Learning to live overseas in a third world country is entirely about adjusting; we adjusted to hearing a different language constantly spoken, adjusted to seeing a different way of life revolve around us, we had to adjust to the fact that things we normally did were now considered abnormal or wrong. That first year+ was the hardest life-change for me as I forced myself to say good-bye to all my former comforts. I had to learn to live peaceably with things, people, and food I was uncomfortable with. More specifically I had to learn to adjust to myself as new emotions, irritations and peeves surfaced.
After a good solid couple years living overseas we can now say less and less surprises or frightens us! And as I sit to write, I realize a LOT that was far from normal has finally become daily life to us. Here are some examples:
Checking you toothbrush for bugs that have moved in overnight.
Checking the toilet for crawlies before sitting.
Checking for roaches before putting feet on ground in the middle of the night.
Shooing any bugs back down the drain before a shower
Having husband give toad a swirlie after finding him in corner before a shower.
Yelling out of fright for husband to come quickly when…
finding a large gecko in the silverware drawer
When gecko falls on you when closing the door or curtain
Geckos leaping in fear inches from you and splatting on the ground
Geckos in general… and,
Seeing a rat scamper across the floor TOWARDS you
Asking husband to get drinking water from the kitchen because you’re too afraid of stepping on a toad along the way.
Sweeping after every meal or else geckos and every ant on this planet come to eat the crumbs
Ignoring gecko poop drips on the wall
Flicking the spider off arm before realizing it was a centipede.
Yelling at daughter to keep colorful bugs she’s found a proper distance away (and NOT INSIDE!).
Finding humor flicking off the miniature ants off your arm towards husband.
Congratulating your husband for having left a perfect silhouette of mosquito dust on hand after swatting it.
Searching the corners of the house for the dead smelling somethings.
Eating a grub to say you did it.
Driving in the middle of the road without even thinking twice about it
picking small bugs our of your eye that got jammed in there while driving on the motorcycle.
While driving constantly playing scenarios in mind “if this terrible incident happens I should react…”
Stopping traffic to let pig, dog, cow… cross the road
If someone has stopped at the red light no one stops at.
If ALL four people on the one motorcycle are wearing helmets.
Someone crashes into you and DOSEN’T yell at you
If someone is walking across at night the road NOT wearing black clothes
Nobody asks for money at a free-parking zone.
NOT being surprised when:
Someone crashes into you and demands it’s your fault and you pay.
5 people fitting on a motor bike
Driver and passenger holding helmets while driving
Texting while driving a motorbike
Your helmet being stolen while you’re away for just a minute
Watching an accident happen right in front of you and the man at fault riding away.
Life, it is not abnormal when:
Random people at our door at all hours of the day with no warning.
A day that has nothing planned to quickly become the busiest, and the day with everything planned is all canceled last minute.
I wake up in a pile of my own sweat (that is with two fans blowing directly at me).
When everything about my/your poop comes up in normal conversation and we barely notice it’s a little weird to talk about.
Seeing six year olds supervising a bush fire along the side of the road.
We keep socks in our drawer just for the fond memory that we once wore them.
We ask our spouse to smell our own BO because it’s just that amazingly strong
When our children make the peace sign when someone takes a photo because every other little kid does.
We sweep up a cockroach or two or five
Updating blogs/facebook pictures take up an entire day waiting for the signal to be strong enough to upload.
When we realize we’ve lived WITHOUT: a microwave, hot water, rocky road ice cream, seasons, blueberries/strawberries and starbucks (shocker, I know) and WITH: daily power outages, heat/humidity never lower than 80 degrees, fairly consistent bodily dysfunction of some kind, and extreme exhaustion.
This life forces me to remember God’s perfect care for our family, to hope for a life spent with Him and to thank Him for His daily provision. That alone, I’d say, is more valuable than all the comforts I could wish for at home. To have a mindset of needing Jesus. When life gives no other choice but to cling to Jesus as my One Consistent has certainly proven the most rewarding, life-altering, joy-saturated life to live.
Our internet signal is very weak and I am unable to post as often as I like. So since it’s a random morning we have strong internet signal I’m photo-dumping!! We’ve made many friends, the kids have been adjusting so well, and we have been able to enjoy our new homeland. Each of these pictures below tell a story- I wish I could write all about them! Instead, take a look at my personal blog: firstname.lastname@example.org for more stories!