Archives for posts with tag: mom

i wreak of diesel fuel right now.  no amount of washing will get it out.   i think i’m going to die of random fume + dust smells.  okay maybe not. LOL.

oh wait, i’m ahead of myself.  maybe i should backtrack and get to where I am today.

so the other night during my skate lesson I bit it really really hard.  Right in the face.  I’m still recovering but I’m not gonna whine about it.  Okay yes I am because it’s on my face and it’s all i can think about.  Plus, since I have on this hijab ALL you see of me is my face. LOL.  So to have a big bruise on your chin, well. ugh.  I look either like a tough girl or a battered wife.  But internally, honestly it’s interesting to see how the body responds when you keep going when you don’t want to.  After the fall I got back up and kept skating.  I’m so proud of that part.

On that note, I’m learning and relearning the idea of patience.  We wanted to paint a mural today (or at least get the ball rolling).  And to do such a thing is a bigger job than grab paint, grab brushes, slap it on board, let it dry.  Here, searching around in the dark because the power is out for the 10th time today and all the lanterns are being used for much more important purposes means that finding the supplies is a real challenge.  Or realizing that going to buy new rollers to paint with will be an all day affair.  Needless to say, that when all was said and done, the easiest, simplest way to get the paint off of my hands was to wash them in diesel fuel – because that’s all we had, and it was going to have to work.   Spending time complaining or fretting is just a pure waste.  There are so many things going on in the day – and so many little moments to really savor with the kids… I dunno.  I get it.  You do the best you can with the tools you have and move on.  Wisely.  But move on.  The gas smell will eventually fade.  The mural I am going to help teach them how to paint will hopefully be here many years to come.

I’m learning about how organizations built up of a collage of people from different nationalities is challenging.  There are so many random cultural idiosyncrasies that the simplest ideas can take forever to be generally accepted by everyone in the room.  Or, even, trying to hash out a process sometimes ends in arguments because sometimes people are saying the same thing but in different ways.  Or, perhaps there are assumptions being made by one party or another.  It definitely makes me want to take a class in cross-cultural communication.   Especially because in the end – we always figure out a way to get things done.  We pretty much work 12 – 13 hour days here on average.  Much of that time is dedicated to making sure we get it all done and that folks are clear on the mission.  There are oftentimes still misunderstandings, but in another sense, it’s beautiful to watch us humans figure it all out.

In other news, I’m growing more and more frustrated with being a woman here.  I have my thoughts that perhaps I’ll share later about how why countries who don’t allow for equal space for both genders can’t really thrive.  But in the meantime, I WILL take this time to whine about how I just want to go to a shop and buy something, talk to some people, maybe go get a soda.   But really, there is such a huge fear here of women.  Yes, I call it fear.  Its sad really. But also, you grow jealous of your male counterparts.  They go and do and walk around with relative ease.  They don’t know quite how frustrating it is for us women working here.  I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to do an exercise where the men in our office had to be a woman for a day.  Just to maybe get a glimpse at how it feels to be so restricted.  So funny how the most degrading thing for a man to even consider being is a woman.  So sad.

I’ve never in my life ever really wanted to be a man.  But in this instance I wish I could perhaps just not be any gender.  I just feel like there are so many parts of this country I’ll never get to experience because I’m a woman.  Sort of frustrating to come all this way and for that to be the reality.

#rantover.

i’m headed home for the evening now.  i’se sleepy.  hmmm…. i can’t wait to come back and tell you more about my classes and the students tomorrow.

I don’t think I could bear the thought of going to the complete other side of the Earth – about as close to war as a civilian should ever get – and not make a pit stop to see my parents first.

I will start by saying that I have some of the most loving parents any person could ever be blessed to be born to.

I think this is how your parents always see you. Forever and ever.

They have completely supported my crazy ideas in the past.  This time, I knew it was hard for them yet again to say “okay, we support you – now how can we help you?”  I can only imagine what it must feel like to send your child away to a place you don’t know, to a people and culture that couldn’t be more different than what they have ever experienced.  Moreover – to a place about as volatile and dangerous as the world has to offer.

That said.  We have done this before.  At 12 I had the bright idea that going to boarding school would be the best thing ever for my young developing mind.  And, surprisingly (and I’m sure very painfully) they let me go.  They encouraged me, supported me, always left the door open for me to come home… which gave me the strength to make it through to the end.  That experience was a wild ride.  A girl from Gary, Indiana (murder capital at the time) going off to some school that looks like a castle in the middle of nowheresville Minnesota – with people of a VERY different tax bracket? … not to mention races, cultures, and languages I’d never heard before all huddled into this 150 year old school.  Yes.  a wild ride it was.

This time, I’m sure their fears are different….but I have that same feeling I did all those years ago.  Ms. Niki – wanting to do something everyone else she knows would pass.  Willing to fail – knowing she will do whatever it takes not to.  So they stand by and support.  Financially, physically, emotionally, and in whatever other way could possibly be imagined.

For example, they’ve agreed to play grandparent to the only grandchild I think they’ll ever know for quite a while – my cat Willis.

The Magnificent Willis Maguillicutty

My father seems to be kind of grumpy about this whole portion of “support” but, he’s always like that toward the family pet.  However, he’s usually the most sad when they go.  It’s an interesting dichotomy to watch unfold.  My mother will spoil him rotten in between almost stepping on him.  Again, normal for how family pets are treated in this house.  It’s cool.  I know he’ll be safe.  He’ll be loved.  And he’ll he happy.

Just like me.  I’m loved.  I’m happy.

That said, I’m also growing more and more nervous the closer I get to my departure date.  How will I make it with all these bags?  Will the people hate me where I’m going?  Will I be effective?  Will I truly be in harm’s way?  What if it’s just plain old hard to live there and I hate it? I’m brown – will folks treat me more harshly because of it?  I’m American – will the kids I work with (or their parents) hate me too? None of it too major of an anxiety… just thoughts that pass through my mind.  Especially the one “Niki, what are you thinking?”

Whelp, I leave on this epic journey in 4 days or so.  So many little details to remember and tie up.  I know I’m up for this challenge.  I can’t wait to see how this story unfolds.  I want to really suck up every moment of it.

Written by Niki