Wednesday, June 25, 2008

All over again?

I was thinking of what I would blog about on this trip, and whether it would feel (for me and for you) like I was going away for the first time all over again, or more like, "been there, done that". I haven't really figured out the answer to that, but I think a little bit of both. I think everywhere you go, there are new and different things/people/issues, etc. But to some extent, it's always a bit of the same. Today, I stopped thinking about work for long enough to remember that I was in a new country and should probably discover it! I found a local restaurant and asked for some traditional food (which was on the house because they were so pleased I was Egyptian and interested in their food), and had that feeling of discovery and excitement for a second again. But I realized that that feeling is much less present this time around. There is much less culture shock (partly because I speak Arabic, I imagine) and much less transitioning. I have to say, it feels a lot easier. (My dad would argue that takes away from the fun). I think you just get to a point where new and exciting is normal. Does this make any sense?

Anyways, the weirdest thing about being here, I would say, is the fact that Darfur is right next door and you'd never even know it by being here. There is really nothing to indicate that there is a so-called genocide happening a couple states west of here. It is a lively city, with cheerful people, going about their business. Living here, it's as if Darfur does not even exist. And once in a while I do wonder if the West has, as the president of Sudan alleges, exaggerated the genocide for their own interests. But when you look at the numbers, it's just not true. Almost 190,000 have had to flee their homes in Darfur this year (2008) alone! Can you imagine? This thing is still raging on, five years later.

In more uplifting news, apparently even in Islamic conservative societies, 82-year-old men ask single women they meet to marry them. And I thought it was only in Senegal!

2 comments:

Still.Searching said...

At the risk of sounding like I am trying to say something 'deep', when you get to the point of "where new and exciting is normal", you know you have become a mature person capable of valuing the real beauty in something not just the fact that it is new and exciting. This is when you move from being "in puppy love" with something to truly loving it.. this when you GROW UP.
For some, growing up means losing the rush of teenage years and the freedom to act on impulses. For others, growing up means gaining the wisdom, the ability to sustain long time enjoyment without getting bored, the ability to see the subtle beauty of things and to ignore the cheap shining exterior of others.. Somethinmg tells me you are on your way to the second group :-)

While you no longer seek the "rush" you still have the ability to plan and go do what is right.. I guess you lost the blind drive of the teenager, gained the wisdom of a grown up and maintained your youthful spirit.. Felicitations Ya habibti!!

Imran said...

at least you get marriage proposals... in bolivia, some women demanded my seed so they could have tall children. i felt so used.