This post comes straight out of my newest newsletter. If you haven’t received a copy of said newsletter and would like one, please leave your email address in a comment below and I’ll make sure it’s sent your way!
I’ve heard that this time of year can be difficult for some when it comes to writing newsletters and blogs. Not only are we caught up in all the feelings brought about by the idea of being half way through our year (yes, ladies and gentlemen, we are past the halfway mark), but everything in our new homes has become…normal. Which is funny, because normal is not something I was looking for this year. It’s a new normal, but it’s normal. It’s normal to fall asleep to the cacophony of night time insects and to be woken by the call of the hadida birds – a grating call worse than your roommate’s alarm during finals week. Phutu, curries, potatoes, conversations between strangers that mean nothing to me, marriage proposals, the popular soap “Generations” – normal. Normal that my name is “Ra-shell”, normal that my name is Nomusa, normal that I stick out like a sore thumb, but am loved because of or in spite of it. Normal that I straddle two very different communities and cultures in my very small town. My new normal includes zebras practically in my back yard. Normal is being ushered into the front yard by excited little hands and loud screams of excitement after every single work day. Normal is living in a household that now holds 16. Normal means that I struggled to find pictures to add to my newest newsletter, because it’s more rare that I’m grabbed with the instinct to grab a shot of a seemingly strange incident. Strange has now become easy access to internet, wifi is stranger still. Strange is when I haven’t been to my church in two weeks, busy visiting rural churches in the area. Strange is hearing an American accent in the grocery store and realizing I can’t tell if it comes from Boston or LA. Strange is not walking the two kilometers it takes to get to work and back. This, and more, is my new reality. And it’s beautiful and so very different from those I’ve experienced before. And it is totally and completely normal.