Tuesday, December 30, 2008

tuesday timetable

wow ... so much for blogging regularly once setting foot in my own country. maybe that inspiration will come once we have a home of our own.

today we decided to go across the river and enjoy a truly sumptuous lunch at the Olive Garden, treat from some fellow missos from "home". we all miss PNG quite a lot and are feeling somewhat displaced here ... the place where all things should be familiar. it is quite something to realize first hand that everyone goes on without you very well. I cannot blame them for not thinking about third world countries a whole lot. I cannot blame them for not choosing to go without brown sugar, for example, for a month and a half simply because it isn't available. I cannot blame them for not hanging their clothes out on the line every day or doing without power a couple of times in 24 hours either.

I sympathize with not wanting to have to bleach any fruits and vegetables before consuming them. I understand not wanting to sift all flours and powders for meal worms or weevils. I get that ice cream really isn't a luxury and grocery stores aren't usually in a 20 x 20 shop, only open an hour and a half three days a week.

I mean, who WANTS to live in a place that has you sweating through all your clothing by 9 am? Who in their right mind would CHOOSE to endure 96 percent humidity on a fairly regular basis? Who determines to bake a lasagna in a kitchen that is already more than 100 degrees warm? I understand that the majority of people do not speak fluent tok pisin.

and ...

Maybe, just maybe, it isn't normal for everyone to take malaria prophylaxis at dinner. Perhaps it is kind of weird to discuss diarrhea symptoms over tea, or to show off the latest emerging rash, honestly looking for confirmation of diagnosis and remedy suggestions. It could be that self-medicating isn't a common occurance in "normal" circles. It likely isn't the norm to go to school barefoot either, especially if you are the teacher.

most schools probably have enough books for all students attending. most families have access to a doctor or at least a nurse. most children only speak one language, not four. most people have a paying job.

my country of birth has so much to offer. right now it just feels like a little bit of overkill.

re-adjusting is hard. I hope you can bear with us ...

4 comments:

SmallWorld at Home said...

NOT that this has anything to do with living in a 3rd world country but--I remember distinctly how difficult it was to readjust to the States after living in Germany for 6 months. It took a LONG time, more than 6 months even, to feel at ease again.

Barbara said...

Well this teacher goes to school barefoot. At least I get that part...

fashion jewelry said...

Very good!

40winkzzz said...

OK, so I should have left my comment about daughter going to Madagascar under THIS post! I'm sure she'll come back w/a vastly different perspective on life.

Along the lines of what you wrote here, you might enjoy this blogpost from my cousin who is serving in Uganda:

http://www.jesseandandreablog.com/Site/Journal/Entries/2008/12/8_Abundance_vs._Scarcity.html

I'm off to read a few more posts --going thru your blog backwards here. I don't intend to make any more comments on old posts, but no promises. :-)