I’ve heard this expression now a couple times already. On the streets, or just in general. I haven’t quite figured out what it means yet, but it is sort of a way to ask if someone is okay. A kind and friendly expression, I think. But to properly form an opinion about this little cultural differences, I am still lost. Moving to a new country always requires time. Even more if that country is on a different continent. Take the United States as an example, I continue to be amazed when I visit that intriguing mix of cultures and people. Cultural competence takes time. Time to get the hang of things, the way in which things are done.
I’d like to think of myself as pretty flexible. Today at the office a key was lost. It is what it is, things will come around and fall into place when they need to. If the key isn’t there now, it will be there soon. So not just the key, but I am a little lost too. I don’t know yet what is normal and how things should be done. I ask people, read things, and mainly just try and be very observant. And yet, I am not a local here. Nor will I be within a year. Integration, assimilation, adaptation. All terms that I have studied in detail. But there are few things in the world more fascinating to me than going through that process myself.
Questions rise in my head constantly: “why I am called an expat and not a migrant?” or “how do kindly refuse the boda driver, because I’d like to walk after sitting in an office the whole day?” I don’t think there is a specific time for questions like these. They continue to pop up and since cultures change depending on time, location, and people, the answers will always be different. Like last night, my first week in Uganda anniversary. I started thinking about how I feel maybe more lost now than I did when I arrived. Over the past week I have just really needed it when people would reach out and asked if I was okay. Because in general I am. I am okay with being a little lost. I am okay with needing time to adjust.
And maybe I will be a little lost for ever. And I guess that’s also totally fine. Because there will always be people close to my heart that know where and how to find me.