I just returned from the supermarket, doing our weekly shop with my housemate. We unexpectedly ran into 4 people we / I know. Apparently, the supermarket is a cool place to be.
A few months ago, flying out of Haiti, I randomly ran into 3 colleagues who were flying out at the same time (not same flight though). Apparently, the airport is a cool place to be.
Last night, I stayed in, but I found out that two sets of friends, who, as far as I know, don't know each other were doing the same 'going out' route. Apparently, all the cool people do the same thing on a Friday night. (And the boring ones stay home. boring = me.)
I have heard it said that it takes 6 months of living in a new place for one to really feel settled. As in, for one to feel like they have developed a routine, relationships, habits, and a comfortability with life.
A few weeks ago passed my 6 month mark with my current organisation (which means I have in fact lived in Haiti for over a year) and I am noticing that this fact is true. Six months in, Haiti is my home and I love it in all its craziness and in all its social stability.
But this also means I have 6 months left. I know I won't stay past my contract (don't worry, I know I won't leave early either!), and I am excited to start considering what is next.
As much as I love my life here 6 months on, when you start looking at it from the 6 months left side, it starts to get difficult.
Meeting new people is hard with the knowledge that you will have to leave soon.
Making quality friendships is hard because you may never see people again.
The work here never seems to lessen, only to get bigger and more intense. There has never been a day when my to do list has been completed. As Haiti moves from emergency response to development, the process needs to be integrated and it is hard having development professionals come into a post-emergency response, where there might be issues with systems set up, lack of institutional knowledge, or a whole range of things. Anyway, that is off the point and food for another post. In other words - there is still a lot to do.
My first 6 months here were the most difficult time I have experienced.
These past 6 months have been a challenge and a joy.
The next 6 months - who knows what they will bring.
But for now, I know I am in the right place.