Saturday, August 23, 2008

Reminders make things harder

It was suggested at one point during training that we have things to remind us of home, in order to keep us sane.  I thought it was a sensible suggestion, so I have a bunch of movies on my computer and, when I can, I manage to download the podcasts I used to listen to daily, stuff like Fresh Air, A Prairie Home Companion, This American Life, Savage Lovecast, and a couple others.

Unfortunately, I find that they just remind me of the things I'm missing out on at home.  They make me miss having access to them whenever I want; having reasonable access, in fact, to practically anything I want or need.  They even remind me, for instance, that I haven't been hiking or camping since I got here and that even when I do get a chance to go, it's not going to be nearly as good as I can get in Idaho.

But then, it doesn't help to just not have those things at all, because I do miss them when they're not there.  That may be a bit different now, though, because the last time that I didn't have things and was really missing them was about three weeks in, when all of that was still very fresh in my mind.  

I find it strange that it's not the obviously material things that I miss most:  a comfortable bed, good food, restaurants, shopping.  It's actually the experientials I miss most.  Listening to NPR or hiking through the mountains of Idaho have little to do with tangible, material possessions.  They're actually more of regular experiences that I valued that cost me little to nothing beyond a tank of gas or time.

And maybe that's why it's still so hard; I'm not really having enjoyable experiences yet.  Right now I'm just bored out of my mind because my NGO is on vacation for another week, and I have nothing to do except for sit around and study and read.  I've been enjoying reading in the park, which is my substitute for reading at a coffee shop, but that's about the only thing I've really enjoyed and been content with in the last week.  I need to actually start doing something, or I'm going to go out of my mind with boredom.


Trevor said...

See, now I'm torn, I want to say something encouraging and supportive, but don't want to go reminding you more of things limited web access entails by being too encouraging or supportive.

It's a fine line.

Mex said...

When I was in Argentina, I was fortunate in that I was able to arrange to have internet in my apartment rather quickly and it helped me to continue to enjoy many (though certainly not all) of the things that I had enjoyed in the US.

However, even when I didn't have internet (or say when the power would go out and therefore, no internet), I generally found that doing what I could to immerse myself in the culture was usually able to not only keep me entertained, but also helped me in becoming more knowledgeable about something that I am very much interested in.

Michele (Razzy) said...

Maybe you need to find a gym or someone to work out with in this new town like in the last one.

Brian said...


I am right there with you my friend. Hang in there and stay in touch. I hope we get a chance to toast each other at Initiatives weekend.


tdmiracle said...

Thats something pepole find out in life Its the things that diddnt cost anything that cant be replaced Like if your in a natural disaster you loose family photos kids report cards or grandmaws candy dish These things cost nothing but mean the world The cleshays like when you get older youll understand what i mean experience is something you get after you need it you have to feel to learn oh and my personal favorite what dosent kill you will make you stronger I hope your not thinking about leaving Later down the road youll find some little trincate you put back and memories will flow Thats the priceless nonrreplaceable part Life is a process Sometimes a bumpy road But always a hell of a ride Tim in Tn.

Kebab said...

Really loved this Blog Chewey and miss you on RealJock!

Still here in Turkey and enjoying the weather etc..

Take Care Michael.