I have lived in Africa for eight weeks. Two months. It is enough time to realize that the newness and discoveries of daily life when I first arrived have been replaced by habits and acceptance and normalcy. I have a home here in Kenya. I have a job here in Kenya. I understand the rhythms now and they don’t shake me at every turn of every day. I don’t hear the birds so insistently, and I don’t notice everything with naïve wonderment. I focus less on things outside of my sphere of comfort: “Am I walking on the correct side of the sidewalk?” “Do I have enough water?” “Should I try to speak in Kiswahili?” “There’s a lizard on my wall.” “What do I do now that the power has gone out?” The panic is gone.
I am more accepting. New things are not as loud. I know I can survive and thrive and handle my time in this wonderful new space called Kenya. I can laugh at my ignorance and not try so hard to be right all the time.
I can be still and do nothing and work hard and get things done in equal measure.
I am not perfect. I still struggle. This is incredibly difficult at times. I fight things I shouldn’t. I get agitated.
I am lucky. I am grateful.
I am a Fulbright Scholar teaching and researching at Kenyatta University in Nairobi, Kenya in the Department of Theatre Arts and Film Technology and I have amazing students who challenge me every day.
And the mosquitoes are still the devil in disguise and I feel immature glee when my hand is fast enough to reach out and kill one on my first attempt. Take that you bastard!