Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Less is more...

Skeldon market, Guyana
{Skeldon Market, Guyana: Source}

Do you ever have a moment where you wish you were Julia Sugarbaker? You know, where you can come back with the perfect come-back, standing up for injustice or insult with eloquence and grace? I still soliloquize in my mind after these moments, knowing that I failed to respond in the correct amount of time to whatever set me off. I have had lots of these moments lately and the most have derived from comments relating to the assumed deprivation we will experience in our move to Guyana.

It is true: it is the 3rd poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. We will experience heat without the promise of constant air conditioning. Roads are supposedly few and in disrepair. Movies, malls and material things are lacking or nonexistent. There will no longer be trips to stadium-sized book stores for playtime at the train table for my son and a Grande Mocha Latte for me.  No more impulse buys at Target or “Everything on Sale” sales. {And has anyone else noticed that everything is not on sale at these sales?}

But here is another truth: I am actually looking forward to these things (inconsistent air conditioning aside.) More specifically, I look forward to all the things and experiences that will fill the voids caused after removing the Targets and Starbucks from my daily routine. I hope to work in some capacity when we get there and I look forward to being a part of the humanitarian missions of the embassy, USAID or the Peace Corps going on around me. I look forward to learning how to pick out the best piece of fruit-I’ve-never-even-heard-of-yet at the farmer’s market. I can’t wait to smell the food being sold by the food carts on the street and from the open doorways of homes. Here, in America, our shopping experience is sterile and controlled. I want my senses to not be controlled by marketing but by the colors and sounds of the marketplace. What is in season? What is ripe this week? Will the lady selling her cassavas tell me her favorite recipe? Will a man at another booth sneak my son a bite of his mango? I hope so. And I venture to say that it will be these moments that will last longer in memories than the oh-so-cool-only-a-$1 junk we picked up at Target last week.

Yes, there will be many things that we will go without. In reality, thanks to the good ole’ internet, we will have access to almost anything. But when we make a purchase from Target or Amazon online, the choices and decisions will be more intentional. Yes, that means that there will be less stuff. But how much more will we be experiencing because of it?

5 comments:

LauraC said...

I can't wait to hear how it goes! Love this post.

Smallbits said...

This blog post is one of my all time favorites. I completely agree.

Janna said...

Awesome post! It's going to be amazing and I'm so excited to get to read about your adventures and see all the beautiful pictures!

3rdculturechildren said...

Great, Heather! And the picture... so calming... about working there, maybe add some NGO to your list? If i'm not mistaken, my former NGO is active in Guyana...

a. b. said...

Sounds like you have the right mindset. Fresh fruit alone trounces the loss of B&N.

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