I want this blog to be a place where I share honestly with our friends, family, and supporters the good, the bad, and the ugly about our experience in El Salvador. That being said, I am glad it’s February! The month of January has been the toughest one for me personally in this whole process. The packing, the good-byes and all of those other things were difficult to be sure but I feel like I have personally been through the wringer a bit this past month. I’m sure many of you can relate with your own stressful months!
In our training we learned that right around the three month mark many people enter the “chaos” stage of cultural transition. Well I am definitely there! I have felt a lot of frustration and inner turmoil ranging from thoughts of everything from “why am I really here?” to “STOP TALKING TO ME IN SPANISH!!!!” to “I hate it here, I want to go home” to “there is no hope for this country, why don’t I bail now?” Some days I just have to laugh at the stupid things that set me off. For example: roosters crowing at 3am, our neighbor having a mariachi band playing until 2:30 yet again, crazy traffic, a women yelling all day in the street asking for extra bottles for her food stand, more Spanish, our water randomly not being piped to our house, not being able to put the trash out the night before because the wild street dogs will tear it apart, and so on…you get the idea. As I’m writing these I am laughing, but I’m telling you this past month I wasn’t laughing too much!
But all of this is to be expected, right? It’s the unexpected that seemed to push me over the edge the last few weeks. Jon came down with Dengue Fever. This left him weak and tired, and me stressed and frustrated. The kids were at each other’s throats and I thought I was going to lose my mind. But even in these chaotic times of facing the unexpected, I can still thank God for the opportunity to live a very un-boring life. After all, how fun would life be without a little chaos every now and then!
How many people get to live a life of adventure? I am sitting here looking at the snow in Cranberry and wondering if I have enough juice boxes for preschool tomorrow… Its no wild dogs or dengue fever… Many of us who read your blogs are rooting for you. We know that amazing things are going to come of your work.
Thanks Stef! I feel like I was kind of whining a little bit but that’s where I’ve been the last month. Snow and preschool bring plenty of adventures of their own!
Writing is so therapeutic. Your voice is strong and your honesty is refreshing. My culture shock was in mid-January. In fact I looked it up on the web and diagnosed myself. One day I was so fed up with the dog shit on the sidewalks around here, I came back to the apartment and wrote about it. The metaphor was a bit of a stretch and perhaps not blog worthy….sin and how God loves us despite our constant failing….
Anyway, I look forward to reading more. Go girl! God is so poderoso!
i’m glad you’ve retained all your MTI training and can step back and see what stage of transition you’re in! i hope being able to do that takes the edge of a little. thanks for being real, danielle!
Yes, Polly writing is therapeutic…that’s why I write on here all the time…just need to get the thoughts out I guess! Yes, God is very good to me even in the middle of my freak-out moments!
Hey girl! I just read this this morning and wanted to let you know that I prayed for you today. Thank you for your honesty…you always keep me grounded! I so wish that I could be there to have a cup of coffee and talk about it…hear all of your stories…laugh with you, cry with you…that is something that I miss! You are doing a good thing and I see you writing stuff in Spanish on your fb and I am so proud and also jealous because I can’t understand what you are saying…maybe it will inspire me.
I’m so glad that Jon is feeling better. Hopefully the kids have settled down a bit for you.
Thanks for keeping us updated! Love you…and very jealous of your weather today because we are supposed to get dumped on with snow again!