The Long and Short of It

I’ve been here for almost a year and I’m realizing that it’s getting easier and easier for me to slip away from being open about how I’m really doing. Maybe it’s becuase I feel like there are certain expectation of what a ‘missionary’ is, or maybe that it feels like very few people are listening anymore.

The last month has been HARD. I know being newly married means a lot of adjustments, so I guess doing it in a third world country is going to be even harder. I know there are expectations of what a wife should be here, and frankly I don’t think I’ll ever make a good Haitian wife. Thankfully I married a Canadian and so far he doesn’t seem to have any complaints.

I feel frustrated most days because I don’t see how I’m making a difference. Don’t get me wrong, I know there are things that I’ve done that have greatly improved things here, it’s just easy to forget that sometimes. I also see other missionaries and ministries and what they’re doing and compare myself to that and then feel all crummy. What a useless exercise. In my head I know I’m here for a reason, it’s just sometimes difficult to remember that in my heart.

There are many days where I feel lost, and I’m realizing that I had expectations of what life would be like for me here. Those included having a clear understanding of my role. I don’t have that, and the reality is that over the last few months that has also changed greatly. I’ve gone from being single and being more ‘work’ driven to being married and welcoming everything that that brings. I believe Chris and I are to be partners in leading the mission, but maybe another role that I’m being called to focus on right now is learning how to be a wife. Not just a wife, but a good one.

I’m experiencing a circumstancial loss of independence as well. I’ve come from a life where I was responsible for my own well being, and had the freedom to come and go as I please. I now live in a culture where it’s difficult to get around the country at the best of times, and when you can, there really is no where to go or anything to do. I know for my own personal well being I need to get out more, but to do what and go where? I know I’m not alone in this as I talk to other missionaries.

I’m also feeling lonely. I miss people. People that I can talk to on a heart level, who will love me and listen and just be THERE. I feel this very deeply because I was surrounded by so many wonderful people who were and did all of those things. I know people often think their life is nothing of interest compared to my really exciting life in Haiti, but it’s not true. I have boring days here too. More often than not. I actually get excited when I’m able to get off the property for any reason, even if it may be something like going to the bank where we may need to stand in line for an hour! I was talking to a friend here last night about this and she said that what I was experiencing was often the case for most missionaries. The longer you are away, the more people move on with their lives. I feel so sad thinking about that.

So there’s me for today. Somewhat sad, lonely, frustrated, insecure. I know somewhere in there is some hope too, that things will get a bit easier day by day. They could also get harder too, but I think I’ll worry about crossing that bridge when I get to it.

This entry was posted in this is haiti, this is life by Leslie. Bookmark the permalink.

About Leslie

I'm Leslie. Wife. Mother. Missionary. In the day to day my husband and I are responsible for running Clean Water for Haiti, a humanitarian mission that builds and distributes water filters to Haitian families. Living in Haiti full time provides lots of stories, and as I tell my husband, our grandkids probably won't believe most of them. Maybe writing them down will give me some credibility.

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