Wednesday, April 1, 2009


So.....I joined PC as an attempt to "run away" from western culture. I wanted to not be a part of the rat race and the hustle and bustle of what everyone's life begins to feel like. I'm sure everyone has had that thought of "I just wish I could get rid of all this stuff." It just starts to feel heavy and awkward and tiresome. So when I heard the commercial on the radio about living on the African plains in a mud hut I thought, "Yeah! That's the life. Simple easy, slow paced. A culture that value relationship over everything else. Lose the watch. Lose the schedule. Lose the excess baggage. Sign me up." And I did. And I'm glad I did....but....There are some things in western culture that just make sense, like efficiency. It makes sense to do things in an efficient manner. Now we, as Americans may take it to extremes (All of you who TIVO one show while watching another--I'm not criticizing, I'm envying) but it makes sense to be efficient. Like instead of spending 1,000 Kwatcha to go to Mzuzu to go to the bank to deposit money knowing full and well that you intend to spend another 1,000 kwatcha two weeks later to deposit 800 just seems to not make sense.

Sometimes you have to run away to fully appreciate what you have left behind. I'm realizing this dazi na dazi (day after day). Like family and friends. I didn't realize how important people are to me. I really think that moving to another country has been a great way of keeping in touch with a lot of people that I would maybe talk to or hear from once a year or less. And then we get letter or packages from people and it like WOW! I don't know how to explain what it is like. Humbling, exciting, sad, wonderful might be close but not really. It is more than that because it is something I can cling to. a letter. someone actually wrote a letter. and the personality just oozes in letters. and i get to hold the piece of paper that they wrote it on. its tangible. I'm half-way around the world but there is that sense of intimate contact with a friend, a sister, a parent.
Its cool.

I cling to memories too. Like when it is 120 and I think I might just fry an egg on the concrete instead of starting a fire... I cling to the memory of Michigan in the dead of winter and snow and digging tunnels in the snow banks at the babysitters, and rushing to try and make a snow man on that first slight dusting of snow when you can see the green lines of grass where the snow ball have been rolled and formed. I cling to that kin of thing.

And I always thought clinging was a bad thing. Maybe not.


aawbee said...

I don't think i've learned what to cling to yet brother...But i will find out soon enough. I still envy you being there where efficency is not important.
I would love to not have dealines and not have to stay up until 5:30 because of the amount of homework and extra ciricular activies i have tried to fit into my life. I would love to have a day of just sitting and reading, I miss reading, like for fun, not for calss discussion or a texbook. Just reading so I can gain knowledge.
But then again i'm sure if i was where you are i would go crazy sometimes because i'm not the best person to tell to sit still for a long amount of time. I need diversity. But maybe i would like going back to my childhood and using my imagination and creativity and realtionship building to pass the time.
Either way...I still can't wait for my turn and look how much better prepared i will be since you and Tina will have all this advice for me.
love and miss you,

Shane & Lane said...

Cling to your wife...


(I just had to link this to your last post)

Do something exciting!

-Shane and Lane