Boundaries. They are important in any relationship, any partnership, any interaction. We’ve been reading a lot about them in the news lately: boundaries crossed, boundaries not respected, boundaries ignored. This can happen with words, gestures, actions, or even intentions; and once crossed, the damage is done.
I’ve only just arrived in Liberia, and I already have to think about leaving.
After a week of not feeling well, I’m trying something a little different for today’s blog post. Little glimpses into my life…
Last week I had the privilege of touring two high schools in Monrovia and the opportunity to speak to the upper-grades students about their interest in STEM education. I collected at least two hundred survey responses from various groups of 10th, 11th, and 12th graders who wrote comments about their dreams to be doctors, engineers, IT specialists, and accountants. Eyes wide and heads nodding throughout the audience as I spoke, the students listened intently as I told them about my mission to nurture their career interests through hands-on learning.
My husband and I had our first fight this past week.
No, it wasn’t based on the merging of “stuff” like Carrie and Aiden’s fight in the clip above from Season 4 of SATC, but it was related to the merging of our lives.
Like many fights that happen in marriage, it was caused by one partner needing more of something from the other partner to feed a particular love language. As newlyweds, we are still trying to find our rhythm with each other and trying to learn each other’s ways. And since we are similar in so many ways, being with each other has been pretty easy for the most part. Yes, we have our individual “off” times when nothing in the world seems to help our mood; but after the past year of navigating a handful of life’s biggest challenges and biggest moments together relatively smoothly and successfully, we were wondering when that first fight would finally happen. To be honest, I feared it.
I arrived in Liberia one month ago. For the first three weeks that I was here, the sun shone almost constantly with partly-cloudy skies offering their benevolent form of relief from the heat and intensity of direct sunlight.
In fact, I noticed that there are days when I would come home from my daily afternoon walk around town when my shoulders would be a little more golden brown than they were that morning, and the freckles on the bridge of my nose were slightly more prominent.
For the past week, however, the days stay mostly overcast and the nights have been scored by the percussion of rain storms that move quickly and resemble sounds produced by a music class of toddlers who are discovering instruments for the first time.
“sshhhhhhhhh, ssssshhhhhh. SSSSSHHHhhh,” the raindrops splatter against the tin roof.
“Bang! Bang! Whomp! Bang!” the wind makes a loose corner of the tin roof bang.
“SSSSSHHH! SSSSSHHH! SSSSSHHH!” the rush and roar of the storm blows heavy against the windows and pounds on the roof. The sound — like my husband described to me before I moved here, but I didn’t quite believe — is sometimes so loud that we have to almost shout to hear each other speak. Continue reading “Adapting.”
Liberia can be a difficult post for some.
As a new acquaintance recently explained to me: there are about five things to do here, and you just keep redoing those things, which gets old very fast. Beaches, restaurants, embassy events, browsing in local shops, and whatever hobbies you might have and can practice here about sum it up. My husband, especially, has had a difficult time as an athlete with the lack of access to adequate access to places where he can cycle or run for miles and miles like he’d prefer. Being in a place where physical activity is limited — particularly outdoors — can take a toll on physical, mental, and emotional health.
Continue reading “Ass Prints on the Couch: Too Much Sit Time at Post”