Thank goodness for the solstice and increasing sunlight! Our days here are filled with more sunlight and more work and I love them both. I’ve been on a real kick lately repeating our country director’s mantra regarding Peace Corps: it’s all about the work. I mean, a lot. I think people are going to get sick of me. I can’t help it – it helps me get through some of these days in which I feel like I am forever playing catch up. Because, despite what I find to complain about – no heat, no water, missing my family, my list goes on – I wouldn’t change any of it for the great projects I’ve been fortunate to work with lately. I think I’m at my mid-service high and I’m hoping the momentum continues. There’s a lot going on here, team!
And isn’t that weird to say? Mid-service? We’ve been here nearly a whole year. Though we don’t know our exact close of service date (and won’t until July) we will potentially be going home in May 2015. There’s finally enough going on that I don’t go stir crazy and I don’t know that I’ll ever fit it all in.
While I don’t always use my time in the most appropriate fashion, I do feel just real exhausted lately. We discovered some intense black mold growing in our kitchen; who’s to say if it’s the culprit or not, but I’m blaming the extra fatigue on that culprit! Combine that fun fungus and long days and a heck of a stiff bed, and I’m pooped before I even start my day.
So, let me blame my lagging behind-ness in my Year of Gladness on all that, but I’m hoping this energy refocuses into some stellar movements. I’m fortunate to be so busy and I do hope it stays that way.
To catch up, let’s go back and recount this missing week and a half:
13th: Thursday! We had our first community village meeting with TONS of community members show up to talk about the school project. A great day with lots of energy.
14th: so glad to spend, truly, one of the best Valentine’s Days with my partner. We made our famous Cajun pasta, drank a little wine, the power went out to make the candles even more perfect, and had a lovely evening chatting in the glow of our gas stove.
15th: first weekend back at site in a long time! I was able to enjoy the sunshine and do tons of laundry and clean our bath house – the joys of warmer weather.
16th: spent the day in a village with friends and food. Saw the weirdest turkey in the world, met some very kind people, and explored a new part of our region.
17th: back to work! We had a solid meeting regarding our school project between the volunteers and our counterpart. I finally feel that I have a good handle on where to move from here and we enjoyed some delicious pumpkin pilaf.
18th: held my first teacher conversation club. It’s been in the works for ages, and it was truly a success! We had 20 great teachers and I look forward to continuing the discussions.
19th: hooray for TOEFL Wednesday. It has quickly become one of my favorite activities. We had a great discussion on some English phrases and I am forever being impressed by their wit, knowledge, and energy.
20th: one of the highlights of my service so far. I was able to lead our next community village meeting. In front of a room full of village elders, respected staff and community parents and members, we discussed the project and how the community can contribute and what we need in a school. It really is the toughest job you’ll ever love.
21st: made my way to the south to lead a teacher training seminar with my fellow teacher trainer. We met up with my dear friend and her host mother and had tacos with REAL AMERICAN TORTILLAS sent from the states. Perfection.
22nd: had our second teacher training seminar. Thirty-two teachers! It was a great group of people from all over the region and much more than we expected. That evening, I had a dinner with one of the coolest families I have had the pleasure to meet. A lovely evening of good food, good conversation, and a picture of a man standing on a giant potato. Love it.
23rd: despite a 7 hour ride to get home, it was a good day and I had a lovely lunch with my partner. He’s the best.
AND, that’s today. Let’s hope this busyness continues - I love it.
Do I contradict myself? Very well, then, I contradict myself; I am large — I contain multitudes. - Walt Whitman