Kemem Guilt, Impending Flu, and Other Things

February 20, 2013

  Fire's big Kemem is this weekend and I'm really, really stressed about it.  There's so much that could go wrong and as of yet, I haven't found a go-to person to help me with it.  That's my fault, because I haven't asked anyone for help, beyond getting a friend and some girls to help decorate.  I'm worried about when to put out the drinks- if we put them out too early, they might get stolen from the coolers.  I'm worried about there not being enough food, even though Bubu and Jimma suggested having some of the ladies at the party serve to make sure that no one takes too much before everyone has eaten.  And what if there's not enough cake?  Jimma doesn't want to MC, so we're hoping that one of the members of the band will do it, but what if something goes wrong with that? 
  On top of all that, I'm wracked with guilt about who we didn't invite to this party.  We invited about thirty Kwajis total, and kept it to families that we're really close with or people who are helping with the party or people that Bubu and Jimma know and want there.  That leaves out so many people!  I want to invite everyone we know to this and we just can't.  Because we're feeding folks dinner, we couldn't just broadcast an invitation.  D is more sanguine about it than I am, saying that this party is for Fire's Marshallese family and that we had open-invite ribelle parties for his Welcome Home and baptism.  I'm looking forward to this party but I'm also looking forward to being on the other side of it.
  As if all that wasn't enough, there is a 48-hour flu going around Kwaj right now.  It's been making it's way through families here since January and at one point it hit the elementary school so bad, they considered closing the school for the day.  It's currently working through the kids at the daycare- both of Sky's playdates this weekend were cancelled because the kids were sick- so we are holding our breath and washing our hands a lot, hoping that it misses us until after the Kemem.  Not that I personally couldn't use a good five-pound flu we can't afford to be sick until we have this party.
  To top it off, Bubu, Jimma, Elizabeth, and Lomorro are coming over for dinner tonight.  I'm excited about having them over and for Elizabeth and Lomorro to see where Fire lives but I am also embarassed and defensive about our home and all the things in it.  I don't really need to be-  it's a knee-jerk reaction when we have so much and host people who have so little.  And it doesn't matter that we have a small house by American standards (around 1000 sqft) or relatively few things, it's still more than they have.  We just went to the grocery store the other day, so our pantry is full, and all I can think about is how to avoid opening it when they can see.  It is what it is, I guess.
  Other than all that, things are going really well for us right now.  Sky has finally got a handle on potty training and Fire is sleeping through the night.  Somehow the combination of those two things make the world seem a whole lot brighter.  D is getting in a lot of kiteboarding as work and family allow and I've started semi-formal Marshallese lessons with the LDS missionary sisters on Ebeye. We'll study together for an hour a week at the family's compound. 
  To end on a funny note, I got to listen to NPR's Talk of the Nation while I rode my racing bike on Tuesday.  They were rebroadcasting a story about what contributes to happiness and just as I started listening, the presenter said, "So to be happy, people should live someplace sunny and near the water, with a short commute to work, a walkable downtown, and plenty of opportunities to socialize?"  I laughed out loud and wished I could call in and tell them that they'd just described Kwajalien.  They went on to talk about other contributing factors, including financial and housing stability, access to medical care, and high employment, all of which describe Kwjalein.  So there you have it folks: according to this study, you need to move to Kwajalein if you want to be happy!

2 comments

  1. For what it's worth - I am devastated that I didn't receive a personal invitation, and will probably never speak to you again. I'm sure there are dozens, and hundreds, and thousands on and around Kwaj who feel the same as I do.

    Also, I've decided to be jealous that you have warm weather, a walking commute, etc... (as described on NPR), and will likely sulk for the rest of my life over your abundance and blessings. I bet Bubu, Jimma, Elizabeth, and Lomorro will spend the whole night thinking exactly the same thing as they enjoy your hospitality, friendship, family, and love....

    How dare you be such a horrible person, Amber? Jeesh.... :)

    Praying for health, peace, and the ability to ENJOY this special family time. It's not going to be perfect. Make your peace with it, and move on, girlfriend. It will be what it will be, and Teshie will still be your one year old big boy, and no one will hate you.

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