Friday, September 7, 2012

Habari za Home Leave?

Here I am halfway through my 6-week home leave, aka Operation American Indulgence. So far my hair has been cut in a style that doesn’t require the everyday pony tail. I spent an amazing afternoon at a spa getting scrubbed cleaned. I’ve ransacked the summer clearance racks at my fav clothing stores. And I’ve enjoyed so many lunches and dinners out with friends and family that I barely fit into most of my new pants- but I regret not a forkful!!

Being back has been a crazy mix of feeling like I never left and feeling like everything is completely different. Even friends commented that we all picked up conversations like I’d still been around. But then there are those moments when someone asks me the simplest questions and I have no idea how to answer!  

The first few days I was mainly sleeping and visiting. My first trip to Wal-Mart ended up as a 2 hour walk up and down aisles. I finally realized I must have had a strange look on my face when I noticed other shoppers staring at me and how employees kept asking if they could help me find something.

The first major cultural shock moment came when I was finally able to spend a day helping around the family farm. I guess because this showed the biggest comparison with the agriculture and farming ways I had been surrounded by in the village.

My dad had me run water over a horse’s swollen leg. It was something the horse definitely needed. But I was standing there watching ALL this clean, clear, drinkable water being run over the horse’s leg and then onto the ground….it just seemed so wrong, like I was wasting it. I should at least find a way to capture it as ran off the horse’s leg so we could use it again later.

I was also shocked to find that pizza rolls are not nearly as tasty as I remember them! And I can no longer handle air conditioning!! I have to carry around a wrap to restaurants, movie theaters and stores as they usually freeze me out.

One good surprise I have had is being able to see the support I have here at home. So many people have been really interested in and supportive of what I’ve been doing in TZ. Many groups have invited to talk about my work at their meetings. It’s really been fun!

For now, I must run— literally! It’s time for my daily workout to combat all the food involved in Operation American Indulgence!

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