Sometimes I think we, or at least I, believe that a life overseas is going to have some grand implications. You know, there will be something “crazy” that happens everyday or you will never run out of bizarre stories. While there is some truth to that, there is also a lot of my own ignorance in those assumptions. Let me tell ya, everyday life here in the Horn of Africa is a lot less grand than you might be thinking and a whole lot more mundane - but I think that is what makes it so special.
For example, today is a typical Wednesday. I woke up at 8am, laid in bed for a while, got ready, and then walked to school at 9:30am (and don’t think anything about my walk, it's literally less than a minute from my house to the school). I taught math from 10-11:30am and then walked back home. I ate some lunch, read some articles I had slacked off on, and then walked to my teammates house for language lessons. I studied French with her and our tutor for two hours. I am getting ready for our cultural team meeting, where we really focus on learning about how to invest in and engage with our local community. After this meeting, I am going to walk back home, make dinner, workout, and then probably do some lesson prep for tomorrow. That’s it. That’s a typical Wednesday. Now, some days look much busier and I interact with a wider variety of people. Some days I’m at home 90% of the day writing newsletters, balancing budgets, cleaning, and trying to catch up on things that were forgotten over the week. I guess what I’m trying to say is that life overseas is a lot like life wherever you are now.
The routines, the practices, the day-to-day processes look extremely similar. For me, I no longer need to vacuum but have to sweep and mop at least two times a week. I am dripping sweat if I am outside for longer than a minute, but I am still eating pasta for dinner. I have found some comfort in these familiar, yet different, patterns. Even when I’m worlds away from what I’ve grown up around and come to know with ease, I still carry on in daily activities like any other person. I sound different, I look different, but I’m me. I’m living life. Just a life overseas. Nothing really all that special. Yet, that is exactly what makes it special. You know what I mean?