So when you get to a new place, they say you usually end up in a honeymoon phase where everything about your new surroundings is exciting and full of adventure. I don’t really know when the tint on our rose-colored glasses will end, but we’re trying to enjoy this whole bit as much as we can. Honestly, it’s hard to see outside of yourself when you’ve only got 3 weeks and, maybe, 200 words under your belt. I guess I keep waiting for the hammer to fall when I’ll wake up one day and everything will look terrible. I’m just verbally processing here, so don’t hold me to any of my very “fresh” observations. Plus, really, the proverbial hammer may not fall right now since this is supposedly the easiest transition point–they intended for it to be this way!–whereas the next transition (to a particular region–yet to be determined) will be much more tough since we’ll be doing more on our own (finding housing, buying all of the food ourselves, finding language helpers, etc.).
Payton and I were talking about this whole “adjustment” at breakfast this morning and came to the conclusion that contentment seems to come from allowing God to occupy your mind and your time with the business that he has for you right where you are. I am very glad that we have so much to do right now as we delve into language and culture. I love that there are always new words, new sights (like our neighborhood birds all hiding out in front of the guard shack during a deluge) new sounds, new bugs, and even gremlins…
I don’t actually know their real name, but a very tiny older women was selling them door to door. I’ll explain their name in a minute. Our helper said that mostly they are used for juice and are not really good to eat (that’s roughly what I thought I heard). So, being an adventurous person, I juiced them up and had a glass ready to sip at our noon meal. Payton’s face pretty much turned inside out when he sipped from the glass. Of course, I thought he was just being a pansy, so I did the same. Nope. Our faces now matched along with added coughing and sputtering. It was like a glass of straight lemon juice with a hint of grapefruit. It was so potent that a teaspoon in a glass of tea was almost enough to make your face flip. So, I named the deceptively sour, green, grapefruit, lemon thingys “gremlins.” It seemed fitting.
Now I actually kind of like the flavor added to tea and such. I’m not really sure how all of that connects to culture shock or other adjustments, but maybe just because something appears to be one thing, it may not be what you expected, but you might end up liking it anyway. So here’s to gremlins!