Dani and I have been living in Belize for 13 days now. However, we are just about at that time where culture shock should be setting in, especially since this past Monday marked the day that our adventures as playing "tourists" ended and we (or at least I) needed to figure out what our new daily normal looks like. I'm dealing with what so many parents across the globe are dealing with now--wearing the multiple hats of remote working while homeschooling/being summer camp counselors. It's so effing hard. But spending quality time with my soulmate was a gigantic reason we moved to what we now happily call "the bumpy road to the end of the Earth"--OUR OWN PERSONAL FREEDOM!!!
Like I did before we moved from the Big Rotting Apple (NYC if you couldn't guess) to a Desert Suburb of Phoenix, AZ, I tried to prepare her for culture shock. But, she never really experienced it. And, now from Desert Suburb to Tiny Island, I tried to do the same. And this time it's a totally different country and way of living (and by totally different, I mean TOTALLY DIFFERENT). Yet she hasn't yet had one culture shock moment (and she even had to go to the doctor for an infected wart!). Every single moment so far, she is just.... happy! Not tourist-happy, but life-happy.
One of my favorite things in my short time living here so far are the rain storms. When we experienced our first one, I was terrified. I didn't see, I just heard. I thought our roof was going to cave in and I didn't know why because I had no clue it was raining. I've no template in my mind for rain making this noise, because until now, I've never experienced it. These storms come as quickly as they go. And now, I love to race outside so I can watch, in complete awe, the rain move the ocean. Today, I said to Dani during one of the few storms we had, that the thunderous sound makes me picture the sky opening as elephants free-fall onto our roof.
On the flip side, one of my least favorite things in my short time living here has been the mosquitos. "No me moleste mosquito!". They love me, but unlike in the US, Belizean mosquitos have a unique ability to bite without me feeling it until about 6 hours later at which time it's way too late! Right now, I look like I have the chicken pox and have started wearing long pants, long sleeves, a hat, sun glasses, a neck-to-eye face mask, socks, and sneakers despite the heavy, soupy, humidity--especially post torrential, tropical rain storm.
Maybe Dani's biggest culture shock moment will be having to explain her crazy Momma wrapped in winter gear to ward off mosquitos! But I highly doubt that, as she's always had to explain her crazy Momma (and she continues to do so with pride, even if she would never admit that).
In any case, I'll take it <3 <3 <3