Saturday, October 30, 2010
A Friend for Dinner
They said it would happen and they tried to prepare us. Our good Dr. Dan even put up a chart during a Peace Corps training session showing the inevitable ups and downs our emotions and general psychological state would take during our two years at site. I hit one of those lows this morning. After the hurry-scurry planning and preparation for the big community Halloween Carnival last night, I woke up from fitful sleep with a headache, feeling suddenly overwhelmed, tired, lonely and altogether incapable of making my life here WORK. On the immediate horizon sit a deadline for a huge report for Peace Corps (Monday), language lessons I desperately need and have had to miss the last 2 weeks, lesson plans for my 16 classes and 2 sets of diagnostic tests to grade. Added to that is an apartment full of dust bunnies and a pile of dirty clothes, rubber gloves that leak, a computer that is agonizingly slow at downloading/uploading anything and which has recently inexplicably lost a tool bar which I can't recover, and a large, sensitive swelling on my left arm where I was given a flu shot Wednesday. Sigh. A friend recently commented that to do what we must do in Peace Corps, you have to be your own best friend. I've thought alot about this statement and find it's true. So today after I swept, washed and hung 3 loads of clothes, did my floor exercises (yes, with my purple "peanut" inflated ball), and multi-tasked downloading pictures from the Halloween *do* while I worked on language translations, I invited myself to a nice dinner. I gently fried floured talapia (frozen from Vietnam albeit)in olive oil and lemon pepper, baked a potato, made a fresh spinach and tomato salad, put on the iPod playlist (thanks, sons) "Mellow Songs #3," lit a candle, poured a glass of good Transylvania vin alb, and sat down to dinner with myself. Many times I just collapse with my plate in front of the TV and watch whatever I can find that isn't sports or animals (not that I have anything against animals, of course--just want people), but this was nice and I was actually pretty good company, sorting through my thoughts, finding things to be glad about. Anyway, it's 8:30 now and I'm feeling like I can "do this thing" once again. Tomorrow I'll tackle the report which has 56 pages of instructions but is supposed to take no more than 5 hours to complete. And my PCV friend Connie a few bus rides away wants to make plans for something fun next weekend when we both come up for air. Yay!**** On a much lighter note, as promised, here are pictures with commentary from last night's carnival. My village has never had anything like this apparently--not even a harvest festival. I was amazed at how eagerly and enthusiastically they embraced the whole idea. We had a smashing turnout and everyone truly did seem to have fun. OK--must go wash up the dishes with my rubber gloves that I carefully dried in the sun and patched with the duct tape I brought from home. Ah--Yankee ingenuity!