I caved. I am still uneasy with my purchase, no matter how much people tell me it's the greatest thing in the world. I feel like I'm betraying my childhood obsession with perusing the bookstore near my moms shop, sitting for hours and getting lost in a copy of The Babysitters Club, or staying up until three am reading The Diary of Anne Frank, only stopping because my mom came in and physically took the book away. My heart sank a little when I clicked "place order", and I still haven't gotten very excited about it. I wonder what my dad would think. He had a library of books in his house, some of which I've kept and some I've gotten rid of (though it honestly pained me to do so). He was also into technology though, and had to have the latest and greatest everything.
I think I figured out another reason why it's not sitting well with me either - I'm taking with me technology to make my life easier and more comfortable while I'm living in a developing nation. None of the Ugandans I live with or work with are going to have Kindles, they're not going to be fretting about reading their e-reader in bright sunlight, or how long the battery lasts or the classics they can get for free since the copyrights have expired. If they have books at all, they're going to be paper and ink. If I'm truly to integrate into my community, shouldn't I just do as they do? People have asked me how I'm going to deal with bucket baths and pit latrines while I'm over there, and I just say that millions of people do that every day of their lives, why can't I do it for two years? It's certainly not going to kill me, it's just different from what we know here. I think I just feel uneasy accumulating unnecessary things (because let's be honest, that's what they are) to make my life easier. I am not trying to preach or condemn anyone here, because I am just as guilty of it as anyone, it just seems like in America we have all of our basic needs met, so we have begun to see "wants" as "needs". I have an iphone that I'm addicted to (though that lately has been making me uncomfortable too, but that's another entry), I have a laptop, three digital cameras, two ipods, etc., etc. All of these things make my life easier, but where is the line between want and need? I need to communicate, but do I need facebook at my fingertips and a million apps? I need to listen to music, but do I need 10,000 songs in my pocket? I love taking and looking at pictures, but my dslr is honestly ridiculous (though I do love it!)
There is just such a dichotomy that I'm beginning to be way more aware of as I get closer and closer to the biggest change of my life so far.