The time was not right. There was too much at play. My breath of excitement and pure happiness of two week before quickly turned to mumbled tears over a simple common sorrow. And a red river flowed out of me.
Now, weeks later, it is already in the past, that brief period of glowing and the plans that were laid have been overcome by new plans. And it is ok. Sad but ok.
Miscarriage is such a strange thing, especially if you already have a child. Logically, there is no reason to really grieve, to do so seems selfish. Knowing pregnancy, I detected the changes in my body so quickly and assuredly and enjoyed them, marveling at how quickly life springs. And then I was astounded at how quickly that life can be expunged as well. And the empty feeling afterwards is the hardest part to let go of.
But then, the abounding life that is already here takes over, and the laughter of my husband and daughter are ever more precious and magical
I have often seen couples necking in and around Parque del Amor perched on cliffs above the Pacific Ocean south of Lima in Miraflores in these last few days - not what I might see in a typical day in Sohar, Oman! We have landed in South America, a vast continent with so much promise of new sights and sounds to see. Already I am impatient, feeling a bit stuck in a hotel room...
But we have at least 2 years, so I must slow down and relax and pace myself. I am sure this move will prove fulfilling in its own good time. Just as our passage through Oman was.
We have been with family for the last 8 weeks or so - taking a much needed time out and letting Malaika get to know her grandma's and her papa and her aunties and uncles and cousins and our friends and their families. Now that she is a toddler and no longer a babe, the interaction seemed so much more meaningful. It was hard to think of taking her away from it all and to a new place where we knew almost nobody. While in the past arriving in a new place was only exciting for me, this time it was much more nerve wracking and I realize it is because I want to create a good environment for her, I owe her that, I must think of her over everything else. And I hope we can do that here in Peru.
Our first day in Miraflores last week was a glorious day. The sun was shining. Malaika and I went to the park where we found well kept lawns and flowers and a multitude of children playing on the playground. Then we had a much needed snooze after our delayed flight in the middle of the night. And after went to my husband's new school to watch a football match where we met a multitude of friendly faces. And everyone told me not to get used to the sunshine. Since then it has been rather dreary - cold and drizzly in the mornings, warming up and the sun peeking through fog in the afternoons, and cold and windy at evening-tide. So I now understand what winter is like in Lima, as the acidy taste of exhaust settles onto my tongue on a morning run along the cliffs...
But, we have found a smart little apartment 2 blocks from the school, with floor to ceiling windows facing a little park and a perfect little day-care on the other side of the park, and we can move there in the next 10 days. Malaika's bed and toys are in the port at Lima going through customs. The steady waves heading into the beach carrying surfers every time I have looked down at them hint of the adventure sports that abound in Peru for those who reach out and try them. And I am about to book a trek to Machu Picchu for Andy's first break in October. Now if I can just crack on with the work in front of me and find a good school to take Spanish lessons, all hold much promise, despite the current hotel room and grey mist outside.
Malaika went down for an early nap today. A relief. Maybe she will take 2 naps today and be a happy girl when her daddy comes home. Some days one just isn't enough and she is grumpy unless constantly stimulated. Amazing little girl but tiring sometimes!! And it is getting hot in Oman. We went for a walk this morning to visit the neighborhood camels, horses, cows and goats and came back caked with sweat and dust at 7:30 am. It was not only hot, but humid as well. Poor Malaika, the outside looks so enticing from the window and she brings me her shoes about 10 times a day in a bid to go outside, but these days, it is only bearable for short short bursts in the days, unless it is before 7 or after 5. Such is life in Oman. I suppose this means it is almost time to be moving on...
Someone visiting friends here in Oman remarked to me how expats learn to live on an edge, enjoying change and then needing it much more often than other normal people. And I think there is truth to that. We are not so worried about the move to Peru because we have moved before. In a way we just want to get there now. And avoid the hassle of getting our things there if possible. And then see what might be in store for us there - hopefully more opportunities to see new beautiful places, meet interesting and incredible new people and be able to do some work that we love and can invest ourselves in for the next couple of years. And of course we are excited at the possibility of visitors - of showing people we already love a new place. That is always a highlight of moving.
And now I kick myself, because I realize my head is always in the future lately. I want it to be more in the present. What more can I get out of Oman and give to friends here before we leave.... Ok, back to my to-do list and a few tricks I have up my sleeve... ;-)
But before I go, here is a recent pic of our cutey pie in the middle of her "roar" sound, like the lioness she saw in Uganda on our visit there in April (I really should put up some of those pics shouldn't I)...
Today I have a Spanish Coffee Hour I get to go to. Four ladies have met for a month now to converse in Spanish over coffee and learn about each other's lives in the process. It has been challenging (for me) and also a delight. Together we represent the USA, Holland, Peru and the Dominican Republic. And we have all found ourselves here in little Sohar. The world is quite a small place! I have to start preparing more for our move to Peru in the next 4 weeks. That means arranging packing mostly, I guess. And then during our summer break, my biggest task will be finding a good Spanish school in Lima to attend next year, to get my Spanish up to par for hopefully getting a job in our new residence in the future! Lots of changes going to be happening quickly. But for now, I am looking forward to a good Dutch cup of strong coffee and exchanging more stories of our lives in that new language in about 30 minutes!! Hasta Luego....
We did what was most likely our last camping trip in Oman. It did not disappoint!! We will miss this beautiful country.
My husband keeps teasing me about my relatively new use of Twitter and Pinterest. I understand where he is coming from. But the more I think about it, the more I really like the use of both of them. Twitter is like my news-reel these days. Instead of a morning paper or a trip to the NY Times webpage, Twitter has all of this and more - each headline from more than just one source - people, organizations, groups of like-minded people and newspapers all in one. And Pinterest is like a dip into a magazine. But instead of having a magazine for women's health, one for beauty and style, one for recipes and food, one on travel and another on photography, I can glance at all of those things on one sight, from people I find interesting. And finally, the best thing is that I feel like I can contribute to both the news-reel and the daily magazine binge if I find something beautiful or interesting. And so, now, I tell my husband that actually it saves time, putting things all in one space. Then I'm not as tempted to go searching around for interesting things, rather they jump out at me and there is an earlier sense of satisfaction at having found a little nugget of info or insight or beauty. Maybe that is correct. Maybe not. But I am hooked on a daily visit to each site and I'm not feeling guilty about it!! ;-)
Yesterday it was a bright red splotch that came out of me on the toilet paper, not merely the brown stain, like a clot of blood and cells and God knows what else. Cramps and back-ache accompanied it and I was sure that the big (.) was coming again. But today, nothing, just mucus and clear regular seemingly healthy fluid. After all it isn't yet supposed to be that time. But still, what could this mean?! My head reels backwards and forwards and I tell myself to just move on, enjoy the day.
I finally have an idea of what women go through when they purposely try to get pregnant. My first pregnancy was an oops. And I was grateful for it in the long run. But now we are thinking we want to try again, have 2 close together, do the chaos of having little ones all at once and then breathe a sigh of relief when they go to school (or mourn their loss). I find myself being a bit too obsessive over learning the basics of fertility about my body, now that Malaika is fully weaned and it has returned. And I then grieve for friends I've known who must have gone through this for years, all while hoping I do not have to.
I am finished with my last consulting job for the most part; I am now starting to think about our big move to Peru in August. We only have about 6 weeks left here in Oman. It is getting very hot and humid. And I'm looking forward to cooler weather and eventually to a new house to call home. This one I have long let go of, and it is falling into dis-repair. Time is slipping by so fast lately. I should record more before I'm too old to remember all tha
I was away for 12 days. Left M with her daddy and her grandmother here in Oman and went to Kenya once again, but solo this time, partly to finish up work and partly to look into a new project. Waving goodbye to my daughter as I got in a taxi to go to the airport was possibly one of the hardest moments of my life. I had tears streaming down my face as I turned away, even as she kept on waving and waving, unsure of what was going on. I think the anxiety I felt wasn't so much about worrying about her, weirdly. My anxiety sprung from a terror that I wouldn't ever see her again, that something would happen in our time apart to prevent a reunion. A plane crash. A car crash. A bomb going off in Nairobi. I was somehow more worried about myself than about her, and I desperately wanted to see her grow up. But, I have made it home in one piece. Time went by fast, I was so busy. And there were no plane or car crashes. There was one bomb but it was in the bus park, where I never had to go, because I had access to a high end vehicle for travel; it was aimed at regular Kenyans not at expatriates. And M was happy to see me again. She wasn't angry; she was just happy to have her little family all together and whole again.
The best outcome of the time away was the growth of her bond with my husband. The two are now best friends forever and seem to almost have a secret handshake when they meet and depart. My husband is now an expert at getting her to sleep at night and getting her to sleep in her own bed. And M is becoming a big girl, no longer a baby, but a real toddler. Almost walking.
Our days in Oman are numbered. Only three months and we'll be traveling back towards the UK, then America and then heading South after that for our new home. It is exciting. But we're not really ready. But we'll be getting ready soon, soon.....
There is, of course, a lot more discourse to read on the Kony 2012 debate/critique. Read Marianne's blog post at Zen Under Fire for a more well-rounded take on the video, on Invisible Children and more links to more discourse. She did her homework much better than I did. I do apologize, as their work on the ground has expanded and they do hire a lot of Ugandan staff and try to help children in northern Uganda in multiple ways. I still feel their talents in film-making are wasted though, and that they should have continued to focus on that in other places that need to be brought to light for the world to see. Again, take Kenya, where an al-Shabab bomb has gone off at the bus station over the weekend. And now I hear rumors of a new port to be built in Lamu to take goods into Southern Sudan on some superhighway through the north of Kenya - what motivations is that giving politicians running for office up there who are rustling things up and causing conflict to get into power?
As for your comments, Peter (for some reason I can't reply under your comment today so I respond here), I largely agree with what you are saying. I guess what it comes down to with Invisible Children is that I don't trust them. The biggest reason I don't trust them is that they can't have spent time up in northern Uganda and not figured out the larger picture of the story - so why do they present it so simplified? Why do they somehow deceive their audience?
Is it for the greater good that they think will come out of their campaign? But I highly doubt it would be a greater good. Did killing Osama bin Laden make a huge impact in Afghanistan? I'm not convinced. A greater good for Uganda might be to encourage them to vote Museveni out of office in the next election that I'm sure he will find some way to be in even though his original term limit has long run out. I don't know. But I think the reaction of Ugandans is the most telling to pay attention to. And most of them seem to be angry.
An American living in the Middle East, taking photos, figuring out marriage and motherhood, watching others' and sometimes flexing her brainpower as a consultant…