Ben will be home from a 3-day trip - to the North, to film 2 microcredit program graduations for Fonkoze - in about half an hour. If I were the person that I wish I could be, I would have dinner on. But since the 1/2 pumpkin in my fridge that I was planning to transform into soup turned out to be moldy because we've had almost no electricity and I have no creative energy (or any kind of energy, for that matter), dinner is not on.
I am tired.
- tired of trying to function in a language that I can't fully speak.
- tired of being stared at and/or talked about everywhere I go.
- tired when I have to communicate with a Haitian coworker that I like and respect and am supposed to work closely with, but with whom I JUST. CAN'T. communicate well.
- tired when the market ladies that I always buy produce from ask me for food distribution cards and here I thought that since I buy my food in the street market and speak enough Creole to shop in the street market and have lived in Haiti for almost two years, these women view me as a person and not another potential white-skinned benefactor.
- tired of being hot when it's still only April.
- tired of my hand-washed clothes being stretched out, of having to wear mosquito repellent at home and of dealing with tadpoles in our water cistern, cockroaches, ant nests and an infestation of baby tarantulas.
- tired of my neighbors dropping by with no warning.
- tired of feeling guilty for all of the above (and for not being a kinder, more compassionate and more patient person).
- tired of people thinking that I am some kind of hero for living and working here.
I grew up in Cameroon [grew up = 18 years]. I have spent 20 out of my 27 years being stared at. I KNOW all about different cultural approaches to money and all about living in a relational culture and a tropical culture and yet it still reduces me to tears when someone in the market asks me for money. I still forget to ask my coworkers everyday how their families are and sometimes forgot to greet every single one of them individually. I still would rather come home at the end of day, lock my gate and not visit with my neighbors. I have not cooked dinner - because cooking dinner requires arguing over prices in the market (something that I usually love to do) in the hot sun and making something from scratch (which I also usually love to do) by lamplight. Most days right now, I have almost no patience and even less energy.
Ben doesn't care that I haven't made dinner. Here's to an amazing, supportive husband who doesn't expect me to have cooked for him when he comes home from a 3-day trip and without whom living in Haiti (or anywhere else!) would be much, much harder.