Something about recovering from my fifth (or sixth...?) stomach bug has made me feel inordinately grateful for my job and the opportunity to be in Venezuela. I was putting fresh sheets on my bed earlier (a task one can only enjoy after being horizontal in bed for 50+ hours) and heard Don Omar's latest Virtual Diva (from the album iDon) float in from a neighbor's window, when I felt a rush of nostalgia for my life here. I'm a bit heartbroken by the idea that I might be forced to move away if our contract isn't renewed in a few months.
Though I will not miss the bimonthly stomach bugs, I will miss the special things about Venezuela that have made me enjoy life more. I really like the focus on today instead of the thirty-year plan, celebration and appreciation of family, the freedom of spontaneous emotional expression, the humor that is a bit more bitingly funny than what I find at home, the attention to home-cooked meals, and the always perfectly breezy evenings.
In any place, including my original home, there are things I want to focus on and enjoy in this culture, and other things I've simply grown to accept but not really adore. The things I've merely learned to live with include the lawlessness, lack of accountability, inflation, thick traffic, and anxiety-causing crime levels. Also, when hot tempers surface, I get awkward and bug-eyed, which totally ruins my chances of genuinely responding in kind.