Hello, this is Tricia with a little something for all my sisters out there.
If you are the type of person who 1) is easily offended by slightly inappropriate things or 2) is easily annoyed by the slightly cliche, then please don't bother reading this blog... thank you.
Okay, is it just me or are hormones a big pain in the neck? I know that they are pretty amazing but at the same time they are horrifying. Culture-stress (as people who live overseas like to refer to the daily difficulties of living in a different culture than your home culture) is hard enough without throwing in PMS every month. Sometimes I find myself sincerely asking the Lord, Why?? Why, Lord? Do I really need to act like a psycho for a couple days every month? Arguing with Kelly, crying in the shower for awhile, and then eating all the "Cheese Naks" and chocolate in the house?? (Cheese Naks are like Cheetos and just as satisfying.) And in my mind the whole time I am thinking, I know exactly what is going on here and this is crazy... and yet I feel powerless to stop it. Sure, I've gotten a little more mature about it over the years, but I'll tell you, since we moved to Zambia, PMS has really sucked.
2. Body Image
I have to say that moving to Zambia has done wonders for my body image issues. I really don't struggle with body issues and vanity the way I did back home in the States. The standards for beauty here are so different that I just feel totally excluded from the whole conversation. It's hard to explain. Let's see. Very big bottoms for instance. Africans generally like big bottoms. I'm serious, this is not just some Sir Mixalot song it's a way of life, people. A lot of Zambian ladies have very big round bottoms. So much so that Kelly and I have found ourselves doing double-takes at times, especially when these ladies are wearing very tight jeans which is quite a bold statement around these parts (so to speak). Anyway, my bottom, it's nothing to cause anyone to take another look. But that's just my point, I'm just not part of the whole system, it's like I'm exempt. And it feels pretty good.
3. Long Hair
The one exception to the above point is probably my hair. I find myself thinking about my hair a lot. The reason is because I've grown it out long and hair here in Zambia is a big deal. Ladies spend a lot of time and money on their own hair or on fake hair. Again, it's like I'm not even part of the whole system. I just have my own hair and it just grows right out of my head. I don't even have to try. But I will say that having long hair, I'm surprised to say, makes me feel more... ladylike? I've most often had my hair short which always has made me feel cute. But somehow having long hair makes me feel more feminine these days, which is nice because my boobs have all but disappeared. And as I said before, I don't really have any junk in the trunk ;) so at least I've got my hair to make me feel girly whilst I tote around my dirty kids and wipe boogers and lollipops off faces.
4. Speaking of Hair
I've been taking the girls to a shady hair salon every two weeks as we get their dread locks started. Well, at first it was kind of fun practicing my Nyanja and hanging out at the salon for HOURS. But it loses its charm. I don't know what it is like for families in the States who have adopted children, but here, you get stared at a LOT. And not only that, but people will just talk about you while you are right there. And they don't worry about offending you because they just speak so quickly that they know you can't understand them. It's excruciating. I'm not going back there anymore. I've been watching the hair stylist very closely and I'm pretty sure I can do it myself now... at least until my Nyanja gets a LOT better.