Monday, August 23, 2010

OK. OK. I get it.

Yeah, so I know I have been AWOL. It hasn’t been an easy couple of months. But that’s no excuse – when has my life ever been easy? I think I deliberately prevent it from becoming so…

But then I checked Facebook the other day and saw this:

"Chris J. is wondering if his favorite sister-in-law-in-Malawi will ever blog again..."

Alright, alright. I hear you people ( all 5 of you who still read this blog). You want posts. So post I shall.

(But nuts…what should I say?) I guess I can start by saying why I haven’t been on much. And it’s not just that I haven’t been writing – I haven’t read any blogs in ages either. At work I’m usually too swamped, and at home…well, at home I’m swamped too. That’s life as a working mama.

And it isn’t just that – I just have felt lately that the only things that come to my mind to write about are so….negative. For example, there’s the growing number of articles in the Malawi newspapers blaming women who are raped, because their short skirts and exposed thighs “force” men into assaulting them. How about the government up and changing the flag (which I thought was very nice) in a dramatic show of government will ignoring the opinions of the people? And I’m increasingly depressed by the poverty wages paid to hard-working Malawians – our housekeeper was recently offered 6,000 Malawi Kwacha ($40) per month for full time employment at another house (he declined, naturally). Aid workers hardly pay much more, despite supposedly being here to ‘help’ the people.

The US is no better a topic for discussion – the percentage of Americans who believe that Obama is Muslim nearly doubled in the past few months, and Republicans STILL have the balls to suggest that the way out of financial crisis is to lower taxes and bankrupt the federal government (seriously, haven't we learned?). It’s all too depressing for words sometimes, so I just keep quiet.

Then of course I have my own work frustrations, for example a horrendous trip to Uganda last month, the rapidly rising cost of living in Malawi (it’s WAY more expensive in Africa than people think) and my shrinking wages as the Euro tanks, working hard every day for little recognition or reward.

I like to think of myself as a pretty positive person. After all, I went through chemo and radiation with hardly a peep of protest. It pains me to complain on this blog. A central value of my childhood was “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” So again, I just keep quiet.

But it’s not all doom and gloom around here. After all, I do have just about the best family any woman could ask for. How many women, after 6 years of marriage, still get two dozen roses on a Tuesday afternoon from their husband, for no reason at all? And even though Milo is fully TWO in all of its glory (and being potty trained on top of all that), he still charms me every day with his tremendous capacity for love and unsuppressed joy. And there’s even more reason for happiness around the C. household now, as our little family will grow to 4 soon, sometime at the end of this year.

(You like how I snuck that in there?)

But I have heard the people, and I will respond to their little plaintive pleas. I may need some help on coming up with topics, though. So, anyone want to suggest what you would like to hear more about? Got questions for me? Post them in the comments, and I’ll try to start writing more. After all, this is a two-way street folks – you want blog posts? I need validation. Comments. Lots of ‘em.


Blue Tarp Girl said...

First off, congrats, I know this is something you have been wanting and it brings me joy to have others have their wants fulfilled (especially when they are spectacular parents).

Secondly, I love hearing about your life and pursuits. Even though we have mostly been online friends, I refer to you frequently because I have such high regard for what you do (especially when I have increasing pessimism about humanity). I have been thinking a lot about changing many things about my life, and you give me hope for being able to globe-trot without going insane.

Do you feel validated now? :)

Miriam said...

Yay!!! You're back! So glad peer pressure worked. You could write about anything Gwyneth and I would read it. Even your everyday experiences are interesting because life is so different there.

Anonymous said...

How about some photos of life there - I don't think I've ever even seen a picture of the front of your house!

What are the shops like, where do you buy groceries?

Maybe pictures of the main drag in town, or the street where you work?

And tell us about raising a kid in Africa - how do you survive without Target? How do you cope with the malaria risk?

- Joy (it's not letting me log on)

Shannon said...

Congratulations on the pregnancy, G! Hope you're feeling well, and that the remaining months are smooth for you.

Jessica Powers said...

I was missing you and your blog so HURRRRAH!

And more joyous squeals and shouts regarding the pea in your pod - I'm very happy for you and Jorge, and I'm sure Milo will love a little minion of his own!

I think some really basic "running errands" posts would be nice. With photos. I'm sure that the people you do business with on a regular basis would feel fantastically famous were you to blog them!

And you could always get Milo to do some Yoga and take photos. Kids doing Yoga is great fun to see!

John said...

I want to hear more about your housekeeper, your house, the people you work with, the people you meet. Gosh Gwyneth, you are in Africa after all and almost everybody reading has never lived there, right?

Janna said...

Hi Gwyneth! So glad you are back - I have been reading your blog ever since my return to Canada from Malawi (I think it was linked from Amy Gottlieb's). Even though I don't think we met there, we have a few friends in common. I always look forward to hearing updates about life there, especially during frequent bouts of homesickness for Malawi - we would love to return. I loved the newspaper quote you posted last (though it *was* a while ago) - I sent it to a few people who I knew would appreciate it. Anyways, keep on blogging - you must have more readers than you think, and it certainly does my heart good to see snippets of the life we got to experience for way too short a time.

Janna said...

Hi Gwyneth - I have been reading your blog since I returned to Canada from Lilongwe (linked to it from Amy Gottlieb's). Although we never met I think we have some friends in common. I love love love reading your stories about family life in Lilongwe and it really helps ease the frequent bouts of homesickness I get for Malawi.