Life is getting into more of a rhythm. The overwhelming task list of ‘settling in’ projects is slowly diminishing, and daily life is taking on some semblance of a routine. It’s amazing how much the human race craves routine – yes we love spontaneity, and surprises, and some would argue they are against routine. But inside each of us lies a desire for something to remain predictable, to become uniform, to not catch us by surprise.
I am surprised a little less every day – the incredulous aspects of life now seem a bit credible, and the unexpected seems to be a little more anticipated. We have dozens of acquaintances, a few friends, and some favorite things to do, places to go, and specialty foods to buy. We are settling in.
I’ve been thinking quite a bit about the reality of our moving situation – both the reality that we’ve just moved, and the simultaneous reality we may move again soon. It’s difficult to establish oneself in a place when impermanency shouts from every corner. Even if we decide we love Nairobi, and Chris’s job continues to be a solid working situation, and we’re able to afford the rising costs of living combined with children rapidly nearing school age* there is a good possibility we would move out of this apartment to another place.
*(most expats in Kenya put their kids in school at the age of 2 or 3…not our first pick, but something we’re aware of)
And there’s always the possibility that after 2 years of being here, we decide our time here is done. This thought can cause great hesitation when deciding on rug colours, wall decorations, craft projects. It was already difficult getting everything here, if we accumulate more (which we have), moving will be an even bigger headache. I think this is why people don’t move.
But despite these questions of potential impermanency, I’m struck by the reality I owe stability to my children, to my husband, and to myself. And subsequently, I choose to settle in. This requires a degree of courage, and a degree of stupidity/foolhardiness/intentional dismissal of reality. So, we are investing ourselves. We’ve purchased a house full of furniture, are establishing routines, and investing ourselves in new friendships, even with people who already have plans to move out of the country within the next 7 months.
And we’re beginning to enjoy ourselves – to find pleasure in little things each day, such as a cup of tea, a book on the porch, a triumph in parenting, or an absolute failure in parenting which results in some sort of loss of property, property damage, or need to acquire new property. This transition has not been an easy one – the whirlwind of changes we’ve experienced has left us a bit battered and bruised, but not only can we see a light at the end of the tunnel, we also have a pretty good sense of what the terrain is like between here and that light.
Just wanted to give you a positive update since it’s been a little while. I’ll regale you with stories of camping & a note from Kai soon.