I don’t know where or how to begin.
I’ll be the first to admit to my embarrassingly poor planning. I have 7 weeks until I leave for maternity medevac in Johannesburg. Since we’ve moved into our house and finally gotten our temperamental internet connection established, I will have something to occupy my time until then. My overwhelming desire to nest is thwarted by the 6 month voyage our things are undertaking over the Atlantic. I can’t even bake a pie! (No bakeware at all in welcome kit. I have a new found respect for tinfoil and the free form tart.)
Things here are not easy. I didn’t expect them to be. I’m not sure what I expected. I have a tendency to think that people exaggerate and as a result, I down play whatever it is they’re telling me. Thinking, we lived in DETROIT, not the surrounding suburbs: in the hood, gunshots at night, hungry pitbulls chained in backyards, generators coughing and sputtering their lethal breath into neighbor’s basements, all of that. And through it all, we sat out on our back porch, sipping homemade lemonade and enjoying our odd little sanctuary. I grew up on a farm in the sticks, without privilege or excess of any kind. We struggled to make ends meet every single month. I’m tough, resourceful, and damn it, I always walk up hill . How bad can this be?
I wish I could attribute some of these feelings to the fact that I’m a powder keg of hormones right now, entering the third trimester, and maybe I can. But to a large extent, Snakes feels the same. And he has 50 or so hours each week when he is behind the 20 ft walls of the lush embassy compound. He is still enjoying his job. It suits him well. Since I am discouraged from walking anywhere alone, I generally stay home all day. It’s been a little challenging to strike a balance with each other. I respect the fact that he needs time to decompress by reading, running, working out, but the minute he walks in the door, my excitement rivals the mastiff’s.
I was ecstatic about the fact that I’d found and attended a yoga class a couple of weeks ago. It has always been important to me to that I have my own interests to pursue independently. Plus it’s a great way to cultivate new relationships, and get out of the house!! Snakes has a couple of different running groups he’s met up with and of course there’s that whole job thing which gives him a sense of belonging and purpose. I had this yoga class. The instructor called before class on Saturday to inform me that she’s not comfortable with me in her class since I’m pregnant. I insisted that I’ve been studying for over a decade and am totally confident in my ability to modify the practice as necessary. I offered to loan her books on the subject to help her understand. I offered to sign a waiver. No go. Of course the rational me understands where she’s coming from, but the selfish me is totally devastated. I actually cried. This was my ONE thing. I still practice at home, but honestly, this was more about the social outlet and a whisper of my former life of independence. This whole “dependent spouse” thing starts to take on a new and deeper meaning all the time. I hate it.
We went for a walk yesterday around town. It was Sunday afternoon and the city was relatively peaceful compared to the complete gridlock of activity that comes with weekly business hours. As we set off, I imagined we’d find some little café in this city of 5-6 million inhabitants to stop and have a tea/coffee/juice/latte (totally dreamin-I know) and perhaps even a little pastry (downright delusional). Maybe we’d find a park along the way where I could rest for a minute while sipping my water (ever the optimist). What it actually amounted to was climbing through rubble and festering trash heaps, trying to “mouth breathe” in a futile attempt to avoid smelling the waves of hot urine that flow more than ebb. Our Sunday stroll became a forced march in sweltering heat for around an hour before arriving back home, having long since switched to “straight-up survival mode”, as I put it to Snakes.
So, yeah, poor me. Whatever.
As I said in one of my last posts, as much as I want to shoot from the hip and let people know what my life here is like, I also feel like a complete fool for complaining at all. So that’s enough for now. Internet willing, I’ll be checking in more often. Our housing is seriously fantastic, a massive blessing. So, you can expect me to start adding a little sugar to this endless flow of lemon squeezing. After yesterday’s walk and this blog post, we could all stand a little refreshment. Free form lemon bars, anyone?
PS- to the FS folks: What’s the protocol on posting house pictures? Is it okay as long as they’re just inside or does that give “the bad guys” a blue print to “plan their attack”? None of the facade or outer gate?