Apr 22, 2016

When I Dream of America.

This morning when I made my coffee, I found that my tin can full of sugar was full of ants. It was 6:30am and I was due to the bus stop for the first part of my commute at 7am. So I stuck my tea spoon in the container, spooned out some sugar and drank a few ants. No problem. Or as they like to repeatedly say in Rwanda, Nyakibazo.

I laughed to myself as I finished the cup of coffee. "Haha, I live in Africa and I've lost any idea of normalcy. I just knowingly spooned ants into my coffee." And then the pang of worry reared it's head. The worry I sometimes have that I have lost touch with American culture. That I have become culturally ambiguous and thus...quite strange in my behaviors.

Sometimes I dream of what life is like in America. I mean, I technically know what life is like in America, but for the past 8 years I have only had a few weeks home a year and distorted social media to link me to the land of my birth. Sometimes, my friend's posts online surprise me. I am surprised by what is seen as important, what is "share-worthy" or what is popular back home. It's hard to "like" another picture of a friend's toddler in Lily Pulitzer clothing when the kids outside my gate don't have shoes. I sometimes look through Facebook and think I'm looking at another universe, where anyone can say anything - no matter how ignorant, guns are normal, which stroller to buy is a life-changing decision, and a music video sparks more interest than a terror attack in West Africa.

Though aspects of American culture appear foreign to me, there are so many wonderful parts of the American ease of life that I look forward to almost every day. As my return to the land of plenty looms, I mostly think of food and cleanliness. The social aspects of American life will take time to adjust to. But food and cleanliness! Oh man. I am so, so excited to be an American in America after so long.

I dream of:

A big bowl of salad.
Shaved carrots, boiled eggs, fresh arugula, topped with a sauce of some sort.

A bowl of berries.
Blueberries, raspberries, strawberries...so sweet and luscious.

Give me all the bacon.

A pint of ice cream.
I want to sit on a couch, with a pint of chunky ice cream in my lap, watching reality tv.

A bathtub.
Full of clean, hot water.

Women's Community.
Exercise classes. Book club. Walking group. Dinner Potlucks. Bachelor Mondays. I want it all!

A Washing Machine.
Clean clothes. That don't smell like outside. Oh my goodness.

Clean Feet/Shoes.
I want to wear nice shoes. And feel pretty.

I also want: long walks, to learn to bake bread, a chiropractor, to drink soy milk, to buy a big cat scratcher for Mushu, weekend brunch, regular hair cuts, hockey games, to be able to wear my hair up (must be down in a moto helmet), to wear contact lenses again, a gym membership, regular church services in english, to spend hours in the greeting card aisle, curly hair products.....

America, you're a silly place. At least you look silly from far away. But oh man...I can't wait to be clean and have wonderful food available to me. I can't wait for constant running hot water and a fridge full of whatever I can dream of.

There are hard and wonderful aspects to life anywhere. But as I begin to mentally prepare for life in America, I am thinking of what awaits me. Ben and Jerry and a hot bath will ease the social awkwardness. Oh yes.

Ant-less coffee.

82 days.

But who's counting?

walk slow. xoxo.

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