It’s been a very long time since we posted any blog posts. Partly due to not knowing what to share. Today, I (DeAnna) felt nudged to write, maybe just to get things out to process.
Covid has turned all of our worlds and normalcy upside down. I have a bit of a frame of reference to operate from in this upside down reality. When we moved to France without knowing any French and needing to purchase groceries and function as adults with not even an infant vocabulary – all normalcy was gone! When we moved to Cameroon we lost all those things you do automatically without thinking about (like brushing teeth, sleeping under mosquito nets, staying in at night, grocery shopping). All these new learning curves in daily life drain you! They are draining physically, emotionally and mentally. I find I’m in that space now. When we lived overseas we looked at the US as this place where we could go and everything is there – the stores were stocked to overflowing, restaurants always bustling, unlimited entertainment venues, etc… things that weren’t part of our lives in Cameroon.
I’ve started to tap into framing our current situation with our life in Cameroon. We arrived in Cameroon without a frame of reference, without knowing cultural norms, without knowing daily life routines, etc…. and needing to establish all those things in a new norm/new daily routine. Below are my comparisons.
In Cameroon when returning home from shopping, I needed to soak the produce in a bleach/water mixture, then rinse before eating. Due to covid, when I return home from shopping, I spray the produce with a vinegar/lemon/water mixture, then rinse before eating. I’m also wiping all boxes, packages, etc… with bleach wipes.
In Cameroon we would go shopping and it was normal to not find what you saw the last time on the shelf. Many times you might not see it for months. Due to covid, many of the items that are normally in stock are not available.
In Cameroon we would stay inside from 6:30 p.m. – 6:30 a.m. due to malaria transmitting mosquitoes. Due to covid, we are spending at least 12 hours a day in our home due to potential covid transmission in public.
In Cameroon we really didn’t have school functions to be bouncing to like concerts, competitions, events. Due to covid, we don’t have any functions.
In Cameroon pretty much everything we made was from scratch. We didn’t have many conveniences or take out. Due to covid, I’m back to making pretty much everything from scratch. It doesn’t bother, as I’m pretty used to it, however, I do appreciate a break every now and then and miss those breaks.
In Cameroon we were completely dependent on Skype, email and phones to communicate with family. Due to covid, we are dependent on those things to communicate with family.
In Cameroon since Christmas is celebrated differently and it was hot in December, it never felt like Christmas. Due to covid, it certainly doesn’t feel like Easter.
In Cameroon we missed worshiping at our church in the US. Due to covid, we miss being able to be in church in person worshiping together.
In Cameroon I constantly had a low lying stress of health issues arising like asthma attacks especially during harmattan, malaria, amoeba, giardia, cholera, boils, strange to me tropical diseases, fungal infections, skin issues. Due to covid, I’m constantly having a low lying stress of covid, especially with being a mom of an asthmatic. I don’t know about you, but I’m dreaming about these stresses nightly.
In Cameroon there were very few public restrooms one could use and even if you found one, you wouldn’t really want to use it and toilet paper wasn’t readily part of it. Knowing this I would carry extra tissues with me, hand sanitizer and any other personal item to help in that area. Due to covid, I find myself not wanting to use facilities away from our home and carrying/using hand sanitizer frequently and wearing a mask & gloves for protection in public.
I could go on, but this is getting long.