Saturday, 24 May 2014

The 6 week slump...

The view from our front yard in Vaoala, Samoa, 2008
About 6 years ago I sitting on the grass in our front yard in Vaoala, looking at this view, and bawling my eyes out, crying into Michael's shoulder. He doesn't remember it, but I do because I was the one crying. We'd been in Samoa for 6 weeks and I was hitting the "6 week slump" hard. We had been warned, probably at our Pre-Departure Training (PDT) for the Australian Youth Ambassadors for Development (AYADs) in Canberra, that at about 6 weeks we would probably have a little breakdown, not be happy with things, want to throw in the towel, etc. etc., but this was normal and things would improve.

Looking at this photo, I find it hard to imagine ever being unhappy there. Samoa is a beautiful country, and where we lived for most of that year was possibly one of the best spots around Apia, and for the most part, Michael and I loved it there.

But I was miserable that afternoon. Just plain miserable. It wasn't that I wanted to go home and I wasn't really homesick, but I missed my anonymity, I just wanted to be able to walk around Apia without having guys call out "hey pretty" or "want a Samoan boyfriend"* or similar, I was probably frustrated with our limited internet access, I missed public toilets that came with toilet paper and soap as standard features, I missed being able to go where I wanted when I wanted because I was a little scared of the dogs in the area, I wanted to be able to eat whatever and not have to worry about whether or not it would make me sick, and I was probably a little over not being about to drink water straight from a tap.

Well, I hit slump last night. We've been here for just over 7 weeks, but Michael has been at work for 6 weeks now, so we've been living this new rhythm for just on 6 weeks. I'm still a little that way today, so writing about it at length isn't easy, so I'll be brief: family and friends know that you are missed; JNY, our car, you are missed but not by Jimmy (sorry...); our bicycles, oh how we miss you; Brisbane City Council buses you are also missed, as are you, foamy cafe latte's. It's mostly the physical isolation and not having spent much time with another young mum in a month or more, but a good cry and a pledge to go to bed before 10 pm from now on, plus plans to finally contact the playgroup people and hire a car for next weekend, and I'm getting there. Michael is not entirely happy either, so provided we get work in Australia for next year, we'll only be away from home for 12 months.

Oh and I think I have mastitis, which doesn't help... and Jimmy is a drooling, teething mess with only 2 teeth to show for it...

It's been a rough few weeks, but we're still alive, with food in our bellies and cupboards, a solid apartment to live in, and a good internet connection.

*I need to say that Samoans are lovely people, and that it is a safe country to visit, and that these invitations were always made in good humour and never with any malice, but it was annoying.

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