The Apple Crisp Challenge - Series Finale

So, we left off here. When you realized that all of your intentions and all of your expectations were completely normal and rational.

Yet none of them happened.

For nearly all of them, you had to come up with the most random (umm…kiwi juice and paper towel!?) solutions, which in the end, basically got the job done (minus the "broil" oven error).

But after all your hard work, your inventiveness, your solutions, the end result was a COMPLETE failure and had to be re-done.

You could have declined and given up, but you didn’t want to. After all that work you wanted to feel some sense of accomplishment!

And that’s the point I’m making. This isn’t a post how like, OH, I am so unfortunate, my life is sooooooooooo hard. It’s just has hard or unhard as everyone else that I know over in Canada or France or whatever developed country. But it’s a different kind of hard that I’m not sure one ever gets used to.

Sure, if you went to your friend’s the next time, you’d bring your own pan, you’d bring your own ingredients, and you’d wear rubber boots if it rained the night before. You’d know that the water pump is turned off. Except in the jungle, there’s a whole new set of variables that gets thrown into the mix that isn’t always forseeable. Which I guess is life in general, but sometimes, I just want to be able to rely on my expert-apple-crisp-making skills. And not have to think of the GAZILLION things that is going to interfere with it.

Nearly every day (or at least every week), I set off to do something that I COMPLETELY know how to do, yet I fail. I’m presented with unexpected, random problems, and have to invent incredibly random (and sometimes effective) solutions.

A lot of the days, I end up with a burnt crisp.
A lot of the days, I give up if there’s no water.
Some of the days…I turn around and go home when I can’t find my way to the cottage.

But, some of the days, I make a crisp and enjoy supper with the Germans and spent the night and enjoy the lake view.

But day, after day, after day, of dealing with the unexpected, or the oddity of things here, is frustrating. So, so, frustrating. Yet even on the days that I really give up, I don’t want to stop.

I want to keep going. I have accomplished a lot here, but I’m not finished yet. It’s frustrating because I complain and complain about it here, but I don’t want to leave! Just like my invented character had to wrestle for hours to make this stupid thing she knew how to do, she (or he??) wanted to make it a second time before supper. {Have I said that I really didn’t think this would end up being like five posts? I was frustrated last Saturday and just started writing…)

The last six to twelve months, things have really changed here. I’m not sure if its part of every start-up project’s growing pains, but morale is low. Although I am pretty lucky to have the boss that I do, he’s busy a lot and he’s not prepared to babysit me. Most days I think that’s a good thing, but some days, I’d really like to be tucked into bed and told, “Wow! What a good job you did today, Nicole! You are so smart!!” (No, not really, in fact, that would creep me out big time - but you get the point).

Right now, I'm also surrounded with a lot of tired people with pretty low morale (with the exception of three people. I seriously need to write a blog post dedicated to these guys because they are never, never upset and always, always happy, and not medicated).

So sometimes (though not today, or yesterday, or the day before that), I’m so frustrated with THIS PLACE. Which is each MORE frustrating BECAUSE I WANT TO STAY.

I know everyone loves a challenge, but sometimes I do wonder what life would be like if I hadn’t come here. I do think I’m a better person because of this experience. I’ve been very lucky to do a lot of things that I never even knew I wanted to do, but I also know more about stuff that I wish I didn't know about. {I know I can be an over sensitive person, but sometimes my "poverty depression" I had sometime before my one year anniversary, still comes and goes. And I still can't help but think about Julien from time to time. There is this cleaning lady that I swear must be his twin sister which doesn't help}

Looking back on my previous role, I accomplished a lot (though it doesn't seem like it now).

Looking forward on this job, I have nothing holding me back but my frustrations (and the no water/baking dish/muddy roads/proper driving directions).

I learn from my mistakes, I learn to deal with not having the things that I used to take for granted but sometimes…sometimes, I just want to make and eat good apple crisp that I’m used to.

The end.

Thanks for reading my mega, mega, mega rambled story. There was something theraputic about thinking of all the oddities that could be thrown into a simple task of making an apple crips. (Sorry there’s no dramatic ending…. )

{Oh - Louis doesn't read my blog (what a dork!) but I was telling him about this. A few hours later he admitted he had no idea what apple crips is. If you also fall into this category, check out this link)


  1. All you expats a so awesome. At home we have no ide how you keep yourselves motivated. Good story telling Kiddo. I enjot your blog a whole big bunch. Keep on keeping on. Love G&G xxoo


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