Sunday, January 17, 2010
The HARDEST job you'll ever love....
January 4th, 2010
What am I doing here? You think this is all one huge adventure. Maybe that is because I put up the pictures where I am laughing, not where I'm crying. You see me with friends, not me alone in the guest house room for what feels like the billionth time. Someone I talked to recently said my pictures and my blogs show the good times, not the bad, so here I am to write the other side of how things are REALLY going.
Well, I'm back at site, alone. The closest volunteer to me is a 3 hour, stressful chappa ride away. And let me tell you, the chappa experience is unlike anything I can even try to describe to you. So, I'll save that till next time....I live in a small, rural village, and when I walk around I feel like a complete outsider. Everyone stares at me, and I know it's because of my skin. I feel like I'm the only white person the people in my village have ever seen. They stare, but don't say hello. I have never felt like such alien in all my life. Sometimes I don't want to leave this guest house because I don't want to be stared at, I don't want to stand out. I don't have any food in the kitchen here, since I just got back from being with other volunteers for New Year's, but I dread walking to the market to buy any food. It takes so much out of me to walk around here. Not to mention it is blazing hot, and I'd rather sit here by the fan, the coolest place I can be. I don't want to sit here and complain about everything, but at the same time I want to be able to be honest and real with you, whoever you are who is reading this and know that life here is HARD!
I have definitely had many moments of "Why am I here? I want to go back home!" And we are allowed to early terminate whenever we want. Last week, over the phone I helped a girlfriend NOT go back to America. And now I sit here and am wishing I could go home. I choose not to though, because I know I would eventually regret it. So, today the office I work at re opened after break. I sit in there, and then I sit some more. Right now, I'm unsure what to do, and my colleges are unsure of what to do with me as well. I am the first volunteer at this site, and the first volunteer with Save The Children. Lately I have been regretting the fact that I didn't request to REPLACE a past volunteer. If you replace someone you often get a home that isn't bare ass naked at least. They have someone already lined up to help them get water. On that note, let me tell you DON'T take your running water for granted! You might think that if you were me you would want to go and walk 10 min to the nearest well, to get water for cooking, bathing, cleaning, laundry; trust me you wouldn't want to. So after sitting for 3 hours in the office, I'm told we are going to go look at my "house" that has NOT been ready. Mind you, I believe I might be the LAST volunteer who hasn't moved into their house yet because it hasn't been ready. We walk over there. The yard is CHAOS! Trash everywhere, bricks, millions of bricks in tons of random piles everywhere is the only "decor." The house is grey, because the owner of the house ran out of the money they were given to fix it up. Yes, Save the Children paid in full for two years. And surprise surprise the owner "ran out," though that was impossible because he was given more than enough money to fix up the inside and the outside. So the outside=a sad, ugly mess. Ok, go inside. It looks better than the last time I saw it, at least its been pained, and its not the ugly gray. Its white, better than nothing. Though whoever painted it left dirt marks in many places of the white wall. Two men I work with were inspecting the house to see if it was ready to be moved into.
Paint this picture. The house is four walls. It has 3 rooms, bigger than one person needs, particularly one person who has NOTHING to furnish the place with, nor the $ to buy things to furnish this rather large home. This casa, which maybe one day I will actually move into, is totally and completely EMPTY! You think empty and still might think of closes ts, drawers, your basic storage places, ya?! NO! When I say "EMPTY" I mean that there is nothing but the walls and the floor. Zip. Nada. Zero! lol I laugh, in a this is gonna be my home for the next two years...what am I doing? O and I mentioned no water in the house ya?! So, I am now on the scout for someone to help me lug water to my house. And my colleagues are trying to help me find such a person, but they want a trustworthy, good person. I would like that too, BUT this is gonna take more TIME! TIME TIME TIME TIME! Everything here takes TIME! and then o wait...MORE TIME! If you know me, I'm not the most patient of persons, so this only adds to difficulties that life present me with here. I cry rather randomly, for example, after that visit to my empty, bare, dirty walled, messy yarded house, I just had to come back to the guest house and let out a good cry. I should prefer to stay in this guest house. It has furniture, it has running water, and a refrigerator (a luxury I will NOT have here in Moz). But all I want to do is try to make a "home." To hang some pictures of those I love, to hang up my Beatles poster I brought from home, or the California license plate I took from my mom and Al's garage (an old one!)
The newness, the excitingness of everything being so incredibly different has died.Maybe the Peace Corps won't like me posting this, because it paints things to be "bad," to be honest, I wish I would've read something like this though, to at least mentally prepare me for how HARD it would be! I knew it's gonna be an adventure, but I didn't quite understand that that meant I would be on an extreme roller coaster ride of emotional ups and downs, highs and lows, so content and wanting to quit. No one told me the intense amounts of loneliness I'd go through, the horrible frustration of feeling so isolated, I just didn't know. I think my frustration has calmed down some, I just took a break to make some lunch. All I had here was pasta and butter, lol, it was not a very good meal, but drowning it in seasoning made it eatable. =/
I think this is the end of this little entry. I'm not quitting, I was just letting you know that it's far from being all fun and easy here. You know that saying, "Don't just sit there, do something!"? Well, to survive here you have to learn the motto a tad differently, "Don't just do something, SIT there!" I sit a looooooot.....that is what people do here! Anyways, I prob should read something positive right now, prob should also meditate, did I mention I bought a guitar over the weekend in Quelimane, so that I could not just SIT and do nothing. So that I could learn to play? Did I mention that I was tuning it here at site yesterday and broke a string, cuz I don't know how to tune it, they sell guitars here but of course they don't sell strings or tuners, silly to think they would! And I could play the 5 remaining strings, but they are also out of tune, and I'm too afraid of breaking another string. =( so my blue guitar sits there in front of me, wishing to be played, but it can't be. lol it is learning to just SIT, just like me! Ok, wish me luck, luck that I will focus on one day at a time. I can't think of life in a two year span, or I might go even more crazy. What's interesting, is that I won't be able to post this for at least a month. So shall see what all has changed, if anything, by then. O God I pray things will have moved along somewhat though...o how I pray...
Roller coaster junkie,
ps. One more thing, if all of this wasn't stressful enough, don't forget this is ALL happening in a foreign language. Yes, I can communicate in Portuguese, but when things are stressful plus the heat, it's like my mind completely forgets any Portuguese and everyone sounds like those teachers from the "Peanuts" where it's just noise coming out, but nothing makes sense. =/ and there is also the local language to learn, Senna, and lots of people talk in that around me, and it isn't anything like Portuguese or any other language I've ever heard. Just thought I'd throw that one more LOOP at ya! One day I'll look back on all this and laugh, right?!