Well, I blew my “30 days from departure” post.
Its been busy, and I have come home from work drained. But not so busy that I couldn’t have made an effort on some days. I think the real problem has been the real lack of focus on the usual things that make departure memorable. Forced to leave behind goodbye visits to places, people and friends because of the earthquake, I’m feeling disconnected from the whole departure process, which is sad. And I’m not the only one. I feel like others have checked out, or are barely functioning, or have simply lost interest in being here. Others are still buried in the recovery efforts. Everyone is physically or emotionally exhausted, or both. These are the things that go on far longer than the earthquake does in the news cycle.
I’m feeling disconnected from Nepal, from arrival at our new post in Jamaica, even from the prospect of some time in the UK and Greece before we head to the US for home leave. That will change. The realities of pack out will force me to focus. However, that’s the reason my blog has been silent all of June and I’d like to change that. Just before the earthquake Wandering Cows challenged me to the Five Photos, Five Stories Challenge which requires you to post a photo each day for five consecutive days and attach a story to the photo. I had every intention of participating, but the earthquake got in the way. Now perhaps it will help me reconnect with my own blog and serve as a more positive way to reflect on some of the smaller, poignant stories that I have from my time here. So, Five Photos, Five Stories coming up….stay tuned!
Today we hit the 90 day mark. That’s 90 days until we leave Nepal. It feels so different from that same stage in Manila when departure was just three months away. Different, how? Well, for one thing I am very busy at work with a big project, and have work and play events scheduled out until almost departure day. I’ve been so focused on all of that, the 90 day mark just snuck up on me. By contrast, in The Philippines, I was ready to leave my job. As Manila congestion got out of control in my area of the city, it had ceased to be somewhere I wanted to live. I was also looking forward to the next country, excited and hopeful about the prospect of living in Nepal.
This time its different…challenging in new and demanding ways. Even though we have known for quite some time that our next post is Jamaica, I am still digesting this news. I’m still chewing over it and trying to figure out how I feel. It’s hard not to say that I’m super excited when I know what a privilege it is to have the opportunity to live in such a beautiful place, but part of me is holding back. Part of my excitement is just the dose of change that this journey will bring, and part of my hesitancy is just that: change. Moving around the world is amazing and also exhausting. Jamaica promises little opportunities work-wise, and it is further away from Europe and our home. And — let’s be honest — I didn’t pick it. And that grinds too. On a bad day, I feel cheated. On a good day, I remember Kingston’s relatively clean air, the fantastic opportunity to go and live on a West Indian island, and my sense of adventure.
Most days, I’m just getting on with the day-to-day. That’s an area where we excel. We have 90 days left and we have just planted new annuals in the garden. Planting flowers when we don’t know if we will be there to see them grow has become a sort of family motto over the years, at least this time (within the bounds of reasonable expectations) we know our departure date…so we plan on tasting at least a few of our freshly-planted tomatoes before we go.
See you at the 60 day mark.