Monday, November 4, 2013

giving thanks in all circumstances

Too often, when living in an unfamiliar place, we can focus on the negative points of our area. Especially during the Holiday season.
 Family lives too far away. 
Missing out on certain traditions. 
Getting creeped out by your country's version of Santa Claus. (A skin and bones Santa chasing after you just doesn't put me in the Holiday Sprit, y'all)

It's so easy to get wrapped up in these thoughts instead of being thankful for where we are now. I was talking to a friend recently who just moved back to America, and she said something that I've replayed over and over since our conversation. "It's a time of life you never get back, ya know? At times you think you're so ready to get home, but you forget once you leave you can't return to the life you led there."

So, instead of dwelling on thoughts of homesickness during this time, I'm going to really concentrate on being thankful for this country, and where I'm at in life. I'm linking up with Kenzie and writing about an experience that I am truly thankful for.

 Can't even lie, though. This experience started out r.o.u.g.h. For real. I'm not a huge emotional person, so for the first few months I lived here I held my emotions in check pretty well. However, the breakdown was coming. 

In February this past year our internet was sketching out big time. This was kind of normal. Our electricity would go out for a couple of hours, then pop back on, then it would take a day or so for the internet to come back. Except for that one time it didn't return. We went a week without internet..which, I agree, doesn't seem like a big deal. But at that point, I didn't need a big deal to get me worked up. My supervisor sat me down and explained to me that he wanted me to take care of this problem on "my own." I wish you could have seen my face when he told me this. Work out something where I'll have to speak to customer a country where customer service isn't a huge a language where my conversation level was, "Sit here. Eat." I thought he was crazy. 

It was a moment where I only wanted to call someone outside of the situation and vent. But I couldn't. Because we had no internet. See the dilemma? So I traipsed back & forth to the Internet provider. Hearing everything from we didn't pay our bill to "Don't worry. The guy is coming out today to fix it." Who knew that today actually meant never? I felt like an incompetent 23 year old, stumbling over words trying to explain the situation. Finally, somehow, a man from the capital came and ended up working his magic and fixing that little white box that holds all the goodness of connecting with the outside world. 

You see, it wasn't just the internet that I was upset about. I've gone months without solid internet before. The internet represented the fact that I was incompetent in language and life here. I was a child fumbling my way around a new culture trying to fit in, and the internet reminded me of all the ways I hadn't made it yet.

As I look back on this situation I remember how little I felt because I was struggling to fix a simple problem in a language that I did not speak. I remember how I just wanted my supervisor to step in and get the job done for me. I also know now that I am so thankful he made me work it out on my own, all the time ready to jump in if I REALLY needed him. So, even though this problem seems so insignificant now, I am thankful it happened. It showed me that I can take care of problems here. It helped grow my independence, which I didn't realize how much I needed at that point.

And now it's November, and I'm pretty much a pro here. And by pro I mean someone who still can't understand the difference between the local words for sit and cook. Thank the good Lord for context clues.

1 comment:

  1. I love that I found your blog. What an inspiring life you live. You are a beautiful girl! I am excited to follow you through your journey!