Thursday, October 12, 2006

Less than a week before I leave...

... and I am so stressed out! I've been waiting six months for this and now that it's finally time to leave, I find it... too soon.

Oh dear, Ishtar must turned herself back into Esther a long time ago! It'll be one nice transition time when I finally arrive!
Full of frustration... and I'm already tired. But the thing is, it hasn't been an easy year. My mom is in the middle of her cancer treatment and it's not easy to leave her behind. As for myself, I still get dizzy from the concussion I had in January, especially when I get stressed. And right now, I'm really stressed because there are so many things that need to be done before I go. But I guess one day at a time is the key, huh?


Very well. I'll do my best, go to bed early, try to relax so that I can think clearly for the rest of the week. Tomorrow is my last day at work and then, there's just a hasty weekend where I'll be flying Halmstad-Uppsala and back in two days. Though I'm looking forward to holding a presentation at Rotary, I still have to prepare it and that takes time... Which you find loads of in Niger (at least people seem to have plenty of it!) but not here...

No, Ishtar has most definitively gone and transformed herself back into Esther again. Not that I suffer from multiple personalities, but in order to live in two worlds so different from each other, you need to adapt to the culture and the rythmes... And they are very far from each other. Here in Sweden - as Esther - I work around the clock, keep a million projects going at the same time and rush from one thing to another. Or so it seems.

In Niger - as Ishtar - I get to admire the blue sky (almost) every day. I take time with people, animals and God (well actually, I do that here in Sweden as well). I spent some days being frustrated over the slow pace but most of all, I am constantly reminded of how thankful I am for all the things in my life that are so wonderful. My job (in Niger, the one I don't get paid for), my family, my friends, my relationship with God - the distance that you get from all material things once you've actually managed to slow down the pace and turn a little African...

Oh yes, I love Niger, with all of my heart. It's the most frustrating place I can be in, and yet, I always miss it when I leave. Even though Sweden is a great and comfortable country to live in (would be weird if not, seeing that it's one of the most developped countries in the world!) , I miss Niger every day that I'm away...

So that would be my life story the last couple of months: working around the clock (but hey, I've done some progress because I limited myself to two jobs this year!) and missing Africa. I know I romanticise a lot about Niger - lol, I can
practically make anyone wish to go and live there just because I paint such a wonderful picture - and although I know it's not materially wonderful (uh no, about as far from it as you could possible get, seeing that Niger is the least developed country in the world...) it has that freedom within you that is so wonderful for the soul.

When I'm in Niger - and we'd better fast-forward the first two weeks after my arrival because they are awfully frustrating (transforming from a Scandianvian TCK to an African Swede) - I'm at peace. I live my life knowing that every single day, I can make a difference. I can help, I can inspire, I can challenge, I can work to make people experience that unique aha-moment that they so desperately need to awaken. Because Niger is a country that stands still. It is the poorest country in the world, but it has no war or natural disaster to blame it on. It is just plain poor, with the majority of people suffering from a sort of apathetic condition. Yes, that would be my description. Now what could there possible be to love about that??

Well, stick around for a while, following me during my ups and downs in this faraway country (which often refer to as the "end of the world"), and maybe by the time we reach march 2007 (when it will be time for me to go back to civilisation and earn some more money so that I can return again) you will understand why Niger, despite its poverty and slow pace, is such an incredible rich country...

With love, Ishtar

1 comment:

Jo Ann said...

That's very interesting! And I do understand the Esther/Ishtar thing!
I am from Angola, but live in France. In the future, I will be working in Angola but sure enough, I'll need a couple of months away! :)