Sunday, April 29, 2007

Rest and Relaxation, Recuperation, Rehabilitation, Reconstruction, Reintegration…

For the first two days of my holiday, aka R&R, I had a constant headache. I felt detached from the world. I could walk in a straight line, and I’m sure I could have passed the standing on one foot with my eyes closed test, but inside I was pretty wobbly. After 2 days the headache faded, relaxation began. I started to absorb my new environment. Kenya is a world away from South Sudan, and it was all pretty exciting. “God, the roads are so smooth and flat, are they all surfaced? Wow, you’ve got a nice shower, do you have hot water? Where does the water come from? Do you have a generator? Will the electricity be on all night? Oooh there’s real milk in the fridge. Yum, cheese, can I have some?” I’m sure I was a bit tiresome to my friends. I tried very hard not to begin every sentence with “In Sudan…” or make too many satisfied noises when eating. I was a text-book example of a stressed aid worker slowly unwinding, and it was interesting to observe these stereotypical symptoms in myself.

So began the holiday process:

Relaxation: sleeping, eating, swimming, eating, drinking.
Reconstruction: eating more, having a haircut, general MOT!, walking on the beach, playing tennis, getting my strength back.

Reintegration: sitting down to proper dinners in nice restaurants, talking about topics of conversation other than humanitarian aid, hearing about films recently released (realising I’d seen none of them), discussing the French elections, getting shocked and excited for my friends who are expecting a baby, going clubbing and remembering how to dance, slow reintegration back into society, expansion of world-view beyond South Sudan.

Physical reconstruction and social reintegration process now complete, I have returned with supplies of Kenyan coffee, good parmesan and chocolate, ready for the next stint.

2 comments:

aldric said...

La simplicité a une dimension morale qui inclue le désintéressement et le détachement des biens matériels.
John Pawson

Sudanese Knights said...

aldric merci, t'as raison, et Pawson aussi. je l'apprends tous les jours. je suis contente que tu regarde mon blog, j'espere que tu vas bien également, a bientot en europe inshallah xxx