30 Jan, 2008

It’s always a shock to return to Houston…

30 Jan, 2008

It’s always a shock to return to Houston after having been away for sometime. People ask me: “Are you jetlagged?” This week, my answer is: “I am culture-lagged.”

Two such different worlds that have each become my home. Someone warmly greeted me: “Welcome back to your home. Here, you are safe.”

“That’s my home, too,” I say. I feel as safe/ unsafe here as I do there. But I also know that safety is a relative term, and it’s hard to define to others what makes me feel ‘safe’ in Karachi and sometimes ‘unsafe’ in Houston. I will have to work on that.

Yesterday, I received a call from a student with whom I’ve worked with for four years. She is nineteen years old, and faced many struggles even before this year. But this January her life has changed forever: on Friday, she had a C-section and gave birth to a healthy child. I am happy for her, but I know what challenges lie in front of her. Raising a child is hard, especially she is a single mother and a child herself. I’m still learning so much about how to do the job well—and I’m two decades older.

Welcome to motherhood, Cynthia. Hola a tu nina. Todo es bien.