Posts Tagged ‘Girl Child’

Culture Shock

August 25, 2011

Girl Child has been home now for a day short of a week.  it has been amazing having her back.

no, she didn't actually walk home

well, amazing for me.  for her?  a bit of culture shock.

it’s to be expected, yes?  she spent the last two years in a place where the village population was about the same as the number of people in the local mall at lunch hour, yet spread over an area about 10 times as big.  she’s just not used to people, so many and so close.  despite me suggesting she go off and see friends (hers and mine…i wanted to show her off), her first few days desire was to cocoon in the house.

we’ve been playing games (kicked her butt in Boggle, she kicked mine in Bananagrams), watching tv shows (old “West Wing” episodes that we both enjoy), and letting her experience a wide choice of fresh foods (the spinach salad i made her the first night was a total hit!).

oh, and we did end up taking that bike ride that she wanted to go on.  on the way home from the airport, she was reiterating her wish list of things to do, which included the bike ride.  we had this interchange – – –

Daughter Person:  i’m looking forward to a bike ride.  but…i’m a little nervous, too.  it’s been so long since i rode a bike, i’m not sure i remember how.

The Dadster:  don’t worry…you’ll remember…it’s just like riding a bike.

[a quick duck from a flying elbow to the head and i survived that bad joke]

after a few days, she finally wandered out and is slowly re-acclimating to the weather (it’s still winter down in ZA), the hubbub (cars! people! noise!), and to the reality of having to find a job and place to stay.

we’ve been out quite a few times.  she’s relearning how to drive a car.  she met my Pub Friends at the last get together (so i DID get to show her off!).  she took a hike with me, Dear Friend, and another friend.  and tonight?  she wandered off on her own to meet up with old friends who still live in the area.

she makes it look easy.

she went to the mall by herself, to buy new shoes.  and ended up overwhelmed by the choices.  yes, they have choices in South Africa, but not in the village where she lived.  to get to the choices, she’d have to take a hike, bus, and taxi…some 3 hours to go 40 miles.  here?  a 2 minute drive to the mall.  too close, with still too many choices for her.  culture shock.

she’s off again, too soon, to start her new life.  heading to Washington DC to look for a job and an apartment.  she’s already invited me to come visit and is looking for a time to return here*.

i find myself wondering how much more culture shock that will be.  while the local city is clearly much bigger than her Peace Corps village, it’s by now means close to the size and frenetic lifestyle of Washington DC.

i’m thinking she’s in for a bit more culture shock.

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*she damn well better…i’m lending her a car and want it back!

Exile Completed

August 18, 2011

Hooplah!

Daughter Person is returning home!

The Prodigal Daughter Returns!

Having served her time for tax evasion  for gun running  in the Peace Corps, she is coming back to the U.S. of A

The experience in South Africa was a treasure to her.  Her host family was…IS…welcoming and embraces her as a family member.  She will have fond memories of the children and teachers at the school she was assigned to.  She will have wonderful memories of holidays taken to other corners of South Africa, as well as the surrounding countries.

She will have not-so-fond memories of what seems to be endemic across the world – the bureaucracy of governments, local and national, that seem to impede, rather than assist.  Her idealism, a necessity of youth, is tarnished a bit by beating her head against the veritable brick wall of red tape and beliefs of leaders.

But she is undeterred in life.

She has many resumés out to various organizations and firms in the Washington DC area.  Her true hope is to obtain a job which will allow her to continue ‘Saving the World’ [trumpet voluntary].

She’s coming back here to the Wilds of Ohio, where she spent most of her youth (I was going to add “growing up”, but think she did much of that in the Peace Corps).  Spending a few days with her old Pops, she’ll ease back into a lifestyle she hasn’t seen in two years.

On her wish list of things to do when she gets home –

–          Mexican food.  Mexican food, Mexican food, Mexican food.

–          A long bike ride

–          Beer, with my friends

–          Watch “Music Man” (she admits, “I don’t know why.”)

–          Eat a huge spinach salad

I’m not sure if I will get her for three day, three weeks, or three months before she begins her new life in DC.

But, we will enjoy it, Girl Child and I.

The Next Adventure

April 3, 2010

GnuKid is off on his next adventure and will be absent from the blogosphere for awhile (unless I can find an interwebz cafe where I’m going).

Heading to the southeast of where i be

Off to visit the Girl Child in South Africa.  Pictures may (should!) happen.

I’m going to ride the Hippos!! . . . okay, maybe not…

Chat when I get back!

Observant Child

July 21, 2009

Girl Child is moving stuff from the soon-to-be-sold ex-homestead to my condo* in preparation for her leaving for the Peace Corps.  Moving stuff over the past few days, Daughter Person (DP) brought over a van full of stuff yesterday evening.  I’d just returned from a bike ride and was still in my bike shorts.  DP stepped out of the van, saw me, and did a double take…

DP:  Hey!  You’re bowlegged!

GnuKid:  Yeah…just a bit…

DP:  How long have you been bowlegged?

GK:  All my life…how long have you known me?

DP:  I just never noticed before now… does it hurt?

GK:  Why would it hurt?  I’m just a little bit bowlegged and never had an issue.

DP:  Wow…I just never observed that before!

No, not a picture of me...and i'm not quite this bowlegged...

No, not a picture of me...and i'm not quite this bowlegged...

Sheesh…she lives with me 22 years–including trips to the beach and summer shorts weather–and just now noticed?

Glad she didn’t try and go into detective work…

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*It may alter my decor of “Bachelor Eclectic”, but I can live with that.  And I’ll find room in the garage for her boxes of stuff.

Not My People

July 8, 2009

With the Daughter Person going off on her Peace Corps adventure soon (see last post), the shopping spree has begun.  The Peace Corps sent her a list of things they suggest she bring along with her (seemingly in contradiction to the space limitations they also levied on her).  She’s also been pinging internet support sites from current and past volunteers (“Yeah, the Corps says to bring thus-and-so, but don’t bother…DO bring this-and-that…”).

Daughter Person wanted to go to a new, outdoorsman store on the north side of town – Gander Mountain.  She figured she could get a few of the more arcane things on her list there.  For example, water purification tablets.  Well, that and she just likes shopping at new places.

I think that shopping gene skips generations… or gender…  I am not a ‘shop for the sake of shopping’ kind of guy.  Okay, I did enjoy seeing some of the stuff in there (thinking about short combination camping and biking trips, for example).  But, generally, I was waiting on her to finish up.

As I wandered from the fishing department to the camping department to the hunting department, I was struck by an odd feeling.

These are not ‘my’ people.

invite 'em in for lunch!

invite 'em in for lunch!

They are all nice enough folks, from the looks of them.  Nothing untoward or evil about them.  They appeared to have all their teeth and mullet haircuts were not to be seen.  Yeah, there was the occasional John Deere baseball cap and Budweiser t-shirt.  And I like those things (though wouldn’t wear the hat or t-shirt for liking them).

It was just a feeling.

Now, I’m not a namby-pamby, city-fied snob.

stick the nose higher...

stick the nose higher...

I do enjoy the outdoors.  Have camped and fished.  Actually, I do pretty well at fitting in with just about any group of people I encounter.  A friend once called me a ‘chameleon’ when it comes to blending into multi-social crowds.  Doesn’t mean I always feel comfortable doing so.  Think this was one of those times.

Nice people.

Just not ‘my’ people.

Proud Pop Moment

July 7, 2009

Yep, a ‘Proud Pop Moment’.

My recently graduated Girl Child was accepted into the Peace Corps.  I always knew she wanted to help the world.

An honestly good thing...

An honestly good thing...

I admit to being a bit hesitant to her quest for this.  She has, in the past, had a naïve moment or three.  She wants to see the entire world, not giving a care to the realities of where she wants to go.

An example –

Her university partners every year with a foreign government to do a study project  — economic or political.  The selected students do tons of research, seeking solutions to the issue presented by that foreign government, and culminating in the students going there for a week to present their findings.  A couple years ago, Girl Child came home saying she desperately wanted to do that.  She said the students the year prior went to Thailand.  Knowing her penchant for acting emotionally on travel issues, I asked where this year’s project would be.  “I don’t know!”, she replied, “…I think it’s in Syria*.”  Whoa… stop the train, dear girl.

So, when she talked about going to the Peace Corps, I was picturing her requesting Somalia (“…to help those poor pirates…”) or some such.  Still, I supported her self-nomination process**.

But, here she is.  Accepted.  Off to help others.  In South Africa.

I’m so damn proud of her.

And, damn right, I’m going to go visit her when she gets settled in.

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*Noted for not only being aggressively anti-American, but for being rather severely sexist towards women.  Not a good place for a young, American girl to go.

**Peace Corps selection is a notoriously long and painful process.  Plan on at least a year and be prepared for getting no feedback in the interim.  Frustrating.

Harvest Time

June 12, 2009

…as in the “Fruit of my Loins”…

Major transition this weekend.  Girl Child graduates from university!

Over 20 years in the making...

Over 20 years in the making...

Hooplah!  Huzzah!!

Proud Pop, obviously.   Increased a bit by finding out that Daughter Person was recognized by her Political Science department as one of two Top Senior PoliSci students.  She was happy with the $500 honorarium that went along with it.  Extra fun comes in that Boy Child was able to take vacation time and will be flying in just a few hours from this posting.  We’ll get to spend at least a bit of his visit just hanging out together.  Very cool.

Of course, as seemingly typical in my life, there’s no good thing that goes without a bit of boat rocking—and forgive me for sharing this minor downer, but had to share.  Girl Child’s maternal grandparents are coming in for the graduation ceremony.  That’s not a bad thing.  What got my hackles up was a conversation with Boy Child…seems ex-father-in-law sent both he and Girl Child an e-mail which said, “I don’t want to see your father while I’m there.”   While a very fair statement (I’m not exactly thrilled at the chance of seeing him either), the fact that he laid that on my kids—on my daughter’s special day—pissed me off big time.  Both kids, having been raised peacemakers by me, started stressing about how they would have to make that happen.  Boy Child called me and I assured him that I was entirely flexible and had zero demands other than actually seeing Girl Child graduate…I’d even sit alone.  A great relief, as the kids could gauge the situation and make a decision without worrying about what I would think/feel/be angry about.   But, he’s a twit (I like better what my best friend referred him as being – A Douchenozzle!! ).

So, the last of my (known) progeny is soon out of school and officially on her way in life.

I will revel with pride over her accomplishment.  Hell, I am already.

They grow up so (too?) quickly.

Next stop for her? Peace Corps…