Life is either a great adventure, or nothing.
Imagine moving into the house of someone you just met who lives in a place you have never been to find that you are going to be sleeping in the same bed as a person you haven’t seen before. Eating foods that you have never heard of whilst sitting on the floor with four generations of family. Learning to eat with your hands and watching carefully how to properly suck a mollusk out of its shell. Watching TV shows, commercials, and movies in a language that you just barely understand at random hours of the day. Taking your first real bucket shower next to unwashed bowls and plates from dinner while a spider family watches you from overhead. Informally kind of sort of working at the evening market selling cold crepes with ingredients that you can’t quite pronounce properly. Getting moved to a new place an hour away in the jungle to live with a family that has been patiently awaiting your arrival for the last six or so months. Using your first squat toilet and realizing that it isn’t that bad. Washing your clothes in a bag since a snake has been somehow caught in the water pipe. Using rainwater to bathe in the backyard. Smiling and waving when grandma passes by and sees you in nothing but your underwear. Waking up to your next door neighbor knocking to jog/walk with you every morning. Eating food offered to you after literally just eating. Being picked up and taken places without warning. Watching the driver of the car you are sitting in pop open a beer, take a swig, and place it in his/her cupholder before starting up the engine. Perfecting the technique for smacking motorcycle drivers in the face with ice cold water. Sleeping in a tent outside since there are too many people in the house. Living out of a bag for weeks at a time when you only planned on maybe four days max. Running English Camps on the fly. Spending every waking moment without a single space to call your own …
And yet I wake up every morning with a smile on my face. Tired but happy. Content with my life in a way that I have never before been. The challenges so far have been many, but the opportunities for learning and growth I now realize, are infinite. We live in little bubbles – worlds that we call “personal perspective” within which we carefully safeguard our most cherished thoughts and opinions about everything “other” that exists outside ourselves. Being here has taught me the importance of traveling to visit other worlds. Making more than the physical journey from home to here and embracing every change as an opportunity. Adventure is truly out there … Find it.
Picture is of my co-teacher and his beautiful family having dinner out in their front yard.