It’s a funny thing, this thing called “time.” Sometimes it seems to move at lightning speed. Other times it doesn’t seem to move at all. Last week at this time I was airborne, flying with four others home from Miami after an amazing 8-day trip to Haiti. It feels like I just got back. It fells like I never left. Funny. I figured acclimating to my old life here in the great republic would take some time, maybe a week. After all, I was off-the-grid in Haiti, a 3rd-world country, in a culture with a different language and customs. In our seven days in-country we were shuffled from place to place by RMI ministry staff, told when to eat and what was supposed to happen the next day. We were on schedule. Haitian style. Which meant that the words on paper were just words. You can make plans but they probably will change. But, still, we were being led from here to there.
Life was SO different from my ordinary. There was no television and what little radio we heard was Haitian radio while traveling. There was electricity — at night, for a few hours — thanks to a generator but having a flashlight on hand at all times was recommended. We slept with battery-powered fans close by because of the humidity, probably losing a gallon of water as we slept. No a/c. And strange noises outside the windows.
Not Flower Mound, to be sure! Though, I have been hearing a strange creature in my neighborhood each recent evening making a most intimidating shrill sound. I can’t see it. So I fear it. I sometimes wonder if it’s a long-lost dinosaur on a quest for dinner and I scamper inside before I find out.
But I digress.
That first night I was home I did experience some minor culture shock. I turned on the television and quickly realized how much I didn’t miss it. It was noise and my brain had trouble processing it. Same with the lights in my house. I turned on my computer and saw I had 120 e-mails from the eight days. Right then I longed to go back to Haiti! There’s something really nice about being off the grid. Especially when one’s life revolves around a computer.
But by Saturday afternoon I was back in my old routines and seemingly over my trip. Sure I had some culinary adjustment and digestive adjustment still to overcome but as far as lights, computer, TV, and the sort, I was back on schedule. Which kind of disappointed me, to be honest. They say habits are formed after 30 days, so I guess it would take a much longer trip to change mine. I guess I’ll have to go somewhere….
Time is a funny thing. It takes time to change, yet sometimes change happens in no time at all. Months meld into weeks and weeks into days and pretty soon five years passes into yesterday’s memory. Funny. Yet cruel.