It isn´t easy to be in a third world country and expect to adjust in only a few weeks. I can now see why with the Peace Corps the minimum commitment is two years. When we lived in Honduras I remember being told we would need one year to adjust and one year to actually do something (if we were lucky)!
I went to our exchange student Beth´s little five year old cousin´s birthday party the first week we were here. I was so tongue tied with my Spanish I wanted to cry. It felt wierd to travel without Shawn for starters. Especially in a place where he could speak the language as well and we could help each other out. It has also been a challenge to balance my kids in a strange place, attend to their needs and try to carry on a conversation in a different language.
At the party, a kind, pretty woman around my age introduced herself. She was holding a precious little baby. I asked how old the baby was and the woman said ¨cinco meses¨ (five months.) This I understood. I was frozen. This is how old Maddi was when Shawn died. I kept staring at this little Latin American Barbie Doll and couldn´t help to think about how tiny she was and in comparison how tiny my own daughter was when her father was killed. I was staring at a moment from my past.
The woman broke my trance and asked if I wanted to get together while I was here. I nodded politely. But, inside felt very overwhlemed. The culture shock of Ecuador mixed with the culture shock of still growing accustomed to life without a husband and father felt like too much to mix together.