It’s 3pm on Tuesday afternoon, and I am sitting in my house feeling sick and miserable. I’ve been alone all day, and it’s made me feel like I’m a million miles away from everyone I care about It’s a feeling I had not anticipated, this yearning for home during times of struggle, but now that it’s hit me I feel increasingly vulnerable to sadness and depression.
I’ve only been here just over a week, and now I’m wishing for the familiar comforts of home. I miss cold drinks, I miss my dog greeting me when I get home everyday, and I miss my family and friends. Thinking that I’m going to be here for another 6 months is excruciating, especially when I think about the fact that I can’t just hop on the internet and feel connected to the rest of the world. Where I live I’m lucky if I get phone reception; and I’m not trying to be a whiner, but this is way harder then I imagined it would be. My lack of foresight is really my own fault, but now here I am and I have to handle the situation. It just seems so much harder when you don’t have the same tools that you do back home. More then anything I’d die for a couch or even a comfortable bed right now. The sad part is that I live in a house that’s better than 95% of the homes that other people in this village live in. It makes me realize how easy it is to become accustomed to first world comforts, and how hard it is to lower your expectations. I know that I’ll adapt over time, and come to truly appreciate a lot of the beauty that’s inherent in this culture, but at the moment I can’t help but feel that life is a bleak desolate vortex of unhappiness. I think more then anything it comes down to this feeling of being trapped, of losing your ability to make life choices. I know that I’m here for 6 months, and that going home is not an option. I feel like I lack freedom, agency, whatever you want to call it.
It might be messed up. but these are the feelings I wanted to experience by coming here. I wanted to know how it felt to have limited choice, how it felt to live in poverty. For the first week I was actually disappointed that I hadn’t felt homesick, or gotten a true human (emotional) understanding of what poverty is like. But now it’s hit me, and I have a much better idea, and I’ve realized that being in this situation is really hard. Anyone could hash this out for a bit, but living this way day in and day out….I can’t fathom it yet. More then anything I can’t wait to feel healthy again, because then I’ll be able to go out and see people. The living conditions become a lot more bearable when you can share in the experience with others, but at the moment my two fellow intern roommates are out of town in Kumasi, and everyone else lives too far away to visit, especially when it’s 35C outside. I hope I’m well enough to make it to work tomorrow though, maybe a feeling of purpose will get me feeling positive again.