Day 488: Email attachments galore!

Honestly, the fast internet is the biggest luxury of being home. If I am going to be tied to my computer for non-profit running and work related purposes, I should at least be able to distract myself effectively.


However, the downside is that Claire and my relationship has become primarily e-mail-based, I think if only because we can suddenly said useless emails without thinking of it. Whereas before I would think twice about cc:ing Claire on a highly important work email, I now respond to her emails at least twice a day with one word answers like “when” or “ha!” that I could easily consolidate, and I even send out bad movie forwards of stupid Miss USA pageant contestants.


Another down side is that I have lost the ability to talk on the phone. Really. I have accidentally hung up on two people, and have managed to forget my voicemail password three times in the two weeks I’ve been home. Verizon is going to start thinking I am mentally unwell if I have to call yet again to reset the stupid thing. It also just seems so unbelievably draining to talk to people when I have to answer questions like “how is Africa!?” “do you miss your kids?” and my personal favorite: “A non-profit…doesn’t everyone have one of those?”


But for all that, I will say that I think the culture shock is getting to me more than normal. Clearly, the emailing slipped right back in, and I’m irate with certain Kenyans for not emailing me back quickly enough, but I still struggle to comprehend how I spent 100 dollars on four bags of groceries, or how my friend working retail can sell 20,000 dollars worth of clothing on a given Wednesday. To top it all off, I have forgotten how to put on makeup without making myself look like a whore. And it’s very offputting to simultaneously curse myself for not looking good in my jeans and feel disgusted with myself for thinking that I don’t have “anything to wear.”


I miss the practicality of Kenya. I miss knowing that whatever I said—to the kids at least—was right, and miss believing that language barriers were what kept people from laughing at my bad jokes. It’s a lot harder to hack it and feel okay about doing so when it’s supposedly your culture.


I have slipped into a little cocoon of luxury in my parents’ house, as they’ve been out of town, and I’ve been here with things like bubble baths and bathrobes all by my lonesome. It’s been heaven, but I have to admit that everyday that I love the extreme solitude, I also miss the ability to walk outside and be surrounded by my kids. I used to complain that the Kenyans never left Claire and I alone, and bitch about how the door knocking that started at 8:30 AM never stopped. But it seems those Kenyans got to me, because while I never thought I’d miss it, I find myself remembering it fondly all too often. But that’s also probably because they often came bearing food.



sylvia said...

I've found that the ability to apply make-up comes back, but the missing the kids, never, ever goes away. Which means we just have to go back, right?

tamar said...

You girls are great!! I love this blog, but even more so, I love what you've done to improve the world with your Hope Runs program.. Since I'm passionate about competitive running, Africa, and figuring out how I can help change the world myself, it would have been very tempting to be envious of your accomplishments.. But it is such a gift you've given on such a large scale, that I really can't help but replace that feeling with one of complete awe and appreciation. In the words of the irrepressible Mr. Rogers, 'Thanks for being you' :-)

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