If you live in North America, you know that life here, has become a race. Men, women and even the youngest children live in a perpetual rush. You wake up, rush to get ready, rush to get the kids to the kindergarden, or school, rush to get to work, rush to get the job done, rush to gather your offspring at the end of the day, rush to do the shopping that needs to be done, rush to meet appointments that need to be met, and get home to rush into dinner, and home chores and home work and eventually crash into bed.
Rush, rush, rush… and repeat.
Life in Kamsar was the exact opposite. I couldn’t say if it was the hot weather, or just the great wisdom of the locals, but everyone just seemed to amble around… No one ever seemed to feel the need to rush. “Being on schedule” was an utopia, and though it took my family quite a while to adjust, it was one of Africa’s greatest lessons. Why rush? Things can always get done, even if you have to wait a little.
Not planning life weeks in advance, and not worrying about being on time is such a freeing feeling.
Nowadays, gurus try to teach us to “live in the present”… To leave the past behind and not think so much about the future. To enjoy the “here and now”. It is so hypocritical. How can you live in the present, when you have three appointments planned after work? And knowing that these three people expect you to go out of your way to never be late? Our thoughts are always a few steps ahead of us, making sure everything goes as scheduled.
Life in Africa was sweet and slow. Of course, Mom and Dad had to go to work, and we had to attend school, but for most parts of our daily routine, nothing needed to be rushed. People did what they could, when they could, and if the schedule needed to be changed a little… No big deal!
Something needed to be fixed in your house? It would be… This afternoon, or next week. And with no expectation, came way less stress than what people endure here, in Canada.
Of course, there was a downside to it. Emergency situations, for an example, weren’t Guineans’ forté.
I remember one afternoon, when Dad came home from work, he accidently hit a man riding his motorcycle. The man fell in the gutter along the street, and he was injured (not badly, TG). My parents did what we were used to do in Canada; call an ambulance. But the ambulance was playing taxi that day, and after an hour or two, Dad got tired, and took the man to the hospital himself.
Another day, our school’s principal decided to have a fire drill. But, for some reason, instead of calling the fire station, to tell them it was a drill, he simply pulled on the alarm, and we got out, as trained.
We waited forever, for the fire truck to show up. Again, the principal got bored and sent us back to our classes, only to make us gather into the yard again hours later, to play with fire hoses, and have a fire safety chat with the firemen…
I know I could get an ambulance or fire truck within minutes, now. But I really wonder if it is worth all the everyday life stress that comes with it… And talking about this, it is time to get ready for work!
Via today’s Word of the Day Challenge: Amble