So as the holidays approach, I find myself in a situation similar to many Peace Corp workers, missionaries, and NGO volunteers. We leave our remote locations to celebrate the holidays with people from our organizations or of similar cultural backgrounds.
After months of being the only Westerner for miles, I’m looking forward to:
- Great food
- Fellowship with old comrades and new ones
- Speaking English
- Comparing Notes on what is similar or different in our situations
- Swimming (in real swim-wear)
- Worshiping in my language with songs I grew up with
- Shopping in the “Big City”
The list goes on and one. But there is also a list of what I fear:
- Being around people all the time
- How much English I have forgotten
- Looking like I’m from the bush
- I’ll miss my friends and co-workers in the bush
- Not knowing what to talk about with people
- Long meetings with the organization, there is no way around the length of some of the discussions and the disagreements about how to deal with problems we face. It is necessary.
So what can I say? It is a paradox of emotions as the time draws near. If I weren’t checking facebook off and on, I may not even remember that Thursday is Thanksgiving in the US, since it is a regular work/school day for most of us.
I am thankful for the amazing opportunity I have to serve here. I am thankful for all the people that I meet both nationals and international workers. I am thankful for the Lord sustaining me in the remote situation I find myself in. And, I am looking forward to the Holidays.