Thursday, April 09, 2009


So here we are, 48 hours back with 9 of them spent at the medical center. The doctors there have been incredibly kind, somehow hearing the story of a crazy third world hospital experience compelled them to move quickly, we were referred and referred throughout the day and J's surgery has already been scheduled.  But no matter how fast things go it looks like we are here for a month and that's just if everything goes okay.

It feels stagnant, the thought of that, mostly because here we already feel like fish out of water. Our life in the jungle, no matter how imperfect was moving forward, hard work and good work and we were finding our groove.  Now I feel a bit aimless, reconnecting but disconnected.  Out of sorts. There's a subtle hum here, a fast paced sort of energy whether on the freeway or in a store, things are so bright and shiny and loud.  I went to the grocery store yesterday and when I walked in I sort of gasped, things are so perfect inside and there are so many choices.  I wandered the produce section and bumped into the guy stocking the pears.  Everything looks so perfect here I said and he smiles, probably thinking I've lost my mind.  But even being gone so briefly forces me to realize all we take for granted, that most of the world has no reflection here, that in other places you buy what's available and the choices are small.  We just don't realize how much we have no matter how many times we tell ourselves how lucky we are.  But I wonder if it's really lucky at all.

So we'll be aimless and we'll struggle with that, we aren't really wanting to be here and it feels like a setback, the groceries I bought cost more than an entire week in the jungle, our budget is narrow and these unnecessary expenses makes us pause.  And that's not the only thing, I have long had a couple of somatic complaints, both of which disappeared when we moved and barely two days here they are back en force, something I can't quite figure out.

So mostly I'm whining, it's hard to see the trees no matter what people say.  


Bookmark and Share


hele said...

oh sister. i am sending so much love and hope that soon you will be safely back in the jungle and i am grateful that you got there in time and i love you*

bgirl said...

whine away sweet mama. i'm all ears.
i bet you feel like you are in an alternate reality. how can these two worlds so different simultaneously exist!

sending all my best to you J you and M during this unknown time. curious how M is processing being back.


Jennifer (ponderosa) said...

When I came back to the US after living for 2 years in Eastern Europe (this was over a decade ago), I walked into a grocery store and thought, "I could buy Christmas gifts for EVERYONE I KNOW from this one grocery store!" I just wandered around that store dumbstruck.

Sending good vibes your way...

Daffodil Campbell said...

I'm glad that you are moving forward with medical care, and that path has been smooth.

I am sending you lots of peaceful thoughts, and I hope you are back home (yes, HOME in the jungle) soon.


krista said...

it's the incongruities that are so uncomfortable. it's like they're under the skin and you're trying to recognize your life after an earthquake where everything is not where it once was.
i get this feeling sometimes just in my day to day life and a simple change in scenery, like just walking outside, is enough to throw me out of my element.
i can't imagine the literal shift in environment being taken away after i was just starting to recognize.
good thoughts. mine to you.

meno said...

Surgery? A month? Oh yuck. I'm so sorry. And you were just starting to get settled.

Denise said...

I'm so sorry about this. You're in my thoughts.

Now about that "gasp" when you went into the grocery store. Yes. I've made that noise. Many times - after spending almost six years in the Philippines and again after spending four years in Panama.

My mother used to be embarrassed to go to the grocery store with me. Seriously.

You don't realize just how different it is in the US... until you leave... and come back.

Magpie said...

I hope things go well - a month sounds like a long time. Where are you staying?

flutter said...

thinking of j and of you and just...loving you from all these miles

Gwen said...

oh, jen. i really really hope all is well with j. be kind to yourself during this strange transition time. america isn't all bad, you know. :)

painted maypole said...

culture shock, indeed.

hey... while you're in the states, would you like me to send school supplies to you and ahve you fly back with them? If you have room we could save a bundle on shipping and get you more stuff.

whatever. let me know. ;)

a li'l bit squishy said...

I totally got it about the store thing. Sometimes too much choice is not a good thing, sometimes it seems that life would be better and easier if we just made do with a few small choices or even none at all. Certainly there is great value in your jungle experience. You and J are in my thoughts, hope you are able to make your journey back to your new home sooner rather than later.

Kyla said...

I knew you would feel this way. It is just a month, right? A month in the course of a lifetime in your new home in the jungle. You'll be there soon enough.

Velma said...

This is how I felt coming back to the states after teaching in Kenya 20+ years ago. I still find myself in shock sometimes at the sheer abundance that Americans take for granted.