Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Is the Honeymoon Period Over?: On Being Sick and Tired in a Brand New Place

It is currently 1am in Quito, and I just woke up from being asleep- on top of my computer, with my light on- since like 7pm.  Maybe earlier.

Yes, I have managed to get myself some sort of strange bug, which isn't even the stomach bug I was expecting.  I am exhausted and I occasionally have a headache and feel like my body is not regulating temperature sometimes.  I could have a fever (a thermometer is one thing I did not bring from home and I am not sick enough that I want to worry my host family just yet) but I really don't think I do because fevers put me entirely out of commission.  (Sleeping at 7pm may sound entirely out of commission, but it is not that strange with how early I wake up and how exhausted each day makes me.)

So is the honeymoon period over?  Everyone talks about that point abroad where things stop being exciting and start being like, "Please I just want to get a haircut, why is everything so hard in a foreign language?"   (Oddly enough, a haircut is one thing I know how to get in this country- there are peluquerías on practically every street.)

Honestly, I do not think it is.  I think being sick is keeping me from loving everything as much as I used to, and I think it feels a little annoying because this happened at the exact same time as I have to start actually doing things.  These (terribly complicated and difficult, you'll see) things include:
1) My laundry
2) Grocery shopping for lunches- not  completely necessary as there is lunch stuff around CIMAS for less than $2.50 usually, but I would prefer not to just have bread every day.  I'm planning on cooking a few things on the weekend to take to school.
3) Figuring out this phone situation.  I am the only person on my program now without a working phone.  The neighbor gave an extra to me, but it looks like my phone number is missing a digit.  If this is the case, I cannot put minutes on it.  I just want a phone so I can go places and do things.

The going places and doing things is my other frustration.  Because I do not know how to take the bus, do not know where much of anything is, live in a residential area where there are few stores around, and do not feel comfortable being out and about without a phone, I feel really trapped.  I want to explore the city and see and do new things.  I feel crappy for being in a new country on facebook- the world is so big out there, but I feel like I cannot see it just yet.  In this way, I guess it is a blessing that I am sick.  It is normal to stay in bed when you are sick, no matter the country.  

I also made the goal of writing in my journal or blogging every day that I was here, and that has not been happening so much.  Sometimes, when I am just in school, it doesn't feel like much is happening at all.  Otherwise, I'm falling asleep on my homework.  That is (I suppose) why this blog post is more journal-y and complain-y.  I also think everybody talks about these kinds of struggles but no one really elaborates on them, which makes them seem scarier.  (They aren't that bad or mysterious or anything, trust me.  It is almost magical- I can identify what is making me a little upset and I can work to fix it.  I'm going to talk to my host mom about laundry and my phone tomorrow and ask her what their week plans are and if we can maybe go out somewhere.  I don't even care where- I have gone with her to the panadería, to church, really everywhere.  I was going to accompany her to the hospital to see my host niece, who got bitten by some bug it sounds like and had some kind of reaction, but I thought bringing more illness to a hospital might be a bad idea and I was exhausted.)

Honestly though, I am proud of myself, since usually illness turns me into a baby in the fetal position unable to function, and I have been fine.  More than that, if this is the greatest challenge I have faced thus far as a part of my study abroad experience, well, then I'm not doing too badly at all.

No comments:

Post a Comment