It touched my heart

The other morning at breakfast my host-mom asked me a question that I did not understand (gee, there’s a surprise!).  But she seemed very intent and made me go get my dictionary.  She looked up the word ‘content’ and showed it to me.  She really wanted to know if I was content in her home….WOW!

Now to provide a little background, I’m sort of like a 5 year old over here.  This woman does my laundry, irons my clothes, cooks my meals and serves them, cleans up after me, and (when I can’t chase her out) even cleans my room for me.   She worries if I’m too hot or cold, cheerfully tolerates visits from my Peace Corps friends, tries to teach me how things are ‘done’ here so that I’ll have the skills to live on my own 6 weeks from now–and all in a different language.

We also have a lot in common.  We are 1 year apart in age and both raised a daughter and a son (2 yr age difference).  She’s been a widow for 12 years, I’ve been divorced for 15.  She works full time, manages her household and is going through the ’empty nesting’ time except on weekends when/if her 2 college students come home.  (I remember that time with some considerable pain.)  I look forward to the time when I can talk to her about these things.

And she’s worried about ME????  OK, it’s true that I probably supply her a bit of distraction, but I find it incredibly touching that she is so very concerned that I am happy and content in her home.  She’s the one who gave up her bedroom and sleeps on the couch in order to comply with the PC guideline that I have my own room.  (I think she used to share it with her daughter who’s now in college.)  She’s given me a sweater-vest that was hand-knit by her mother because she wanted me to be warm.  She takes me to her friends’ homes, includes me in her weekend activities, compliments me on any little progress, cheerfully refers to me as ‘Emily Bronte’ when I withdraw into writing mode, and generally tries to make MY life as easy as possible.

I go to language school from 8-12:00, usually have more ‘Peace Corps school’ or practical assignments in the afternoons, and a couple hours of homework.  But there’s usually time to sit in the cafe and drink tea or wine in the afternoon and it almost feels stress-free if it weren’t for the mental gymnastics of living in another culture and learning another alphabet and language.

It actually feels a bit weird to be so coddled, looked after, and fretted over, but, I’m working at relaxing and enjoying it.  I feel very blessed and grateful.

On another note, I have been without internet access for several days and am using another Volunteer’s computer to post this (therefore, no pictures–sorry!)  However PLEASE do not stop sending me e-mail or posting on my blog–it helps so much to know you’re out there!  Hugs to all!

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6 responses to “It touched my heart

  1. Linda,
    I enjoy so much reading your post every couple of days. What a wild set of experiences, and what wonderful people you come to associate with along the way. It is amazing how caring and giving people can be. Your host mom sounds incredible!
    It is interesting that one of the guys that works for me is from Russia, and his mom who has visited but is back in Moscow has taken to our family – generous and caring as anything – not speaking a word of English – but writing note and sending little trinkets to our girls.
    As you recognize – when we get so wrapped up in our own busy lives – it is just wonderful to be a part of this simple basic caring for others more than anything else.
    Thanks for sharing your experiences!
    Chris and Heidi and the girls

  2. sounds like you have a very caring host. So glad that your time so far has been fulfilling! I think the language would kill me. I’m proud of you!

  3. maria stiverson

    We are having an amazing Fall here in MI, and getting out and enjoying every minute of it! Did I tell you Matthew took it upon himself to lose weight in order to play with his friends on the football team? He could have just gone up to the bigger boys but it would have been tougher and not with his buddies. Check out my facebook and I will get a picture loaded because he looks phenomenal! Wrestling next, for Chace too, ugh, its nerve-wracking for a mom, “Don’t choke my son!” 🙂 Can’t believe all you are doing, I am a little bit jealous, sounds really tough but what an exciting challenge! Love you Linda! Maria ❤

  4. Mom I’m glad you’re being taken care of. Grandpa relayed your message today and I am glad to hear you’re doing well. He is unable to read your blogs so Jayne and I are printing them out and mailing them to him so he can follow along on your adventure. I love you and I’m proud of you.

    -Chris

  5. Hey Linda!

    Jess gave me your blog address awhile ago, so I’ve been able to keep up with your adventure in Macedonia! It’s amazing how similar some of your feelings and stories are with mine in China. I am about a month, or so ahead of you. I love this post in particular, because I just visited with my host family on Sunday after not seeing them for a month. They have gone above and beyond the call of duty when it comes to welcoming me to China and helping me adapt to this new culture. They continue to support and encourage me, and have basically adopted me as their own. I am so glad to hear you are having a similar experience. It’s amazing to see the sacrifices they make to ensure that we are comfortable. I wish I knew enough Chinese to actually tell them how grateful I am… maybe I will one day…

    Continue your good work! I am excited to read about all of your adventures and experiences!

    – Chelsea Clarke

  6. Linda,
    I must say, it sounds like an amazing experience and it’s good to know that you have such a wonderful host who takes good care of you. What an opportunity this is! You are in my thoughts. Love you and will continue to read the blog!

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