It's time to go home, and I have just gotten in the groove here! As of Sunday, things were starting to feel normal to me. I think it's because I had made it through a full week and know the schedule like it's mine, and the kids and I know how it all works now.
With the help of several cans of what is probably DDT, we have gotten the mosquitoes under control. I have made peace with the fruit flies. I am even more comfortable with the dirty water and scrubbing dishes with a piece from an old sugar bag. I know (because we're all still alive!) that I can cook without killing anyone here. My hair is in a permanent ponytail, and the red dirt makes me look tan. I have gone many days without wifi and haven't missed much. This morning, I went outside and started a load of laundry... In buckets. Nothing is freaking me out anymore. It all feels very normal.
I'm actually sad that it took me a week to get over myself and my desires for the comforts of my "normal" life, because now I feel like I could stay comfortably for much longer. It may have helped that Sunday, just as church was ending, Pastor Henry called everyone to the altar to pray for God to free us from all the "other gods" we were depending on to make our lives more comfortable. This was (I am not exaggerating) a forty-five minute prayer session, so I had plenty of time to go through all the things and ask God to strip me of my desires for them!
There is always an adjustment period for us when we get back to the States. Everything seems so excessive, so fast, and so wasteful. Then, eventually, after living amongst it for awhile again, it feels normal.
It occurs to me that we should more carefully guard our surroundings, because whatever we live in the midst of becomes "normal." It's the reason teenagers say, "EVERYONE else has/is/can..." It's the reason we start to feel either contended because compared to others we have more, or discontented because compared to others we have less. It's the reason we should carefully choose our closest friends because their behaviors and beliefs become "normal" to us, and begin to influence our behaviors and beliefs.
Having part of our lives in Africa and part in the U.S. always makes Robert and me feel a bit abnormal. I just know that loving these faces feels like the most normal thing on Earth!