Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Week 2 Blues

Well folks, it’s time to take off the rose-colored glasses. I am living in Senegal, not in Disney World. And just like anywhere else in the world, there’s junk I gotta do and people that I gotta deal with.

I started feeling a little whiny yesterday, while I was on an island, on the beach, when it was 80 degrees and sunny. I figured that my current circumstances could not possibly be causing my state of mind. Instead, I realized that I’ve hit the wall in terms of being excited about the newness of life here. In other words, I don’t feel like washing my own underwear is an adventure anymore.

It’s a tease, really, because I’ve figured out life and French enough to live here and do okay. But I also know now how far I have to go. I’ve been in the culture enough to not offend someone’s socks off. But I also know that I don’t fit in. And I’ve gotten to know the people in my program enough to get along, but also just enough to know what might bother me about them eventually, or immediately (not talking about you C&C!).

Last year in Kenya it took me half the trip to readjust expectations. Here it might take some time, but at least I’ve started this early. It’s so hard to know what you’re up against when going abroad, so readjusting expectations is a daily ritual. C’est la vie. I can finally say that and not feel corny, being in a francophone country. I just try to remember that I am me no matter where I am and life isn’t so drastically different that I’m a fish gasping for air. The water’s just murky and the other fish act funny.

What is making me feel better at this point is that my little brother (not my real or favorite little brother, who are one and the same) has decided to improve his English by speaking to me in English all the time, while I will continue to respond in French. His accent is horrendous and he speaks slowly. At least I know someone is feeling my pain, and I his. There, they’re and their!

Today the war of the tongue twisters started. Neither woodchuck or chuck are in my dictionary. Try explaining that in French.

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