Have you ever used a Tom-Tom or Google Maps on your phone while driving? You punch in your beginning and ending locations, and a voice gives you turn-by-turn directions to your destination. If you miss your turn, the map quickly finds the next available turn to get you back on the right track, and the voice says, “Rerouting…” That’s the nice way of saying, “Hey dummy, you missed your turn.”
Last week, I was trying to put into words what day-to-day life is like in Kenya. And I realized, my brain has a direction that it wants to take me, but Kenyan life has a different direction. So, my brain is constantly “rerouting.”
Here’s what a “normal” morning looks like:
I wake up to no power and realize that I really need to give Lucy a bath. Like, if I don’t give her a bath, no one will be able to sit near her at school.
My brain then says “Rerouting!” Hurry, get up and boil water for her bath – quickly or we’ll be late. Halfway through the bath Lucy is crying through because there’s only like 3 inches of water in the tub and she’s freezing (even though the water is warm), I realize I can’t dry her hair. “Rerouting!” I quickly text my friend who lives in the neighborhood to see if they have power so I can dry Lucy’s hair. Thankfully they do, but we now we need to hurry up even more so we aren’t late to school.
She catches a ride to school with my friend and I come home, realizing I didn’t take a shower yesterday, due to a lack of power, and today isn’t looking any better. “Rerouting!” Do I absolutely have to take a shower. Nope, I don’t have any special meetings, so I’ll be okay.
I assess the rest of the day and wonder when and if we’ll get power back. I look at the menu and realize my dinner plan includes using our electric oven. “Rerouting!” New dinner plan. What can I cook that only requires the gas stovetop?
And this is just in the first 2 hours of my day, y’all. My sweet little American brain is very tired at the end of these “rerouting” days. Some days it’s related to water, or traffic, or going to the grocery store only to discover the one item you really need for a recipe isn’t available. (Black beans! I just want black beans!)
I’m a pretty innovative person and I actually enjoy figuring out how to create without the exact tools or ingredients. Some days, though, it would be really nice if I could make all the turns the voice in my head expects to make. Maybe one day all my “rerouting” moments will happen in America, and Kenya will become the new normal….hahahaha, I crack myself up!