Saturday, September 25, 2010

Birds, Scorpions and Mosquito Nets

Even though I'm a MK (Missionary Kid), I am facing a lot of cultural adjustments in returning to Brazil. It was a transition to go back to Fortaleza, even though I grew up there because most of my adult life was spent in the U.S. But I have never lived interior Brazil, and it is much more 3rd World and backward than the capital city.
For example, we don't have a ceiling in this house. It's just the clay tile roof that keeps the sun and rain out. But it is dusty and it allows other things in. Like Birds! Today we had a bird in the house when we woke up. Most mornings we wake up with the sunrise when the early birds land on our roof and sing in the morning. I always loved birds and their songs, but this is hard to get used to! Todd hasn't slept much past 5:30 since we moved into this house. The birds are trying to build nests in our roof as well, so we are constantly cleaning up feathers and nest parts.
Another new problem for us is scorpions. I've never, in all my years of living in Brazil, had to think about scorpions. But this place is just dry enough that they thrive here. Well, that means that we have to wear shoes all the time. We're all getting used to it and we're getting used to spotting the little creatures at night fall usually trying to walk right in our front door. Poor kids are terrified of getting a scorpion bite after overhearing us talk with some other missionaries and hearing their stories.
For the first time in all my MK life I am sleeping in a mosquito net. The kids have been using them since we came to Brazil, but I've never been able to deal with the idea of sleeping all closed in and not having a fan blowing directly on me. But it has become a necessity, especially for Todd's sanity. There are tons here, and I think it is one more result of not having a ceiling to add that extra barrier between us and the outside world. It's not just the mosquitos that we are trying to keep out, it's the flies as well. Todd is going to put up screens to try to diminish the numbers. And he is cementing the biggest spaces between the walls and the roof, too.
We're getting adjusted. I'm learning that it is just a part of the move, and I can't pretend they aren't real culture shocks. But I can't allow it discourage or make me angry. I have to lean on God's grace through this, too. Just simple things like having to wear shoes all the time, sleeping a different way than before, and having to watch out for bugs that could hurt us. You get used to it, but it takes time!

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