Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Wherever I Go, There I Am

That amazing, glowing, "oh my goodness, I am in Africa!" feeling has worn off. The incredible sense of newness, that I am in an exotic, foreign place, is no longer there. I am not afraid of the bugs anymore. Nor the dark corners or strange customs of this place. My nose doesn't recoil at the smells. Don't get me wrong, I deeply love it here, I very much love the people, and every day is still exciting. But I now feel acclimated to it, and this is just where my daily life is happening. I'm used to the mud, the hard rains, the dark skin, the accents, the currency. My sense of direction is established and I can tell people how to get somewhere. The Ugandans that I have made friends with have remarked at how quickly I have adapted, fit in. I guess I've made the switch.

The rolling of the ocean, orderly traffic, the taste of Vancouver water, dimly lit restaurants, pampered dogs without fleas, and the smell of the coastal rainforest; those things sound exotic to me, far away. The reminder is that that exciting feeling of newness that one gets in a foreign place is by its nature temporary, transitory. Depending upon how adaptable you might be, and this trip seems to have indicated that I am very, the newness goes away rather quickly and you find yourself just being there, wherever you are.

1 comment:

  1. It's true. I've often thought how one's immediate surroundings, no matter how familiar, can so quickly fade and a new reality becomes the everyday. One's awareness of this transition is also of interest to me; the moment can be utterly real, and then it's not. I guess that's the problem with not being content with the present...we're obviously meant to grasp it as fully as possible, or risk missing so much enjoyment. Knowing you, I'm not surprised that you've adapted so well...that makes me really happy!