Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: TRAVELER (01/28/16)
TITLE: Guided and Guarded
By Elaine Hemingway
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It was raining blue dye. Not really, but I knew I would have to wash the detachable collar on my white uniform shirt because the dye on the police hat I wore was known to run. My shoes, and consequently my black stockings, were drenched, so would also be finding themselves under the radiator. Not to mention the long serge skirt wrapping itself round my wet knees, and my bicycle giving a bit of trouble on the uphill, headwind route I was on.
I looked at my watch, seeing there was still some time before my shift would finish, but bicycle patrol in the 1960’s British Police Force made no allowances for women officers out in a heavy storm. The best place to be for a brief respite would be in one of the public toilets on my route, where the attendant would surely offer a cup of tea. First, though, I would have to make a routine point call, so that the duty sergeant knew where I was and could vouch that I was where I should be.
Oh, great, a sympathetic Sergeant.
“How’s the weather treating you?” he asked. “But more to the point, I have some typing that needs doing. Fancy the job?”
Did I indeed.
“Be right in Sarge, And thanks, You’re a star!”
“More like a disaster,” he chuckled, and so, unknowingly, I went to meet my destiny.
The typing didn’t take long, even to my self-taught fingers, and after they had walked through the keys for an hour or so, my shift was still not finished.
“Flick through this for a while, and maybe later if it stays quiet I’ll give you a game of Scrabble.”
That was the beauty of late night shift work; sometimes we could polish our talents in other fields. It was not to be on that night though. An article in the Police Review caught my eye, - and if it had been solid substance it could have caused an injury.
Officers required in the Northern Rhodesia Police. Apply to ...
Sergeant Munro had served a six-month secondment in the then Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland and he had so enjoyed it that it seemed natural, after chatting with him, that on my way home I posted my application.
Understandably my parents were in shock for some time. My father had been in the Merchant Navy for some years, so was a traveler at heart, and from him I had inherited my itchy feet, but even he was negative.
“Why go there now when you haven’t even seen all of your own country yet?” he asked.
“No matter where you go in the world, you can find the same here, just smaller.”
I wanted to see for myself, so after a whirlwind trip over much of England and Scotland, a few months later I entered Central Africa on a three year contract, which grew into fifty years of learning curve.
To describe the culture shock would be difficult, but the excitement far outweighed the downbeat aspects. Learning new language, customs and beliefs was daunting, but worth every lesson. Before the first three years of my sojourn were completed I had met and married my farmer husband. Later I learned the art of diamond digging after moving to South Africa and exploring the different provinces. How different my life became from what it would have been without taking that first step of travel. Would I have built on my relationship with the Lord had I not had particular challenges to face?
Without the experiences of my Heavenly Father’s provision and guidance, would I have had the opportunity to learn how He equips and upholds His children?
He has brought me home with a new mission, and yes.
The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance. Psalm 16:6
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