When Africa Makes You Weird

I’ve been to Africa twice. One time I was there for missions and the other time I was there for research. (I was not there for research, but for the love I just cannot go there right now.) Both trips were very different. One trip I had no running water, showered out of a bucket, the bathroom was a hole in the ground, and when I say we had electricity I mean it didn’t work 98% of the days. The other trip I did have running water, the bathroom had a real live flushing toilet (praises), and the electricity worked more than it didn’t. I saw, ate, and did different things each time. I stayed in different cities and was with different people. After my first trip I came back weird, but I just thought it was whatever. However, upon my return this last time, I’ve simply concluded that Africa makes you weird. So weird.

I decided to reach out and poll the masses, because I surely cannot be the only one who is a freaking weirdo because Africa made me that way, right? Right. So I inquired with, “I’m wanting to write a blog post about how spending time in Africa makes you come back to America so weird. Like, funny weird stuff you find yourself doing post time in Africa. You got anything?” And I did. I got some real gems, y’all. Enjoy.

You buy a bucket and shower out of it for days because you’re just supposed to BE OKAY with running water?! For heavens sake, y’all. 

You reprimand a group of your track team because they are having a water fight (Bless) and it wildly offends you because there are people who don’t have water to drink and you are PLAYING IN IT??

You call Africa the motherland. Because it is the motherland of your soul.

You try to convince your husband that you should start walking to and from the grocery store because using a car is for special occasions and long distances.

You try to pick up something at the grocery store and then cry because WHY THE HECK ARE THERE SO MANY KINDS OF BEANS!?

You keep your thermostat set at Africa degrees (approximately 80) because that just feels right, okay?

The sounds of tribal music can reduce you to sobs in like, negative seconds.

You walk around other people’s houses turning off lights in rooms that are not in use, because electricity is a privilege. DUH.

You say things like, “Me, I have market fever.” Because that is a sentence across the pond.

Your husband evaluates every single purchase with, “We could buy ____ number of mosquito nets. Are you sure about this?” GAH. It’s just new contacts, I don’t know so I CAN SEE. Chill, man. 

You are sent to dark places when people complain about trivial things.

You lose your mind when people laughingly say “First world problems!”

You would consider selling a body part in order to fund a trip back over there.

You freak out when your kids leave the water running, because COME ON water is valuable, people!

The following places can cause nervous break downs: the grocery store, Target, any place in general that has SO MANY UNNECESSARY THINGS.

The following things can cause you to hyperventilate: cars, roads, traffic. Because ARE THEY GOING TO REALLY STOP!?

When you get free tickets to a NFL game and you can’t even enjoy it, because you could end world hunger just with the amount of money they spent on the jumbotron.

You get HOA permission to hang a clothes line in your yard because doing laundry by hand is your jam now.

You get unreasonably mad at things like picky eaters.

You want to rip your hair out when people say, “I’m starving.” Because you my sweet friend, are indeed not starving.

You try to fit Africa into any and every conversation. Even when it so does not fit. i.e. “So what have you been up to?” “Oh, that reminds me of when I was in Africa 2 years ago…” Just let me okay.

Food waste of any kind makes your heart beat at heart attack rate.

You scold a grown adult who didn’t want to drink their water because someone else had already sipped out of it. Have I told you about how there are people who, oh I don’t know, don’t have water at all? ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME? Drink the $@&! water.

Bless our hearts. We’re so weird and we know it. If you’re friends with one of us, bless your heart too. Just let us be. You can blame Africa. We’re okay with that.


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