Sunday, September 12, 2010

I Don Tiyah*

*That's Pidgin for "I'm tired." I know, it's actually the same or more words to say it in Pidgin, but no one ever said there was a lot of rationale for some Pidgin words & phrases.

This is pretty much my mantra here in Nigeria. I don't know what it is or why, but I almost always feed exhausted here. In the US I am usually always on the move, running around, etc. I usually get 7 hours of sleep and feel refreshed. Here, I can get 9 hours of sleep and wake up still feeling like I can barely get up and that I could sleep another 5 hours. I mean, I think I know some of the reasons, but not necessarily all of them.

1. I am living a very superficial life here. In an effort to fit in with the community I have a very sanitized version of my life story, and basically I wear a facade any time I am outside of my room, which obviously is often. This is exhausting. I have to constantly be "on" and I rarely have time to vent or even just be candidly honest for fear of various repercussions (personal and research/professional).

2. My biggest foe in Nigeria is boredom. I know this sounds weird. I'm in a country much different than my own, I'm here doing work, I'm often busy and on-the-go, how in the world can I be bored? Well because the security situation in Nigeria is less than optimal, I don't really have much freedom of movement. I am limited often by transport and security issues. So this means I spend the majority of time either in the compound, at the university, or at Church. It gets tedious and monotonous. Being bored is natural and after a while, it is also exhausting. And sleeping also gives you something new to do to pass the time.

3. Stress. Due to the two above, I know my body is under a lot of stress, both consciously and unconsciously. One way that the body deals with stress is to shut down. If your body is too tired to do anything it is less likely to go places and do things that cause stress. So I'm battling not only circumstances but my own biology as well.

Luckily I recognize these things so I do what I can to maintain my sanity and push through the tiredness. I've been exercising a lot more lately (as opposed to none), trying to not take as many naps (even if there isn't much to do), and generally just being cognizant of this so I can take advantage of any opportunities to reduce the feelings of tiredness in my life. And thankfully, I'll never be in this position again so I won't have to battle it after 3 more months.

1 comment:

ange said...

It's got to be so super tough to be in your position.Hang in there and keep up the good work. You'll be home in no time!