Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Chaotic Mundane

I would say that life here has this really strange sense of being chaotic and uneventful at once for me. It feels contradictory. I battle the feeling of the mundane that many stay at home mothers struggle with, with the added burden of feeling like I'm supposed to be doing something extra special because people are funding our work overseas.

But in any case, what do I do? I watch kids. I cook meals. I clean up. I shop. Repeat, again and again. My mom asks me what's new on skype and I shrug and don't know what to say because our regular daily life is.... pretty mundane.

But then life here is so weirdly chaotic sometimes. I think it has to do with being in a developing society. Because of that, in the last month we've had in terms of health, a case of food poisoning, a bad finger infection that caused half the nail to be lost and needed antibiotics, and dengue fever (can be very severe – we were lucky). Regular power outages gave way to a 14 hour outage last week, which means no water and no power all day. 

Then there was the night we were out grabbing dinner at a little restaurant before going shopping and suddenly people started running past the door and literally within five minutes they'd cleared the restaurant and told us all to leave now, immediately, without paying, as fast as we could, because it wasn't safe. We drove off with pedestrians and roadside sellers literally running away in panic... from what? We couldn't see, we didn't know, and there's no social media or evening news to clue us in. Days later we finally heard through the grapevine that one guy from one tribe beat up another guy from another tribe, causing a fight and enough tension that everyone fled the area and all the stores shut down immediately. So, it wasn't a big deal, but it was, because everyone knows that it just takes a small thing to ignite a riot that can burn down the area (has happened). The stores all knew to shut down on a moment's notice, the people fled without knowing what they were fleeing from. And so – we fled with the crowd, and that is just... so surreal.

And then on New Year's Eve the rains of rainy season got a little heavier and we watched the ditch system fill up and back up and cover our road and begin rising up our sidewalk, and we ran around the house unplugging things and lifting up electronics in case of a flood. It didn't flood, but a few days ago we had an even faster flash flood that made our house essentially an island in the midst of a rushing lake/river of muddy water in the middle of the day. The kids were delighted by the impromptu swimming pool but it was so surreal to have the water literally rushing around nearly every corner of our house and front porch, and knowing that all it would take was an extra two inches rise and it would flood through our front door. Now we're prepared and know it will likely happen next month.

I don't know, is it chaotic, or is it just the the things that are happening are different than the things that happen in the US and so they feel chaotic because they would be chaotic in the US? Are they just a part of life here? We pretty much roll with the punches but then we look at each other with wide eyes and say... I can't believe this is our life and these things are actually happening.

And then I go back to making dinner and planning meals and putting kids to bed. So bizarre, this life.

1 comment:

Melissa said...

"is it chaotic, or is it just the the things that are happening are different than the things that happen in the US and so they feel chaotic"
I can relate to this! I have felt like this before, and I think a lot of the people I know who have lived in China have felt like that too. The longer I'm here, the more normal my life seems, and nothing phases me anymore. But then if someone visits me, I start to notice all the things that would seem weird to someone who doesn't live here!