Friday, June 23, 2006


We're in the US. This place is very different from the country where I live.

Scott, one of the people we visited on the road trip to where we are staying now, suggested that I should come up with some kind of acronym for "the country where I live." TCWIL, with an e added for pronunciation purposes? Hmm, I don't know.

Why don't I just say where I live, already? It's kind of silly, because practically everybody reading this is related to me and knows perfectly well where it is. Even if you aren't part of my family, chances are that you, gentle reader, also possess this arcane knowledge.

I read some expat/missionary bloggers that are explicit about where they are coming from, and others who aren't, and I thought about the choice a lot before I started my own blog. So far it has been fun being vague about my location, though sometimes I feel like being more specific. (After all, I always tell my students to be specific in their writing!)

I guess the main reason I like not telling is that I can gripe a bit and not draw attention to what's wrong with the country where I live. See, people are always saying bad things about it. Whenever the country's name is mentioned, it's followed by a phrase about how poor it is and often about the AIDS rate. When news articles about my home allow comments, there are usually several that say something like, "Why do you always focus on the worst things about our country? Why can't you write an article about something good?"

I've lived in Tecwil for ten years, so you can bet that there are plenty of good things I've discovered. It's a beautiful place with tough, courageous, beautiful people. Things aren't convenient, but every day is an adventure, completely unpredictable. And yes, that gets exhausting.

I have enjoyed blogging about things I like to complain about, such as the electricity, for example, or water, by giving examples from other countries. Because we have a lot in common with these other places. And guess what - most of the world's people live in conditions far worse than anything I ever have to deal with.

I love it in Tecwil, I really do, but sometimes it's nice to get a little break. I'm very much enjoying the roads here, the police force that I feel fairly confident about calling on should I need to, the constant electricity (it's really a bit excessive - don't you know you can run a refrigerator perfectly fine on six hours a day?), the hot and cold running water, and my son's favorite, the drinking fountains. The best thing is the public libraries, and I'm planning to visit one today!

But doesn't it get boring living all the time in a place like this? A friend who went to Canada for college commented, "Every day is the same there."

Well, for a few weeks, I'm hoping to enjoy predictability.


Anonymous said...

I will change my status to Anonymous so I don't give you away. I bet it is weird to be there. Looking forward to hearing Troy's observations after only six months away from the USA.

Michael Salone said...

I'm looking around your blog and now I get the whole title thing. I still don't know where it is, but it makes a lot more sense to me now. I hope it's safe and that at least you are safe. Thanks for bringing us your tales.

Anonymous said...

Aha!You are in H....... qui/no?
yes my sleuth skills from reading all of those hardy boys books during my teen years finally paid off!
LOL...nice blog! good job!

Jill in Kentucky said...

I can't believe it has been 10 years Ruth. Wow! Seems like only yesterday we were eating homemade noodles in your apartment.

Ruth said...

It's actually closer to 13 now, Jill! Thanks for the visit! :-)

Cami said...

I still can't get over the libraries! You don't have to pay anything (except taxes that they will take whether or not you use the services) and you can take literally stacks of books home with you. I think that is one of my favorite things about being in the U.S.