I have hardly been here two months that it’s already started: I get annoyed. I am irritated at our house maid who comes in two hours late and starts her working day by sitting at our dinner table to eat her spaghettis using our plates and crockery. I repress a silent curse when an incompetent receptionist keeps me waiting while finishing reading her friend’s status on Facebook (and then goes on commenting on it), all this in front of me and without shame. The word “idiot” slips off my mouth too quickly when I’m driving.
Yet life hasn’t been so bad. For the first time in years of moving out to new countries, I almost immediately found a job to keep me busy until Christmas. Our heavy baggage has arrived in one piece and our house now looks cosy and familiar. And the sun shines EVERY DAY.
But comes the evening, anxiety starts. I don’t look forward to tomorrow. I feel lonely, uninspired and tearful, and I wake up with a heavy heart. I know the symptoms for it’s happened before – I think I’m going through a phase of slight depression. And it’s got nothing to do with Ghana, rather with new beginnings. I am simply not good at it. I need to feel settled, to have a purpose, to know people and to be known. It’s not about getting invited to a party on a Friday night, but the comfort of having a few people with whom you don’t have to try, people who get you.
I promise the next post will be more cheerful, but for now let me be plain honest with you: I don’t like it here. I guess the first step is to accept how I feel and make some small changes, among which:
1. stop taking Lariam, those pesky anti-malaria tablets that have been known for causing depression as a side-effect;
2. read something inspiring, like Mister Pip, by Lloyd Jones;
3. look at something beautiful, like those tiny red flowers, sole survivors of our feeble gardening efforts;
4. drink some Rwandan coffee, freshly brewed in my French press;
5. pray and hold on the hope that God knows what he is doing with us here.
And be patient rather than resigned.