Living in a mountain village in a third world country has really made me look at how I live my
Hair coloring with black henna.
life. These moments always seem to be exposed when people ask me about my life in America. Believe me- it sounds SO PRETENTIOUS. You have a machine that washes your clothes, that heats your house, that cooks your food quickly, that lets us not write things by hand, that sews
Carrying home grass to feed Ganga’s cows
your clothes, that dries your clothes, cuts our grass [this one makes people double over in laughter] that harvest your crops, that allow you to grow crops out of season, that let you keep food fresh for weeks, that has books on it, that keeps your food cold, that chops wood for you, that heats water for you..the list goes on and on.
At first, it never really bothered me- I would just think…I am American, I am extradorinarly blessed and those things are expected…they are the basics of human living. Then I moved here…. here I get up at 7.30 to hopefully eat by 930- I will spend
Taking a break from harvesting corn. The lower stalk is a treat while you take a break…its like sweet starch water. It is better than it sounds.
a couple hours a week chopping down firewood, I wear dirty clothes a little longer than normal because washing laundry takes a couple days to dry.
[Note: this isn’t bragging about how my life might suck- I kind of enjoy the simple living. but when I come home I am not forsaking hot water heaters and microwaves]
The thing that I have noticed is that the lack of machines have turned these chores into community opportunities and events. Washing clothes isn’t just something that I do before running out of the house- I do it with my neighbors at the local tap. I take my time because it gives me a chance to
catch up and ask about their families and whats new. Or like last time..wash people’s hair. The girls hair here is so beautiful but they only use bar soap- so I introduced them to conditioner. Cooking with my family is no longer a solitary task that one person does while the others wait for it to be ready- it takes six people to cook a meal…and it normally might take an hour or two to complete and eat.
I love technology- but I think we have lost something important. We lost the notion of doing thingstogether and being in the moment. When’s the last time you did something ordinary with people and didn’t touch your cell phone, or checked the scores on ESPN [or fantasy…yeah I know its that time] , or checked social media to see what other people are doing.
And that was almost serious.