Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Settling In

At dinner tonight, I noticed that my bottle of Malarone is about 3/4 full, which means I've been here for a bit, but I'll be here a bit longer. Yesterday, June 24th, marked 2 weeks since I left Seattle. Yesterday also marked 2 years of marriage to my amazing wife Kiana, who is still in Seattle. (I missed her birthday this year, too, thanks to a chemistry conference, which means I'm 0-for-2.) I'm starting to get used to being here, which is good in that it means that I'm learning the language and culture (See the list of useful info at the right of the screen). Unfortunately, being used to being here also means that the thrill has worn off a bit. The Swahili classes make my brain hurt, the engineering is difficult, the engineers can be difficult, and I have homework. Yesterday was particularly hard as I tried to talk to Kiana over internet telephone and a 10 hour time difference.

I'm really glad I'm here.

I guess the purpose of this post is to remind myself and anyone else who is considering this particular brand of adventure that good work is not always easy work, and that there's a level of sacrifice that differentiates a vacation from...whatever this is. The EWH organizers told us right from the beginning that every single one of us would experience culture shock and homesickness. I didn't believe them then. I do now.

In a funny way, though, it's sort of a relief to be tired and homesick. It means I'm ready to get down to business. I've been here two weeks, which is longer than most people spend here on vacation. The honeymoon is over, but as Kiana and I can tell you, the end of the honeymoon is the beginning of the good stuff.

Tutaonana baadaye (We'll see each other later)

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