I have to be honest here. All this information has me overwhelmed. Everyone knows how excited I am to go to Africa. Pretty sure I've run that one into the ground. But, to be painfully honest, now that it is actually here, I'm starting to get nervous. In the car this weekend, 10% of my mind was on driving, and 90% swirled uncontrollably with all the knowns and unknowns facing us. For example:
- The actual packing. How does one pack for 3 years (the probable length of our first term)? Will we pack a shipping crate, or just take extra trunks with us on the plane?
- How will my family (children) do with the "transition?" (I don't mind telling you, I'm starting to strongly dislike that word. I just hear it, and say it, ALL THE TIME.)
- I understand that this experience will be completely different from my last time in Africa. What made it so enjoyable, fulfilling, and worthwhile for me was the Senegalese people themselves, and my relationships with them. But those relationships came because of my complete freedom to learn the language and spend every waking moment (that I had the energy for) with a Senegalese person, usually in their home. This time around, nearly every waking moment is already taken up with the people in my home. How will I learn the language when I have hardly any time or energy? And how will I embrace/be embraced by my new host country when I can't communicate with them, or don't have the time to build those relationships?
And then the ongoing issues, the ones that will be there as an undercurrent running through our lives for as long as we're there
- Am I making the best decisions for my children's educational and social wellbeing?
- Home assignment is meant to be a break from the stresses of living overseas, but can often be very stressful in and of itself.
- Living off of support, how to plan ahead for the fluctuations there
- Being so far from our families
- What our specific role will be in the organization.
Thought after uncontrollable thought, worry after uncontrollable worry. And the echo of it all,
What if I can't do it? What if it's too hard, too complicated, too stressful? What if I end up just not even wanting to do it?
Eventually I noticed in the background the voices of two lovable peas, singing about flying as they jumped on a trampoline.