i spent most of yesterday at a theme park with 25 middle schoolers. i’ll be honest and say i could have sat at a table in the shade all day and been happy… i’m not the biggest fan of rides and such. not that i mind them, it’s just not my idea of a rockin’ good time. but i did go on rides… lots of them. all of them. even the worst i’m-gonna-puke-my-brains-out rides. why? because i’m earning my stripes. those middle schoolers went home thinking i was cool, and i went home feeling a little queezy.
so i ate some week-old pizza, cold, and i didn’t get sick. (i was making sure it was safe before telling everyone else at the church to help themselves).
at some point last night, i got a little bored… so i walked to the grocery store. it gave me some time to reflect on how FAR from africa i am.
1. there are no fences. everyone has big welcoming front yards, unencumbered by walls topped with broken glass. there are also no guards. you can look directly into most neighbors windows, and that’s okay.
2. there is grass and it’s pretty. in africa, grass is considered a messy yard. my guard was constantly pulling up my grass. granted, grass can look messy when you cut it with a machete. no machetes here.
3. there are street lights.
4. despite all the comforts of the outdoors… the safety, the grass, the lighting… everyone shuts themselves up inside. no one is out on the streets talking to each other. def not africa.
5. no one stares at me or sings the whitey “yovo” song.
6. the grocery store… ooooh, the grocery store! i don’t even know where to start on that one. luckily, my grocery store is a smaller “express” version, so i don’t get TOO overwhelmed.
7. lots of cars. no motorcycles. less pollution. more trees. no beach. fireflies.
i’m still far from all my close friends, though. peeps here are super friendly, but i know it will take 6 months to a year before i have any really intimate friendships, and that’s kinda sad. but do-able.