Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Nuances of joy in this hot, harsh place

I am on the left, Meaghan on the right; her village is nearby; I sewed the dress I'm wearing!

I think it's safe to say that I've entered a new stage in my time here, socially, emotionally, and work-wise. And in a very "aren't we all connected" way, this shift has lined up quite naturally with the change of seasons. It's hard to put a finger on it exactly; it's much bigger than a finger! But I can try to explain it. My first six months here were spent starry-eyed, taking-it-all-in, bombarded by the newness and the impossibility of it all. Now, gradually, I am accepting the realities, the possibilities. And with that acceptance, the realization that this is my life-- not a movie, not an article out of National Geographic, not a vacation,or a foreign exchange program done for credit--come so many little knots to untangle. Life is complicated! Life is astounding! It is more than being perpetually high on adventure. As if one could ever forget. I was so dizzy with the high of being here that I had nearly forgotten what it was like to have a bad day. Such luck!

But let me stay on track--back to this shift, this process of realization--I feel more grounded now, more human I guess you would say, with a wider range of emotions. More real. I do have bad days, and they suck, but I see how important that is. I'm at a point where my relationships here are more complex than they were three months ago. My language skills are catching up, and inevitably this double-whammy reveals a whole new array of possibilities: conversations, disagreements, confusions, questions, expressions...whereas before, these things were simpler, and although it was frustrating, it was not so complicated.

Now. Knowing people better and understanding more of what is going on, I am suddenly aware of the bizarre and involved politics and dramas of my village. No more parading around, blissfully ignorant, riding the high of an adventurer in a new and exciting land! No! Now, I can listen and whisper, I can step on thorns both real and figurative, I can appreciate the nuances of joy that decorate the lives of people making it in this hot, harsh place. Do you see what I am trying to describe? Things have changed and it is hard, but it's the right thing; it's good.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

such a thoughtful reflection. if this was written in August I can't wait to hear how she's doing now!