Thursday, August 1, 2013

Peace Corps

Peace Corps is a special combination of, "Oh wow! I can't believe I get to live this life!", and "Oh my god. This is my life? When do I get to go home?"

I've been in both boats. Sometimes I switch between the two a few times each day.

When you're standing on top of a mountain with some kids you just met, hunting for some of the tastiest mangos you will ever eat, as you walk to land in the coolest waterfall you've seen thus far in real life, and you were able to do it all by walking out your front door, you tend to have the gushy feelings of love for your current situation.

Then you go to a meeting all prepared to offer your great Peace Corps skills to a group of women. You stand tall and speak you best Spanish to explain the work you could maybe do. You sit down and many women look excited. The first woman to speak is sitting right next to you and asks the leader of this meeting, "How can I take a class with her if I can't understand what she's saying?" Ooh, I drop into, "Why don't I just go home and get a job that lets me speak English?" I speak the English, I speak the English real good like!

There are days when I wake up, realize I don't want to leave my house at all, so I don't, and it's great and I'm still doing my job (I live with a host family. I'm never not doing at least one part of my job) and I'll still get paid. Weekends aren't weekends, so sometimes I decide Tuesday is the weekend.

Then someone at my house will do something (especially to a child) that I just hate and all I want is for my home to be on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean in the land of the free home of the brave, "nuebe Yo'k", 'Merica, land of the Golden Arches, however you want to describe it, I want to be there.

Let's not get carried away. I am no where close to walking out on what could very well be the most life changing experience I have for 1.5 more years (my life is very dramatic I expect great experiences to happen all the time), but it's not always easy.

Even something that seems as simple as do I stay with my host family or move out on my own, literally goes back and forth everyday.

Sometimes volunteers stay with their host families, and I always thought I would for at least a while. I thought it would help with language and force me to interact. Now I don't think that, but I wonder if it would just be a good idea. I like living with other people. I lived alone in a studio apartment for a while, and I loved that place, but I promise I would have given it up for a roommate. Even a weird room mate. I've just learned that I can't watch some of the things that happen at my house, and I assume happen at many houses here. I need to be able to shut my door and breath and pretend I'm not home, at least once in a while. At the same time, I want a place to invite some of the many new friends I expect I'll make in two years. My host mom asked me about it yesterday. She wants me to stay close if I do move out. I too want to stay close. There are a few options out there. I think in the end I've decided I have to move out. For my sanity. I may ask my host mom if I can have a standing invite to lunch though. The foods not bad and it's a great way to still have some time with my host family, who, at the end of the day, I do adore.

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