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7 months: T.H.E.H.A.R.D.P.A.R.T.

By antsiness on 2014.03.13 In Antsy sun

After 7 months working as a volunteer in Harare, Zimbabwe.

So everyone told us the hard part comes after reaching 7-8 months of our placement. As I was ready to leave Norway in August I just thought to myself that that would be a challenge I would have to grab by the horns as it arrives.

Easier said than done.

We are now more adjusted to the culture, how things work – or not work

– things are not new in the same way as they were.

We’ve been living in local families with a new culture – a challenge and a lot of new people to answer to. Of course it is a priviledge to get to know and be a part of another family but you don’t really have any time for yourself  – and you’re still a visitor.

In my case I had to move out from my host family after Christmas – I didn’t feel safe. If you don’t feel safe you do what you have to do while in living in a foreign country. I’m getting a great deal of help from all of my new friends. I’ve been lucky and things are getting better. Our home organization is doing their best to make sure all of the participants gets a good and safe family environment – but of course there will be challenges along the way.

That’s just life.

So over half of our time in our placements are over. And you start to reflect on what you’ve done and what you will have time to do next. It’s strange thinking of the months already gone by and all you’ve learned. We now adjusted to how things are running and are playing a bigger part in the local teams we are working in. At the same time you can see the end of the stay is sneaking up on you and you feel that you don’t have enough time to proceed with projects you would like to take part in.

If I should reflect on my stay so far in a bigger picture my thoughts would be big and pink – a cliché.

As mentioned before all the new thoughts, ideas and experiences is not the same not being able to share it with your friends and family back home. On the other hand, having to deal with a lot of issues on your own makes you stronger and in better capasity of meeting new challenges that are coming your way. It also gives you a lot of new perspectives that both makes you grow up quickly but at the same time makes you want to stay young and make the most of the time you have.

One of my challenges have been that I have not been able to take part in the lives of those people I love the most both in their daily lives and in the challenges they’ve been facing while I’ve been away.

A wise woman said the western way of living makes you forget about the time you have, how you spend it and your relationships with other people.

I hope I can keep all of my new perspectives in my daily life as i get back home – as life is indeed brief and tender.

I don’t regret going to Africa, I’m still here.

And people who know me will not be suprised that I’ll cry when I leave,

but I’ll also cry when I get home.

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It’s a good thing.

 

Andrea

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