Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The Haka.

For those of you who know New Zealand at all or for those of you who have ever seen the All Blacks play rugby you will know that the Haka is a traditional Maori dance. It is very spirited and revs up even the most timid Kiwi. When you are away from your home country it can even bring a tear to the eye :-)

My eldest son was sent this version of it the other day and I liked it so much I thought I'd share it with you after all my heavy posts of late (more to come). Do enjoy a take on Maori culture.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

As I look at the ticker above I see that we are fast approaching the one year anniversary of our departure from our beloved Ecuador. I can't believe it has been a whole year! At times it seems like it was just yesterday and other times it feels like the place never really existed. It's another part of balance that I'm not coping particularly well with.

I'm finding it difficult to keep both parts of my life on some kind of equal level. There are days when I really miss Ecuador and my special friendships there and then there are days when I actually enjoy living in NZ. But when I feel happy to be here I feel as though I am betraying the love and care of those I have left so far away. I find it tough to keep memories and my life now all together in my brain. Most of the time I seem to push one to the side and try to concentrate on the other. At the moment I am trying so hard to keep it together here in NZ that Ecuador hardly features at all and then when I think I am doing well something reminds me of all that I have lost and I lose it completely. I try not to allow myself to grieve or remember as it is so painful and I feel as though I can't keep doing a good job pretending that all is okay here. Does that even make sense? I have so many emails from my friends in Ecuador and I haven't responded to them in months. I feel terrible about it and it makes me feel worse but how do I explain to them the inner battle that I have everytime I remember them? I long so much to just talk to them but even thinking about calling them makes me run for the bed covers and hide. Nige has spoken to them a couple of times and I have been secretly glad that I was out when he did so I didn't have to speak to them myself. Doesn't that sound horrible!What I really want is just to see them and hug them, to take them out for coffee and dessert or empanadas, to just hang with them but that's not possible and that's what hurts.

The other day in church the woman who prayed for us looked at me and said that she could sense that I had deep grief which I wasn't allowing out. How true was that! I hold it all in to protect myself and my family. I hold it in so that I can be strong for everyone else in my family who is falling apart. I have to be the strong one. I have to be the one they can rely on and turn to when everything else turns to custard. I know that one day I won't be able to hold on any longer. One day it will all just fall out of me and I will finally get to grieve for my heartland. I'm scared that once I start I will never stop crying.

I guess I had better stop here. My eyes are moistening up and I still have emails to answer. I think we might just have to do something special together as a family on the 12th August to remember and celebrate our Ecuadorian-ness. Perhaps I should go hunting for plantain and make Caldo de bolas. Que Rico!!!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Keeping your life in balance is a tough thing to do sometimes. I haven't written for quite a while because I just haven't been able to bring my head into a space to be able to do so. There is so much running through it that I chose to steer clear of writing it all down. Now that I've worked through some stuff I'll post over the next couple of days what has been happening. Needless to say it's all about balance.

The past two weeks have been school holidays so I have been mainly at home with the kids. The first week Nige and I took as holidays and tried to do something fun every day with them. We went to the city centre on the train then walked for hours up and down the main street. We went ten pin bowling, shopped, took in a couple of movies, had a late night up where we watched videos and ate popcorm until midnight and other things. At times we all had fun but all of us were very tired and stressed so most days ended up with someone being grumpy and that getting us all in a foul mood. Not pleasant at all! We were glad to get back into some kind of routine the next week with Nige and I balancing the kids and our jobs.

We tried to begin a bible study group with some young marrieds at church so I spent the day cooking desserts and cleaning. All to no avail. No one turned up!!! At least in NZ you can actually get to a certain time after the start time and say no one was coming whereas in Ecuador everyone's sense of timing is so up the wop they could still turn up 2 hours later and be on time. In the end we took our desserts to a friends house and shared them with them which was nice. We weren't too disappointed and will try again next week but this time I'm not making so much to eat :-)

It's just been a really hard month of late. Work has been so busy and stressful for both of us that that has impacted on our home life. The boys have been busy, tired and stressed (more on that later) that they have been unbearable to live with and Nige and I have also been having trouble keeping in check our grief at leaving Ecuador. It tends to sneak up on you when you are feeling most vulnerable. One Sunday we went forward for prayer and since then have had much better days. God just seemed to step in a lift our burdens and heartache. He's good like that huh? I'm so glad I have him to rely on. Some days that's all that gets me through. I remember once being told that cultural change is like being tossed about in the boat on the sea. The sea can be fierce at times and holding on difficult but the boat (God) remains the same. He will always be my refuge. I'm so thankful for that.

So I'll ty and post more later. I'm doing this while at work....the only place I seem to be able to use the computer. Hope the boss doesn't mind :-)