Monday, April 5, 2010

Trying to make sense

Matt got paid today, and we have a bank account. This is big news! I really wish I could explain how significant this is, considering all that we've been through. Things that seem simple and uncomplicated in the states become quite complicated in a different culture. We've come with our assumptions and expectations about how things should happen. If I request a cell phone, we should get it asap. Why wouldn't they want our business? Isn't it the job of the cell phone company to provide the best customer service so that we will be pleased and stay with them? These are all assumptions. There seems to be an endless amount of reasons why things don't happen according to our expectations: someone isn't answering the phone, it's raining, we don't have the right paperwork, the right person is not available, come back after lunch...and so on, and so on. I recently read a story about a woman who moved to Mexico who received a midnight phone call on her cell phone. She listened to the message at least seven times, trying to decipher what the caller said. All she could understand was "withdraw" and "package" and a long account number. Her first conclusion was that someone had stolen her car, but when she raced outside, it was still there. Then she assumed that someone had kidnapped her children, but they were safe and sound in bed. She lost lots of sleep trying to determine what this message was all about, but couldn't do anything about it until morning. The water delivery truck came early, and she desperately asked the delivery man if he could listen to the message and explain it to her. He told her that DHS had a package at her and she needed to come "withdraw" it. I laughed pretty hard at this, because it seems so familiar to me. So frequently we come to a totally different conclusion, because we have no clues for how to interpret and understand situations. It's as if we've been dropped into this alternate universe, and given no road map about how to get where we want. So we operate as we would according to our expectations and assumptions, and find that it gets us no where. Except for learning that things are very different here. We are strangers. And we are learning. The learning curve is high, and I have to keep telling myself daily that this experience is good for us, and we intentionally put ourselves here.

And I have to celebrate the victories. We had Eggplant Supper Soup for lunch, and it was good. The laundry got done today! Dora got to play with her new friend Victoria. And we have a bank account and Matt got paid. These are all achievements that need recognition. An ice cream bar would be a great way to recognize these accomplishments.

Even if it costs $2.27 US :-)

1 comment:

  1. I am sure Katie and you could talk for hours about assumptions and where they lead you in unfamiliar territory. Dad and I have only had a very small taste of this in Mexico and Jamaica. Keep writing, Sweetie! Love, Mom