Little Adventures with a Big Daughter

Little Adventures with a Big Daughter

I came here, back to Bali, for two reasons: to deal with my immigration agent about my future status, and to see my daughter who has been living her by herself for the past nine months. We’ve returned every ten weeks to spend time with her, give her a break from being on her own, and generally just to be together as a family. This time the family couldn’t come so I came on my own as mentioned a few blogs ago.

I’ve been here for nine days now and have a week left before I return to Sumbawa for the last ten weeks of my teaching career (at least in this phase). In that time, Mercedes (my eldest daughter) and I have had a lot of father-daughter time – well at least as much as her busy schedule as a high school student allows. So what have I learned about my daughter –on – the-brink – of – becoming – a – woman?

  • She’s pretty smart. Despite spending four years in a fairly remote area of Indonesia, she’s developed a pretty good educational foundation.
  • She and I can sit and discuss the role of genetics in the development of a human being. She has a basic grasp of trigonometry.
  • She’s quite good with her pencil sketches for art class.
  • She has a decent grasp of where countries are in relationship to each other.
  • She’s up on current events in Indonesia; but has a poor idea of what is happening in America or the rest of the world.
  • She’s environmentally conscious and can discuss global warming and gasses from refrigerators, but she still doesn’t get the water crisis.
  • She wants to grow up really quickly and get a job and get some money.
  • She’s hanging tough, but obviously misses living with her family.
  • She has a firm idea of what she wants to do in the future, but is concerned that my early retirement is going to put her in a financial bind.
  • She wants to know more about her family in America, but doesn’t want to write because of her basic English skills.

So we’ve talked and talked and talked and cooked and cooked and cooked. The girl can eat like her mother and like her mother she doesn’t seem to gain any weight. I guess she’s just a teenager.

So why the title of this blog? The little adventures are the day-to-day things that people do. I’ve spent too many years defining adventures as the big things that I do like traipsing through the mountains of Papua, or hanging out with drug dealers in America, or living in Pakistan during the War in Afghanistan years. Those are all adventures, but the little things that we do every day, those are the adventures that really define who we are, that make us human, that give us some connection to the other creatures like us that share a space on the planet.

They’re not the things that most people want to hear. I remember sitting in a bar with some colleagues of my son telling stories of hanging out with guys who only wear a gourd on their penis and women who wear grass skirts, and being followed by some mysterious van in Pakistan during the danger days for foreigners. Those are the stories that people back home want to hear- those are the adventures. And they are adventures, but their really interludes in the little adventures that make our lives rich and full and keep us alive when we have mind-numbing jobs and deal with all the real issues of life like school and sickness and love and tragedy.

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~ by drbrucepk on March 28, 2008.

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