As the days quickly pass, and our departure to Managua draws closer, the question that is most often asked of Marisa and me is a simple but important one, “So, how are you guys feeling?” .  It’s important to occasionally stop and take stock of our emotional state, especially in times of big transitions, and if I truly reflect on the simple question of “How ya feeling?” I realize the answer is anything but simple.

On August 25, 2010, less than a week from now, Marisa and I will board our TACA flight and, if all goes according to plan, will land in Managua that same evening to “officially” start our 3 year MCC term.  This transition will mark the beginning of a new stage in our lives, moving from the very familiar Harrisonburg, VA to the completely unfamiliar (besides the pictures we’ve seen, stories we’ve heard, and books we’ve read) Managua, Nicaragua.

So, how am I feeling?  The thoughts and emotions that have been flittering across my brain and occasionally washing over my body as I think about stepping on to Nicaraguan soil next week are decidedly mixed.  I certainly feel an overwhelming sense of excitement imagining the friendly people that we’ll get to meet, people who may very well become our new closest friends and support group.  My mind thrills trying to anticipate all the new sights, sounds, smells, and tastes we’ll encounter in a new culture and a new city.  I’m excited to be surrounded by Spanish again.  Excited to feel the joy of communicating in my second language, to feel the satisfaction of understanding and being understood in a language that is not yet, but quickly becoming “my own”.

However, the waves of excitement and exhilaration I feel when anticipating our new surroundings and experiences in Nicaragua come with an undercurrent of caution and even a sense of foreboding-that familiar slight tightening of the chest and fluttering of the stomach that signifies nervousness, uncertainty, and worry.  The experience of meeting new people is intimidating, especially for someone who tends toward the introverted end of the spectrum.  There’s the uncertainty of how I’ll come across in our many “first impression” experiences, especially when I’m uncertain of some of the cultural cues and customs.  I’m sure I’ll feel that heavy sense of foreboding the pit of my stomach as I am introduced to Managua, a city of millions, and inspiration for U2’s hit song “Where the streets have no name”.  All the new sights, sounds, tastes, and smells can be rich and exhilarating but also foreign and bewildering at the same time.

Then there’s the Spanish.  I know the adjustment to Spanish immersion will not only joyous and satisfying.  It won’t be like my former job where I confidently rattle off a few sentences in Spanish to a new parent and then switch over to English to explain the response to a teacher.  All Spanish all the time will sometimes be frustrating, sometimes embarrassing, and many times exhausting by the end of the day.

So how am I feeling?  I can truthfully say that I’m feeling good.  It’s a good feeling, living in great anticipation, trying to balance the excitement and the apprehension, but above all trying to find the patience to live in the moment and soak in these last few days with my beloved family and friends here in Harrisonburg before setting out to create new paths and beginning a very new stage in life’s journey.

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4 Comments on “Anticipation”

  1. Dean Mast Says:

    Very exciting indeed. You’ve expressed your feelings well, and I look forward to hearing more about “how you guys are feeling,” once you’re on Nicaraguan soil. We’ll be praying for you.

  2. rocio Says:

    hi adam i understand how your feeling completly it was the same for me and arrving in mexico for the first time on wednesday was over whelming but thanks to sarah and luke being here it has helped alot i will admit the first night was brutal but seeing sarah and luke the next morning made it all worth while and helped to ease the anxiousity of being away from family in canada. always remeber you have a whole community of friends and family behind you amd marisa everything will be all right lots of love rocio.

  3. Velma Stauffer Says:

    Adam and Marisa,

    Best wishes to you as you leave to begin your MCC term in Managua. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. I have no doubt that both of you will be a blessing to all the people you meet over the next three years. Adam, I will do what I can to keep your mother from getting too lonely!

    God bless you,


  4. cheryl shank Says:

    thanks for the update. enjoyed reading about all of the ‘firsts’.
    thinking of you both,

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