'll check
back later and see if the problem still exists.

Here is my homepage: Youtube Toolbox Marketing Software

At 2:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Remarkable! Its genuinely amazing article, I have got much clear idea on the topic of
from this article.

Look into my web-site: Online Cash

At 7:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your means of describing the whole thing in this paragraph
is really nice, all be able to effortlessly know it, Thanks a lot.

My weblog ... castle ville bot

At 7:23 PM, Anonymous Fr.Daniel Lynch, SMA said...

Dear Steve,
I enjoyed reading your blog. I especially liked your little reference to calling someone "Superior" in this day and age. That word like "obedience" should be better left to dog trainers and kennels. We aren't "inferiors" and we aren't "obedient." We live and work together as equals--no "above" and "bellows!"
We live and work together as partners. As my friend Margaret Wheatley says in her writings "the world needs partners and not bosses." Good work. Keep writing and be the provocateur that you are. Fr.Dan Lynch,SMA.


Post a Comment

<< Home