Back from Africa

It has now been almost two weeks since I flew back into Canada and it already feels like an alternate reality.  Since returning I have spent 4 days in Toronto, interviewed for a job (more on that in a subsequent post), got a job, and spent a whole week at Jesus camp (definitely more on this in a subsequent post).  To be honest, I had expected the transition to be more difficult.  I suppose that three months is not long enough to unlearn 26 years of life in a developed country.  A year abroad might demand more of an adjustment upon returning.  The things that felt the weirdest were minor things.  This computer for one – it is MASSIVE at 17 inches compared to the 10 inch wonder I had been using.  But really, the biggest adjustments included:

1. “I see white people”.  In Africa I always found I got my back up when there were too many whities around; it felt uncomfortable, like we were all seeking each other out.  Seeing a gaggle of melanin-challenged people was a reminder that I was a tourist just like them and no one wants to be reminded that they are tourists. Now, we are everywhere.

2. Sidewalks.  We have them.

3.  The lack of smells.  This is a primarily smell-free zone whereas my nose was assaulted most of the time in Kenya.

4.  Not getting as much sleep.  We have electricity all the time here and TV and other distractions so I don’t go to bed at 10pm every day and get up at 7am.  Getting fewer than 8 hours of sleep puts me in a crabby mood – ok, fewer than 9 – and when I get tired I can barely keep my eyes open.

5.  Time.  I’m now in the SAME time zone as most of my friends and family now (or at least separated by only one or two hours instead of 7).  Yet, I still find myself converting the time in my head whenever I go to make a phone call.

Honestly, other than those minor things it does not feel that strange to be home. 

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One thought on “Back from Africa

  1. Rachel says:

    I can relate I just got back from China and I have had similar experiences, it's like reverse culture shock when you get back. Must be harder when you are there longer. Hope you adjust quickly and stuff goes well with your job!!

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