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Archive for June, 2010

I have a great friend here named Sarah. She makes me laugh often and has chosen to remain updated with my life through my blog, even though her office is down the hall from mine. She is also good for life advice when required. This update is dedicated to her.

There is a huge problem with traffic in the this city. It is chaos. Sometimes I become a bit delusional and decide that I will never cross the road again except when and where it’s permitted. Then I find myself crossing the road when the green man is flashing and suddenly a car swerves to avoid hitting me. I’ve joined the masses.

Anyway, the other night, I was trying to cross the street, but there was a fence there for some reason. Thankfully, some considerate and responsible citizens had broken several of the bars off, so there was a hole I could crawl through, which I did. Unfortunately, those citizens weren’t careful enough to smooth out the sharp edges and turn in the nails, so I cut my arm on a nail. I think we all know what that means. Tetanus shot. So, within 24 hours I had to buy a syringe and tetanus serum and then find someone qualified to administer it. The men in Frank Ross Pharmacy snickered at my nervousness while I waited for their ‘consultant’ to come. He overemphasized to me how painful it would be for the next two days, definitely helping my fidgeting. “Just relax,” he said. Quite possibly his only English phrase.

Anyway, later, I was lamenting my misfortune to my friend Sarah, and instead of offering me consolation and sympathy, she just said, “Well, Kari, there are no shortcuts in life.” (Then she quickly recommended that as the title for this blog) Thanks, Sarah.

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Since I last wrote…

Life has gotten crazy, as my lack of updates suggests. My life looks a little different than it did two months ago. I have an hour commute (at least) one way each day. I braid girls’ hair before they go to school each morning. I have improved dramatically in my bengali skills. I eat proficiently with my hand (not plural). I have reached previously unknown levels of water consumption (and sweating). I generally don’t see other foreigners except at home. I can pick fish bones out (almost) without help. In all, a fairly remarkable transformation.

Obviously, those things are hardly a comprehensive representation of the change that has occurred, but they are symptoms of the deeper changes. They are little tastes of my life, and I can tell you that life is good. I love what I’m doing, and who I’m doing it with. Every day is an adventure, with a new set of challenges. Some are to be expected, others catch me off guard as I’m slipping off my chacos. 

I’m different in many ways now, too. The last two months have been the most challenging and difficult of my year here, but, as it always seems to be, they are the months where I have grown the most. Not just in measurable ways like my Bengali skills but in all of those ways that you can only see in looking back. It’s been a blessing. So, I’m sorry for the lack of updates, the lack of ridiculous ‘party rickshaw’ stories. I’ve been overwhelmed by life, and when I get too caught up in my head, in my worries and fears, I don’t have the peace of mind to come up with these thoughts. (I’m sure it’s difficult to imagine that my ramblings take energy, but they do) So, here are a few that have been circling in my mind recently.

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