I recently received an email from one of my sisters that spoke
beautifully to what it has been like for us in Chipole lately. She
said, “things have slowed down here…everything has become ordinary,
and has intern become harder to appreciate, but of course not
impossible. I feel somewhat sad that the excitement has passed, but am
trying to remember that I have to ability to give each day
immeasurable excitement, if I so wish.” It was amazing to me how we
could be feeling such similar things in such different situations.
What a wonderful reminder that wherever you are, you cannot escape the
wanes and waxes of life.
This also prompted some reflection on the daily routine I have come to
take for granted. I realized how many things I have made a point to do
kila siku, daily. Daily rituals may not have immeasurable excitement,
as my sister says, but I feel like these are the things that in
retrospect, if not before, will have immeasurable significance. More
simply, I realized that many people at home have no idea what a
typical day looks like for me, and I thought it might be fun to give
everyone a better idea of the life that has developed for me here in
6:15- Wake up. Throw on a skirt. Walk down the hall for daily mass.
7:30- Breakfast, most often bread, jam and tea. BBC world news after.
8:30- Study Swahili
9:30- Work in the Bakery or somewhere in the monastery.
1:00- Lunch, most often potatoes, ugali, meat, vegetables and bananas
or papaya for dessert.
1:45- Make the mile walk out the secondary school to teach English or Computer
4:00- return from school, take tea.
4:30- read, journal, write emails, letters etc.
5:30- water our garden of cabbage, tomatoes, watermelon and carrots.
7:00 – dinner, most often ugali, rice, meat, vegetables, same fruit for dessert.
This is the most typical day for Ashley and I, but especially lately
we have been trying to mix it up as much as possible. In the evenings,
we do fun things- reading, crosswords, games, drawing, phone calls
back home, get a drink at the restaurant or have the occasional movie
night. I am sure this all sounds incredibly dull, but it is amazing
how exciting the smallest thing, a new food, an event out of the
ordinary, can be so exciting. The thing I love most is the time I have
to do things I am unable to prioritize at home. I spend more time
journaling or doing personal writing, reading, praying- so much so
that I worry about returning to my hectic life at home. I would love
to come back with a better sense of how to balance my life, and the
ability to incorporate at least of few of the daily rituals I find so
enriching here. The strangest thing about all this, I think, is that I
came to Tanzania very much in search of an adventure. I certainly have
experienced here to a greater degree than ever before, but somehow,
wherever I go, normal just chases me down and finds me. The strange
part is, I’m not the least bit disappointed.
P.S. a great big shout out to my October birthday loves- Amanda, Cait,
Mary and Le- I’m thinking of all of you always, but extra on your
special days. Wish I could celebrate with you!