Traveling in South America for 9 months. Homeschooling my kids. Learning Spanish. Crossing cultures once again. I feel as if I should have something really profound to say. Yet I sit down to blog or write in my journal and disappointingly, only stare into space. For me, living the moment and processing the lessons seem to happen in different phases. I wrote Village Wisdom 15 years after living in Uganda. I hope that it won’t take me so long this time.
This international stint is of completely different nature than our first and second overseas terms. My role is primarily as a mom, supporting my children who are having their first real immersion experience. I am reminded of my time in Uganda and South Africa, when I re-created my lifestyle – cooking with local ingredients (everything from scratch), taking public transport and trusting local people to “show me the ropes.” At bay but definitely present is the anxiety about what we will do when we return to the US – a year out of the work force. Will we be relevant? Will we get jobs? What do we want to do in the next phase of our lives? For the moment, I am trying to be content with the role of parenting. Isn’t that enough? Why do I feel this pressure that I should be doing more, like working to earn income? I am conditioned by a society that values and demands professional employment. But we have chosen a different path this year.
As I sit in the back of a taxi, listening to my kids rattle a spanish conversation with the driver, I smile with contentment. As we hike Inca trails and visit sacred ruins, peace blankets my spirit. We meet travelers from other countries; their charisma and ambition often mirrors ours. Not having a car, a dishwasher and other conveniences, forces us to live hands-on. We do all of our grocery shopping together, walking home carrying bags or piling them in the back of a rickety old taxi. This is what I had hoped for. This year will embody more memories and life experiences than we could cram into a “normal” year at home. God’s provision assures me that our decisions are intended steps on our path of global citizenship. I have to believe that this is indeed enough.