Wednesday, May 28, 2014

loving the weird

nothing is normal.

one thing i love about living here is the fact that nothing is normal. even after living here a good while, i still find humor in the every day situations. sometimes it may take me a little longer to see the humor, but so many memories here are remembered with laughter because life has just been weird.

sometimes the abnormal comes in the form of riding a moto taped together because it is the only mode of transportation you can take at the time. or, sometimes, you may see your guard get his whole body stuck in the door of an elevator because the ancient model doesn't have a motion sensor.

two friends of mine are making a return trip here in the next few weeks. they lived here for two years, but returned to america last summer. as i have anticipated their return, i have been thinking about some of the memories we shared the year we were together in this country. one notorious memory is simply brought to mind by just saying the words "road trip." 

for some reason, four girls decided a 10 hour road trip cross country, during hot season, without a.c. would be a good idea.

nothing was normal on this trip. we drove the farthest part to see a "famous" waterfall, only to find out the road was blocked. we picked a random man off the side of the road to be our "official guide" for a "safari" we wanted to go on. 

we were chased by baboons, dried our clothes out the car window, saw a village called "house of the hyena" and we laughed. y'all, did we laugh. 

experiences like this are what i will miss. everyday something happens, and the only appropriate response is shaking your head while laughing.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

when the change comes

emotions are a weird thing. such a complex war going on in my heart. the light is being seen at the end of a two year tunnel, and once again i feel so many different thoughts battling it out on a daily basis.

such love has been grown for this little town. as crazy as it seems, i find comfort in the dusty streets, & i seek the familiarity of greeting my neighbors after a weekend of travels. home is found in the smiles of the children that surround my house, and in the act of buying vegetables from my favorite stalls in the market, and cooking with a headlamp on because the electricity has gone out once again.

this past weekend two girls from my team made their way back to america. as we talked about their return, we wondered about the customs we've picked up that is our daily norm now. we laughed at the looks we'd see & how the people in america would most likely wonder about the difference in our lives. we might ask you if your body is at peace, and where is your house, and six other questions before we get to the point. we might greet in different languages, because greeting in one language is a foreign concept to us at this point. we may wear weird clothes made by our tailor & put on a jacket when it's ninety degrees.

however, not all change is bad. in fact, as i look at the change in my life that has occurred because of this small town, i am thankful. i have been bent & shaped & burned & molded. joy & pain have both happened, but growth has always been the result.

people seem surprised when at times i hesitate about life in america. they seem surprised when i refer to this place as "home." i want to show you a glimpse of why i struggle with return on some days, though. it's not because i am not excited. because hugging my people in the states is something worthy of a countdown, but it also means leaving my people here. so for the time i have left, that's what i want to do on this blog. i want to show you my favorite things about life here. i want to show you why it's easy to fall in love with a place that so many think it's hard to live. then, maybe, you won't see someone with weird quirks that she picked up in africa, but you'll see someone holding on to a culture that represents a sweet time in her life.