I am safely nestled into my new apartment in Johannesburg, grazing on fresh vegetables and fruit throughout my languorous days. I’ve been out of touch due to some extraordinary circumstances back in Luanda. We received our HHE (the majority of our things!!) the Friday before last, in a previously unheard of length of time. Glory be. I was able to spend my last week in Angola unpacking, dragging, organizing, rearranging and finally editing (the universally despised Drexel Heritage). Through a clever use of closet space and baskets, I was able to eject 3 huge dressers from our bedroom. What a toe-stubbing difference that made. Great to be reunited with all of our artwork and favorite doo-dads. I didn’t have the chance to take many “after” shots but plan to once I return in late September. Oh! the suspense! It is exponentially better even after just a week of primping. Most importantly, there’s a chance I’ll be eager to return after this 3 month absence. (Did I just write that??)
It’s come to my attention that I have been peddling half truths disguised by my sunny disposition, can-do attitude and obstinate determination to not let this post unravel me. I’ve never cared to spend too much time contemplating the obvious, especially when the obvious is covered in a thick layer of desperate stench. Life in Luanda is NOT easy. As I’ve detailed before, I prefer to focus on the good fortune of eachother, our home, access to shipments from Amazon, an oasis like the embassy, and a finite amount of time here. But perhaps most importantly, the intimate knowledge and lush, beautiful memories of a life so incredibly different than this. A life that I have taken for granted more times than not. God has blessed us tremendously, America. Don’t ever forget that.
Just a few blocks from our house is a road with an actual sidewalk that twists it’s way along a craggly hill on which many embassies and one of the president’s estates are situated. Those few blocks from our house to the tolerable road are miserable since they wind through a park which is used primarily as a toilet and secondarily as a lounging, drinking, tooth-sucking, cat-calling vomitorium (Despite the obvious misuse of this theatrical word, it seems to convey the park most accurately. Forgive me.) The sidewalks are torn to shreds, often it’s best to walk in the middle of the street. Early on I twisted an ankle and am convinced that I fractured a bone in my foot, as it still hurts. The other day Snakes tripped over one of the countless hazards that litter the streets and tore a hole in his suit pants. They’re ruined. That’s just it. No time for daydreaming, letting one’s thoughts drift or letting one’s guard down, even for a split second. You WILL trip, fall, splash into a pool of urine or step into a gaping uncovered manhole. And this is a nice neighborhood.
I get so frustrated with that place. How on earth did we manage to draw this SERIOUS old maid card? To test our mettle? Strengthen our marriage? I don’t want to dwell any longer but it kills me that my guys are there, my family. And soon enough I’ll be headed back there with a chubby little girl strapped to my chest. Knowing what I do, does it make me a bad mommy already?