By Ann Lovrien, Becketwood Member
In 2012, I lived alone in rural Kenya for three months. As I was initially shown my little house, Mary, my African mentor, took note of my concerned facial expression. She offered, “You’ll get used to it.” She was right. The dramatically unfamiliar environment became familiar. The daunting conditions became comfortable.
I wrote the following, two weeks into my stay.
I know I’ve arrived at a new normal because:
- the mosquito net over my bed no longer represents confinement but security
- daily laps around the pasture are as central to my well-being as sleep
- I share my house nonchalantly with the smallest of lizards and frogs and the largest of insects
In 2020, we live in the alien world of quarantine and I feel a connection to 2012. As I shopped for groceries this morning, I noticed I felt at ease in my mask and gloves rather than smothered and irritated by them. It reminded me of my mosquito net transition.
I walk around Lake Nokomis nearly every day for my mental health more than for my physical health. Daily pasture walks in Kenya provided the same necessary, elemental grounding in a foreign setting.
Sharing my Kenyan home with creatures took adjustment. Today, not sharing my home or anybody’s home takes adjustment. Five weeks into quarantine, I’m more adjusted than I imagined possible; not a big fan but adjusted.
Human nature needs “normal” and will radically adapt to get it. For this capacity, I am grateful.