Thursday, September 11, 2008

Home sick.....home ill.....home everything!

So I'm gonna be honest, these past weeks have been tough! This is rather atypical of me since I usually love traveling, meeting new people, exploring, etc etc. This time around, its a bit different. Maybe its because of my small town, my all-in-one bathroom/toilet/shower, abandonment of my vegetarian ways, lack of football/basketball. Well, really its just the isolation and loneliness. I am staying at a guest house (actually its a Boy Scouts Guest House created by Dutch scouts...don't ask me how/why...I just live there). The monotony of life is setting in: wake up, breakfast, walk to work at 7, walk back at 5:15, jump rope and do push-ups, eat dinner, play scrabble, watch tv, repeat. I've sought advice from other vols and it seems the 1st month is always really tough and critical to get through. Basically you just have to go day by day and things usually end up getting better. I hope this is true! I am fortunate enough though to have met a girl staying here at Scouts who is on rotation at the hospital. We at least can have dinner together and play scrabble. Also, my colleague at work, Cate, has been a great person I can confide and share my feelings with. I've really learned to take joy in the small things of life. It may be just taking a walk, a smile, saying hi to a person, etc. It also makes me realize how my life in the US was so full of distractions. It was so easy not to face challenges or do things you didn't want to because there were alternatives (like my sports, numerous restaurants, a car to drive places, cultural events in Houston, etc.). Since I don't have those things here, its kind of a rude awakening. It has been a long time since I've actually just been alone....really alone...and just really see yourself. Its both interesting and difficult to see who I am ...alone...out of context...out of my comfort zone. I hope this slump turns for the better as time goes on. At least that's what most people say.


Catherine said...

Hey Girl! Thanks for being raw in your post. I know I'm not far away..just middle of nowhere OK, but I completely relate. This project has been a brutally painful awakening of how I've filled my life with distractions. I always saw them as the pleasures in life, hanging out with friends, trying new restaurants...but here there are no people under the age of 30 and i can count the # of non-fast food restaurants on one hand. So I have been forced to spend a lot of time alone. It brings a whole new meaning to knowing who you are...and its not always pretty. But hang in there, you can always expect the first month to be a culture shock. I'm sure if you stick with it you'll be loving it soon enough! God has a plan for you and I can't wait to hear more!

Leia said...

Elisa - I love reading your blog, so please keep it up! I admire you for breaking out of the norm to do something you love. I can tell you from experience (I was a foreign exchange student - 1 year in Vienna) that the first few months away from your normal life is HARD. I cried myself to sleep everynight in the beginning. Just stick with it. IT WILL GET BETTER.

Miss ya.

Victor said...

The end of the post was beautifully written and honest which I appreciate. It's good that you can take this time and focus on the good of this--having time, being away from distractions, and learning about God, life, and God's people in Kenya. I'm yearning for more time here, time away, time in solitude, meditation, rest, relaxation before entering the fray each day, kinda like Jesus. That guy had a really nice balance. Though not as simple as in most 3rd world countries, it's a bit simpler than in the US. . . .maybe. I'm trying to make it simpler. See you soon.