You’re down to your last jar of Vegemite.
No one’s undies have any elastic left in them.
You start checking expiry dates on drivers’ licenses and car insurance, and renewing them even though they have 5 months left.
You’re thinking about where you’ll store the washing machine for 6 months, because the Tanzanian family who will live in your house doesn’t want to use it.
You become way more vigilant about mosquitoes than normal. Now is not the time for someone to get malaria or dengue fever!
Everyone starts sleeping in Mama and Dadda’s room again.
There’s a fatigue. It’s not the same as needing a holiday, or to master self-care. We are more capable, knowledgable and at home in Tanzania than we have ever been, but we are also more worn down by it. It’s a cumulative stress on mind and body of 3 years since a home assignment, 6.5 years on location. It’s subtle — anxieties that needle instead of floating away, frustrations you never noticed before, more frequent infections — but when I asked other missio mums about it, it was a common experience.
Tamie Davis is an Aussie living in Tanzania, writing at meetjesusatuni.com.