I have come home for lunch. The afternoon still remains. We will distribute committee work then.

Some good things happened.

I was walking towards school and it suddenly clicked in where I was going. I was going to school. I was going as a teacher. But it is school. And a little part popped up for a second—there is usually no clear sense that these bits are from any one particular part now—but a young voice piped up at that moment: No one touches my inside part at school.

Yes.

School is safe.

Yes.

I am going to school.

Yes.

And later, sitting in the conference room, I look around at the room, at the altar in the corner, the icons hanging on the wall, the other teachers in their national dress. This is Country X.

Yes.

There are no vory here.

No.

It is safe.

Yes.

Also, it is not cold. I mean, it is cold, but less so than it has been. After the morning session, my hands are numb, but I am not shivering. Last year, I was shivering. Global warming. But, it helps me.

And, the new principal is a relaxed, energetic man. The tone is different. It is much less like sitting in church.

It is less church-like, but also it has clicked in that I am at school and I was never abused at school. Never. By anyone. In any way. I was not mistreated by teachers. I was not bullied by other children. I was teased, but not more than most children. Not to the point where I have mental scars from it. I have chosen to work in the environment where I was not harmed as a child. And the child parts have finally surfaced enough to catch onto this.

So sitting in the morning meeting is an entirely different experience. I am still lost 8/10 of the time, but one advantage to Country X is that most people say the same thing repeatedly. They will make the same point or tell the same story three or four times. The conversation does not run on at a break-neck pace. Sometimes I figure it out in the end. If not, there are ample opportunities to ask.

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