Monday, August 6, 2007

reflections of an over-active mind

I moved today.

I’m still on a hospital ship in Liberia. I am still in cabin 3426. But now I am in the back room rather than the front. I actually sort of have a room rather than a glorified closet now. Exciting.

“Moving” was a bit rushed seeing that our roommate did not leave until 2:30 PM and our new one is going to arrive at any moment. Hospitality was beating down the door to make the bed a 3:00 pm. A girl has to move fast to get what she wants in this world.

I am feeling a bit saturated at the moment. Trying to grasp the dichotomy of being a westernized girl in westernized bubble in a third world country. On the ship you can forget your in Liberia.

We work on a hospital with a cat scanner and x-ray room and wall suction. There is 24 hour internet (even if the connection is unstable an slow). We have a star bucks. And uno cards. And phone lines.

But yesterday I went to church and sat with my little friend who doesn’t have a mom. The building in which the service was held is home 200 displaced people. They stated downstairs while we had church upstairs. One of the members was offered a chance to live in the building but she didn’t want to because it was not very safe at night.

Many of the church children has streaks of gold colored hair amongst their black braids. Some adults had this too. It’s a sign of protein deficiency. Most of the children here are very malnourished. If they do eat, it’s generally simple starchy foods like rice and cassava (a potato- like root). Forget about Flintstone multivitamins.

And here I sit tired of peanut butter and worried that I am going to gain weight.

I think the real struggle I have is not so much with outward circumstances but my inward reflections on my situation. The struggle to find a balance between giving of yourself and enjoying what you have been given.

I am becoming more convinced that life is really about the journey. Our destination is fixed. If we continue to live we will all face death. I think that’s why we often make ourselves so busy. We don’t want to recognize out frailty of consider our own mortality. But at some point it will be considered.

I am so grateful for the perspective I am gaining here. Meeting people from around the world has further convinced me that who we become and how we think is largely determined by the environment from which we come from and the experiences which we have in life. Another reason to not be easily offended . Another reason to give people the benefit of the doubt.
I also feel that the idea of a nine to five life is being forever ruined for me. Not that I think it is wrong. I’m not a fan of classifying people and what they do into “A” and “B” teams. But we only spend a short time here. And we are very frail indeed.

We must choose our paths wisely. I don’t want to have any regrets in forty years.

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