This is a question that we get asked a lot, either by other missionaries that we work with or those who live nearby. And my default response is always, “Yes, we are. Things are good”.
In some ways it’s true. I said to someone else recently that life here now is strangely normal. The sights and sounds, the street vendors, the way traffic flows — it’s all starting to seem normal and expected. The daily schedules: making breakfast, getting Eila to the bus on time, walking to work, getting dinner ready and the homework done. It’s all normal and the same routines we had back in Michigan, just in a different setting.
But are we settling in? I’m not sure how to answer that. What does it mean to settle in?
Will I feel settled in when I can have a conversation in French more fluidly? Will I feel settled in when I have Cameroonian friends I can visit and who visit me?
I felt comfortable during the end of our time in France. I wouldn’t feel aprehension having to walk into a store and ask for something in French, I knew my way around, and there was an ease to our daily life there. But I wouldn’t say I felt “settled”, or at home.
And I’m definitely not there yet in Yaoundé.
But will I ever feel at home while I’m away from home?
We’ve adopted a family motto that states “Home is Where We Are”. Our home is here, but our home also not. Not yet.