Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Another Perspective on Re-entry

Kelsey Kelly was a member of the Extreme Team that blessed our lives so much while we were in Zambia. For the last few months of her time at Namwianga, Kelsey lived at Haven 3, the orphanage for babies who have health issues like HIV and TB.

We love Kelsey like our own miss her terribly, as we do all of the wonderful co-workers who shared our Namwianga experience. Like us, Kelsey returned to the US in April. She recently blogged about her re-entry experience and the differences in her life here versus life at Namwianga. I thought you might appreciate her twenty-something perspective.

1. (In the US I have) an endless supply of electricity. After living with Zambian outages every few days, the idea that I can charge my computer whenever I want, instead of making sure it’s at full capacity at all times just in case a 3 days black out hits you. So when the lights go out the usual plan of attack is that you scuffle to find your head lamp and save the babies on the other side of the room (that are usually screaming)

2. People (here in the US) keep freaking out about bugs. I'm used to living by the motto, if there isn't a bug in my food, it's just not a meal.

3. Doorknobs here are lower and much easier to open. And we locked every door in our (Zambian) house. Big time hassle.

4. Here in the US we are constantly connected with every kind of great food. I would have given my left arm to eat a Reeses this time last month. Now I could care less.

5. I’m used to going to sleep (in Zambia) smelling like Kapenta (fish), dirty, and smelly. Now I have to actually bathe.

6. It doesn’t matter what you wear in Zambia. You put on a t-shirt and skirt. Make up on Sundays (sometimes).

7. You don't throw anything away. EVER. You have a plastic sack, you give it to someone and they kiss your face because it's like handing them a 10 dollar bill.

8.You say hi to everyone. You see them on the path, you say hello. You don't know them, you still say hello.

9. (In the US) You are connected to everyone through email, text message, or phone call here. There, I would open my email every three days (sometimes more, sometimes less!) and I’d have a great emails for reading later that night. Also, looking at twitter and facebook regularly? Still not used to it. These days I’d rather not.

10. More time for the simple things. Cleaning my room, reading a book, watching a movie, holding a baby, listening to music, talking a walk. I don’t really have time for uninterrupted quiet time nowadays..

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