29 January 2010

Community life

Living on a plantation the way we do means you have to do with the few people around you. Now you have a few options:
You can either exclude yourself totally from community life, and while that may work when you are yourself the expat, and in fact have a job, when you're the wife and you're unable to get a job for whatever the reason, that might become lonely, and eventually very boring.
You can search friends outside the community, but that is not always possible, some countries are very poor security wise and then it's not advised to search outside the plantation for anything, really.
Or you can go with what you have and try to make the best of it. Which ultimately means you'll be befriending people you would probably never meet in normal life (in that I mean, non-plantation, non-expat life). People who differ from you in age, beliefs, way of life, etc... The only point you have in common is that for one reason or another you and they chose to live abroad. And this is where the trouble lies. Now you may be of good faith and try to be the social glue, try to make everybody happy etc... there's always going to be one or more people who do want to join in on the fun, but only on their terms, and who have such poor social skills, they end up sewing disparity wherever they go.

Now obviously, I chose the last option. Learning from my first plantation experince in Cameroon, I swore to myself, if I could help it, nobody would be on a plantation with me and feel lonely, except by choice. And so I try to find out what people like, try to organise social gatherings etc... And yet each and every time I end up with one person not speaking to me.
So I wonder? Is it that hard for other people to make the effort to just to get along with each other? I don't mean everybody has to be best friends, but it doesn't hurt to try not to insult the other people in the community, now does it.
And another thing I'm asking myself: why do so few people realize that when there's something plaging you, it's better to talk it through than to sit on it... Nobody's going to come solve your problems for you.

Until next time