Kenya is 10 times different from America, yet South Sudan is 50 times different from Kenya. I made the mistake of thinking my time in Kenya had equipped me better, that the two cultures couldn’t be so different, that I wouldn’t have to start all over yet again. I was wrong. I wasn’t prepared for this feeling of inadequacy, this seemingly utter helplessness. I wasn’t prepared to feel like a child, a blank slate, when I’ve already experienced so much. I wasn’t prepared to be stripped bare again. And I feel it pressing on me, weighing me down.
Most of the time I can honestly say I am fine. But today I’m not. So I’m thankful for Kenya, for the time we have to “refill”. I look forward to when…
I can speak English to more than a handful of people and hear it spoken in public.
I can drive.
I feel comfortable going places alone.
I can walk through normal grocery stores with a shopping cart.
I can buy fresh fruit and veggies of all kinds.
I can buy ice cream and potato chips of ANY kind.
I can worship and fellowship in my mother tongue.
I can play volleyball… in shorts.
I’m no longer stared at every second I’m not in my compound.
I can go to the movies or bowling or golf.
I can take a real shower with hot water from the tap and not from a bucket on my charcoal grill.
I can use a sit down toilet… that flushes.
I can wear trousers EVERY day.
I can use the internet ALL day long if I want to.
My makeup won’t slide off my face.
I can bake box mix brownies in a gas oven.
I can feel a bit less like an idiot and more like myself.