Auckland, New Zealand
It took us a week, but we got the garden weeded, composted and planted.
We also got the kitchen totally tidied and functioning – the rhythm of bread baking and yoghurt making is established, sprouting and fermenting are on the verge of happening, even the freezer is now stocked.
All the linen has a home – for a lot of it, that home is at the Sallies.
All the children’s toys are accessible – or at the Sallies.
All the “work boxes” (read: notebooks, journals, maths books etc) are ready-to-use.
All the sandals and gumboots are lined up in the garage (and new ones purchased for those who needed them – not from the Sallies).
The bathrooms are sparkling; the novelty of a clean shower has not worn off and willing workers keep it pristine.
Light fittings have been washed and moved (coz we had nothing else to do, y’know).
Musical instruments are available.
The computers are running and internet connected.
The garage is almost tidy.
A broken window repaired (Mr Repair Man arrived within half an hour of calling the insurance company – not bad, eh).
People have been dropping in (not that this is a job – it’s just time-consuming).
Rob spent the whole evening opening mail (that *was* a job, AND time-consuming)
There is just craft gear to sort and books to place on shelves. Possibly the two biggest jobs of them all
We have lots of space that we didn’t used to have. There are empty drawers in the kitchen, empty shelves in the laundry, nothing under our bed, coathangers without a job to do in the wardrobe, big gaps on the floor.
We simply have less stuff. It’s gone to the Sallies.
But we’re still left with a lot.
When I start comparing our gear to the possessions of the family we stayed with in Mongolia or the ones living in bamboo huts in Thailand or Laos, it all seems so unfair.
What is the point of such comparison? Is anything to be gained? I could give all our stuff away, but how would that help those families? We could cut off our water and power, but what would that achieve? How would it help others?
In the midst of trying to settle into comfort, there are uncomfortable thoughts.
We might have planted the garden, but we haven’t answered the big questions.
In fact, we haven’t even asked some of them.
Tags: 2008/09, homecoming, justice, postcard: New Zealand