Tuesday, June 02, 2009

The ultimate

With all excitement, I moved out of Ubrine's house, to stay with my hosting family. I have no idea who they are, where the house is, and how was my living condition going to be like. But I think it's going to be fantastic, because I have seen Jana's house, and it's really luxury as compared to the house I am staying in. Not to mention the cold water and no fans which I have abandoned these needs since long time, but she has a room to herself, she has shower head, she has clean room which she can take off her shoes before entering. So I went, with a lot of hope and excitement.

But the house turned out to shock me all the way till now. The house has 3 dogs, the entire family speaks French and I can't understand them, I am sharing a room with the sister, sharing the bed and have no place to put my stuff at all. I saw a cockroach ran past the floor. The best thing is, my room light is spoiled. I spent 30 minutes yesterday in the dark to look for my shower stuff. The host, after seeing me taking so long in the room, came and asked me innocently, 'you can't find your things in the dark?'

In the bathroom, there is no flowing water. A little boy carried a pail of water for me. Looking at the quantity, I know I don't need to dream about washing my hair today. There was no hook or any place to put my clothes. In the end, I hang everything dangerously on two nails. Perhaps, the better thing the bathroom has as compared to the MC house, is that it has locks.

I wanted to go out and buy bottled drinking water, but my host suggested that I should adapt to drinking from the tap.

I admit I am not strong. A mere bad living housing condition is destroying my loud shouts about wanting to do an internship in Africa. But somehow, I find it hard to convince myself that I can live on here. Yes there is a possibility of shifting homes, but I guess it is very rude to do so, as it shows you despise the house. I have talked to the host here, the things that can hopefully change, is to have lights in my room and place to put my stuff. I can't demand them for flowing water or for a bed to myself. I guess I have to live with wearing footwear all the time. But water.. having to compromise on hygiene. My health consciousness is screaming at me. And safety. With no place to put my belongings, it means everything will stay in my suitcase. And where will I lock my money and laptop? Unless I lock and unlock the suitcase everyday. Or should I just trust everyone and leave them open? It's probably rude to show the host family that you don't trust them huh. I don't know!

There is a part of me that is saying that it's ok. It's only 8 weeks. You are here to challenge Africa, and people do live in the living condition that you are currently in. So you are here to experience it like them as well. Furthermore, you won't die without having a place to put your stuff, without light in the room, or without washing your hair everyday. Let's see how far you can push your boundary to.

I am really missing home very much now. I miss not needing to worry about hygiene and health. I miss not needing to worry about flowing water. I miss walking bare-footed. I miss the hangers in the bathroom. I miss the comfort. I don't know why I am here for so long. I should just touch and go without complicating my life too much. Right now, I really really missing my home, or the room in my hall. I miss the space, I miss the light. I miss free drinking water.

I want to go home......

Somehow as I am writing this, at the back of my mind, I know I will somehow change my mindset very fast. I will somehow adapt, and start throwing away more comfort that I always think I need. And then I will start living comfortably in the same environment, enjoying the life again, and start wanting more challenges again. I think I will. I hate myself being so rational and so strong. It seems like there is no way for me to just collapse, and let others take care of me. Somehow, I will always save some energy for sanity and mental strength to support myself through. It is good, but it is so tiring.

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Anonymous yeaw said...

come on wan xin, i believe u can do it. as u said, it's only 8 weeks, it's not a big deal right? jz gotta be strong.. take care there.

8:37 AM  
Blogger cathyc said...

u reminded me of my india internship.. we had tons of baby cockroaches in the fridge but we just use it and ignore these creatures. gross i know.. but i guess that's what its about living out of comfort zone..

anyways, i dun thk its rude to lock ur belongings la.. actually u can also hide ur important stuff somewhere if u dun wanna lock it and make it look offensive..

hang on there.. u will feel such an accomplishment for a very long time after you come back! :D

10:56 PM  
Blogger Sin Ling said...

Hey wan xin

I think I understand your feelings, especially the last part regarding being strong and rational all the time. I've always had the same dilemma all the time. It's really tiring.

Well, just compromise within your limit, don't push yourself too hard


8:59 AM  

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