Mood swings

No, I'm not (thankfully) going through "the change", but I feel like my moods here can change pretty quickly.

Especially lately in the last few days - where I have had a few more… “off” moments than before. I’m not sad, I just feel a bit… well, tired. Its tiring always being confused and always having to take about thirty more steps than I’m used to.
Example: I have been looking for duct tape for a week. I’ve been looking and looking and sent out emails and made phone calls – and – NO LUCK. It’s not just as easy as heading out to the local hardware store and picking some up…
It may be a little thing, but it’s a good example to show just how long things take. Nothing is ever easy. If I need to look for duct tape for a week, imagine what it’s like when I actually need to get something “hard” done? It can be….frustrating, and well….tiring.

I often feel hesitant about putting up a post that’s negative. I think family/friends will worry and I don’t want that… even though I know that they know it’s not always going to be sunny days and boat trips. Just please know – that if I have a bad day or a bad moment here – I’m still okay and my crank moments are usually short lived. It’s just hard to be pissy here for any significant length of time.

Why? 1. The other expats; and 2. The scenery

I live with the craziest of all crazy expats that are always up for a good time. I’m also one of the youngest people here and the only girl. Most of them have kids my age - IT SO FACTO - I am extremely well cared for. I sometimes feel weird saying that – I don’t want to be dependent on anyone and I don’t want anyone to think that I can’t handle myself here. I feel like I should be doing everything on my own. But then I remember some of the obstacles that I face and that I’m not living in Canada and that I should just be grateful for the help that I get. And I really, really am. Whether it’s helping me find a ride or organizing a day out (like this weekend!!), or just letting me talk to them and let me know that all these crazy feelings I’m having are totally normal. (I’m a bit stickler on being told that I’m normal. ESPECIALLY here, when I feel like everything I’m feeling is totally nuts!)

And if the other expats weren’t here and I needed cheering up – I would just have to go outside and open my eyes. The scenery is amazing. It’s always pretty here – even when it rains.

Last night after work I went for a run (which started off what I like to call a “pissed off run”. I’m in a cranky-ass mood and by the 2nd or 3rd lap, I have forgotten why I was mad to begin with).
I was finishing my cool down and I heard this really loud noise… sounded like a train was coming? I waited for a few seconds – totally confused – I don’t live near a train… and then…. I got soaking wet. It wasn’t a train – it was the rain! It must have started raining a few feet away before it came over to wherever I was at. The rain is SO LOUD!
For whatever reason (Africa-crazy, maybe?) I thought this was awesome and it made me burst into a huge smile. I LOVE the rain here. So I took my sweet ass time walking back and just enjoyed watching the rain show.

I never took myself as being someone who would be so fascinated by things like the scenery or the rain. ...But up until a few months ago, I never took myself as being someone who would move to Africa and… like it.
A few Canadian expats had met me last year when I worked in Alberta. I was talking to one of them last weekend and he said, You know, I never would have pictured you as being who you are here. I always thought of you as a totally different person than the person I’ve met in Madagascar.
Looking back, I wished he would have elaborated a bit more, but I think I know what he means. I’m still the same Nicole I was four weeks ago, but a bit different too. Just how, I’m not quite sure. I’m sure I’ll find out when I get back to Canada.

I know I haven’t talked much about the actual work that I do here…. which is weird because I love to talk accounting! I have a lot of meetings, I do a lot of talking, and I do a lot of sitting in my office trying to figure out just how in the world am I going to figure out how to get the things that I need to get done properly – IN AFRICA.
The days here are long. I’m at work 11 hours a day Monday to Friday and then 9 hours on Saturday…so I guess once I leave work, I don’t really feel like talking about it all that much. Maybe when I’m back in Canada for my first three week holiday, I’ll feel more like explaining what it is that I actually DO here. 'Cause I DO work hard.

Speaking of mood changing quickly...I was cranks when I started typing this post, but I just got an email from another expat offering me his vehicle for the evening so I can go to my spa appointment. YAY! And…its almost lunchtime….and I get to go for a nice QUIET lunch by myself!!

*After lunch update* -
Good things come in threes!!!

  1. I went to Shoprite and found not only Peanut Butter – but NO SUGAR ADDED Peanut Butter!!! I bought TWO jars. I may have let out a squeal of excitement in the store. Before all of the excitement, I was in the yoghurt section and this little kid that actually pointed to me and tugged at his mom’s skirt to show me to her.
    When I first got here - I would have thought that was weird. Fast forward four week and today, I gave him a friendly wave and a big smile.
  2. The power went out while I was grocery shopping and I just continued to grocery shop. If I couldn’t see the label on something, I used the light that my cell phone gives off to read the writing. Okay – the power outage isn’t a good thing, but my lack of any kind of freak-out was! I didn’t even think twice about continuing to shop.
  3. I made myself lunch!!! My new neighbor has lived here for over a year in her own house, so brought over like – EVERYTHING appliance-wise. I went home to drop off my groceries and used her sandwich maker to make a grilled cheese sandwich. On camp there is this little room where they keep fruit, bread, juice, coffee, etc. available twenty four hours. I walked to the room, got some bread and cheese, and then walked back and made myself an awesome lunch! It wasn’t “cooking” really, but it was really nice to make something for myself and just eat a casual lunch instead of going to a restaurant. The entire grocery-sandwich-making trip was 2 hours and 45 minutes long. It’s EXTREMELY hard for me to relax while on “work time”. I keep thinking that I should just hurryupandeatallreadyandgetbacktotheofficequickquickquck… But…that’s not how things work here. I’m still finding it hard to get used to sometimes. So while I had 2h45min off…. I couldn’t really relax. Okay…maybe that’s not a good thing either… so I’ll add a “3b”
    3b. I’m going to the spa in like…. THREE hours!! Pedicure and manicure! I will have pretty feet for my boat tour (which IS something very important, ya know!)

Hope everyone is having a great weekend so far. And belated Happy Birthday to my Auntie Lynn!!!


  1. Hi Nicole, Our advise as ex property managers to put a suggestion in the suggestion box that you need an icecream size pail and you could do it all with one pail.[ big or little] It really works and yes that was something pre Africa Nicole would do {speaking as someone who really knows the real Nicole} It's soooooo nice to here your voice. It doesn't matter if your feeling up or down. Our job is to be there for oneanother and thats what our family does. We share the good, bad and the ugly.{mostly good} but I think you already know that.
    Have fun in the sun and remember to take time to smell the roses { thats what enjoying the rain. scenery, bugs, people and African culture is all about} Love G and G xxoo


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