I´ve discovered all sorts of sicknesses here in Nicaragua – stomach sicknesses that scold you for drinking that cacao fresco, gripe cold sicknesses that hang on and on and on, homesicknesses that start as an outward missing of home but then become a subtle dislike of things that are not home, stress sicknesses that just make you tired and spiritual sicknesses that weigh on your soul and make you listless.
I´m encountering a new sickness…and no, it´s not AH1N1 or whatever that thing is called now. It´s called lost footing sickness or something of the sort. I haven´t really lost my footing, I just feel like it. Maybe it is the craziness of May at my school – exams, monthly plan session, a huge fundraiser, lots of tutoring and we still have the giant holiday of mother´s day to look forward to. Maybe it’s the less than 2 months I have to prepare a wedding. Maybe it’s another bout of homesickness, realizing how out of touch I am with the people I care most about. Or maybe it’s a soul sickness, a need to get out and get quiet for a while.
I honestly think it just might be the outcome of making so many large decisions and doing life outside of the environment I was used to. It is a very strange feeling to live my life here with the absence of my family, close friends and church body. I have friends and family and church here, but it just feels different. With Peace Corps, there was at least the little US bubble you had around you all the time as a volunteer, if not in person, in mind and phone calls. But I find myself with some identity issues…I am not Nicaraguan but I don´t feel fully gringa either. And yet sometimes this distinction is important. It is just a very strange feeling, this way of living. I am not sure I can fully explain it.
Maybe it is like a lily uprooted and planted among hydrangeas. I mean, they are both plants and can relate, but a lily is not a hydrangea. Nor is a hydrangea a lily. But they can still both thrive and live in the same garden right? Even if there is not a single other lily or certainty about leaving the hydrangea garden for the lily garden?
Has anyone ever experienced this feeling before, this foreign yet not foreign transformation? Missionaries out there that know what I am talking about? I want to be clear though…just living in a foreign country does not necessarily invoke this feeling…but the integration into that community does. I´m meeting a lot of missionaries who don´t really integrate, so they don´t know what I am talking about. Maybe it is not necessarily a foreign country thing…could be a different religion or race or class thing too…who knows.
Final note: No one worry (mom or grandma ). I’m doing well actually, enjoying a lot of stuff these days. Just doing some internal processing in the public forum.
Some new things I am doing or discovering here
-I can make a pretty tasty pizza. And Moisés is actually an excellent cook. We have fun in the kitchen.
-I can´t stand prideful ministers. There is something so upsetting to me about someone who uses their position as a minister for their own glory, their own authority and power…and it infuriates me to watch them use it to control others. Absolutely infuriating.
-I really enjoy movies…if you have not seen La Misma Luna, or Under the Same Moon, find it and enjoy it…really really like that one. The new Earth movie too was really fun.
-I have a huge black rat living in my ceiling. Not a fun new discovery but a new one…sick. Working on that problem this week.
-I am getting on my feet at work and connecting with my students. It feels good.
-I am realizing how much I miss being a single classroom teacher…accompanied the first graders on the field trip…what a blessing.
-I need so much more patience.
-It is really neat to be the connection between a Colorado church and my church and see how God uses it to meet needs here in El Crucero – pray for the clinic and kid´s feeding centers we have going on here.
-Only six weeks until vacation and then two more weeks after that that I get married…don´t ask me if I´m ready. :)
-I am really enjoying reading through the Old Testament…find yourself a one-year chronological bible…it is fantastic and really helps paint a fuller picture of how things happened. The story of David and his reign is particularly encouraging.
-I´m getting fat here…WAY too much Coke, chocolate splurges and popcorn. It´s become an unhealthy and out of hand stress coping mechanism after work. I gotta start exercising again!
-I miss my mama and my closest friends…not just the people but the experiences we had.
-Learning to be grateful and receive what may come with hope and joy.
-Respect is something I have to fight for without letting it affect my confidence.
-The only thing worth seeking after is Him and His kingdom.