Tag Archives: Homesickness

I need a smaller violin

27 May

“Like everybody else, when I don’t know what else to do, I seem to go in for catching colds.”

~ George Jean Nathan

Today I was hoping to tell entertaining tales of good times had by the campfire this weekend, however Mother Nature (and her germs) had other ideas.

I woke on Friday with a bit of a sore throat and by lunchtime I’d also developed a mild headache. When I overheard two colleagues talking about being sick and how it had all started with a sore throat, all I could think was, “Excellent, this is going to be a great weekend.”

That afternoon I arrived home and told my host-mum I was worried I was cultivating a cold. Sure enough on Saturday morning I woke up horribly congested and feeling absolutely miserable. I spent all day in bed.

Worst of all, I missed out on the camping trip. Something I’d really been looking forward to. And with modern technology, you can now watch a live feed of Facebook status updates and Instagram photos of all the fun you’re not having.

I know it’s probably hard for you to feel too sorry for me, I am overseas having the time of my life after all, but being sick away from home is no fun. It’s the one time I actually feel a little homesick. I start daydreaming about my own bed, my snuggly doona and my comfy blue triangle pillow.

It’s 27 degrees today, so the fact I’m longing for my doona gives you an indication of just how unwell I am!

Sunday passed by in dozy blur, and I’ve had today off work too. I’m starting to feel a little perkier this afternoon, so I think I’ll try and make it into the office tomorrow.

My host-mum is a doctor, so it’s comforting to know that if my little lurgy turned into something more serious, I’ve got help immediately to hand. She’s been very sweet by checking in on me regularly and bringing me home food.

So I guess I can’t feel too sorry for myself. It’s only a cold and I am being well looked after.

But sympathy is always welcome, so feel free to leave a sympathetic, ‘there, there’ comment to help cheer up this impatient patient.

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On culture shock, or lack thereof

20 Mar

“Culture is a little like dropping an Alka-Seltzer into a glassyou don’t see it, but somehow it does something.”

~ Hans Magnus Enzensberger

It’s been one month since I stepped off the plane at the infamous Toncontín airport. I can’t believe how quickly the time has passed.

I received a lovely ‘letter of support’ from AFS Honduras yesterday, which was filled with words of encouragement and advice about how to work through homesickness and culture shock.

This made me realize that I haven’t actually experienced any culture shock yet. In fact, I’ve settled into life here with an almost surprising ease.

I don’t know if it’s because I’ve lived and travelled in Latin American countries before or because I’m now older (confirmed) and wiser (debatable), but culture shock hasn’t been an issue. I’m happy to be here and excited to be learning about the Honduran way of life.

I think the hardest thing to deal with has been the lack of freedom caused by the insecurity. I’m used to being able to come and go where I please, when I please.

Not being able to go for a walk or pop down to the local shops on my own can make things feel a little suffocating, but my host mum has been brilliant at looking for ways for me to get out and about safely.

Apart from that minor adjustment, I can’t say there’s been anything that I’ve come across yet that’s really floored me. In fact, until I read the AFS letter I had actually forgotten that culture shock was often part and parcel of the travel experience.

Maybe I’m being too blasé and in a couple of weeks’ time I’ll have a delayed culture shock-induced breakdown. But for now, todo bien, todo tranquilo.