Days move slowly here, while months are quick. It’s amazing what a little routine can fix. Soon I will have been in Botswana for 1 year. It’s something of an accomplishment to remain at this junction, I think. I’ve reached a good place with this experience, the point at which I feel my problems are manageable. Solutions don’t materialize any more than they used to, but I do feel I can navigate better than before. Perhaps the spirit of “paying dues” is at play – simply being around allows a certain amount of growth and learning, even if the daily lessons aren’t profound. When I talk to my American friends here, that conclusion is more apparent. We are inherent products of our environments, and we have to work within our establishments in order to change them.
The amount of change I’ve undergone since this time last year is debatable. I would be wrong to assume that I could go back to the US and live exactly as I did before this experience, but I don’t know what aspects of my life would be altered. That trick of putting a finger on the difference isn’t something I’ve grasped yet, but bathing by candlelight in a bucket for a year creates an inevitable divide.
I find myself looking toward the future more than I should. Living in the moment is harder when the pace of life is slowed down so drastically, and focusing on my day-to-day struggles provides an added stress. There’s a high level of self-motivation involved here, because I am in a role with so much freedom. I make my own schedule and interact with people on my timeline. Balancing that against the generally content nature of the culture here is a challenge on its own. It means my success is in my hands, but that will involve showing others how to stay engaged between long periods of latency.
As you may have guessed, I’m having trouble sleeping this evening. In accordance with the hour, this post’s loose adherence to any unifying theme will have to remain consistent to its end. Sometimes I just have to put the nonsense into writing.