Friday, April 13th
*side note: I finally put iTunes and all of my music on my dying little netbook, and iTunes shuffle is, as always, making me happier than a normal bowel movement. So, after I rediscover my love of Janis Joplin and Rascal Flatts what plays?
Jukebox Hero, Foreigner. Epic.
So what do I do? Well, obviously my first reaction is to make a fist, purse my lips, nod my head and pump said fist. Duuuh. What’s the second thing I want to do? I want to text Mallory Hick, and every other Alma friend from c/o 2008 who attended every Kareoke night at the B-heart… then I remember I’m in South Africa, so I just yell out every lyric and keep that fist-a-pumpin.
*side side note: that reminds me of sometimes the littlest things can make me miss home so so so much but at the same time not want to leave. Hhmm..
A lot a lot has happened since I first found out I was moving sites. I won’t try and get into the nitty gritty of where I have been, what I have been doing, or god forbid…my feelings, but I can say with confidence I feel great. I can also say I cannot flippin believe that it is April, it is exciting (the weather is not f’n hot, just hot) but also surreal and scary.
If the universe forced me to one thing since December, it would be reflect. I like to think I usually do an okay amount of self-reflection, but apparently it was my time to do some seriously thinking. The universe slapped me across the face AND in the baby maker and made me doubt the one thing I’ve ‘just always wanted to do’, Peace Corps. I did not question the organization as a whole, but I questions PCSA (Peace Corps South Africa) and I questioned myself. I have wanted to do this since the first billboard I saw in high school, and I went through a lot of crap (3 years, but who was counting?) to get placed. I was confident that I was PC material. I didn’t really know what that meant, but I knew I was. Theeeeeen I failed. I didn’t walk into a small village knowing the language and save the world of HIV and poverty. Shame. I was lonely, sick, hated my organization, confused, and watched a lot of movies. Womp womp, I know, poor me. But not really. Tables turned, at first for the worst. I cried. I cried on the phone, for heaven’s sake (to my mom, my sisters, brother, dad, PC friends, shit- I could barely keep myself together for my niece-she’s 2!) never a high moment in anyone’s life.
Anyway, I didn’t start this blog entry to re-hash my low points. I decided to write because I saw a really beautiful Gogo (old lady) with a baby on her back passing by a group of goats that got chased away by a giant pig. I was lost, sort of, greeting people on my way back from work. I knew the general direction of my new house from my new organization and figured I’d find it after I decided to take a ‘new route’. I was enjoying the atmosphere, greeting friendly people that are getting used to seeing a new face. I even greeted a goat, seriously, I guess I’m just so used to greeting everyone. As I looked around and saw the dead cow hanging from a tree I wondered whether someone was getting married or someone died. The Gogo doing laundry shouted at me asking ‘O kea Kerabo’ (meaning she was asking where the previous PCV was), I responded, and kept walking. I noticed a lot of work was being done to a tuck shop, so this funeral/wedding must be a big deal. Maybe ill go on Saturday, maybe I’ll sleep in. I kept walking. Then the Gogo, goats, and pigs. I laugh, greet more, and keep walking in the general direction of my new home. I feel good. I have pit stains and dirt all up in my Birks, but it feels right. This is my PC experience; as per usual I’m just a little lagging when it comes to my timing. I’m just getting started late. Dancing to the beat of my own drum.
I am not entirely sure what it was, maybe it was the project manager at my new org being excited about my project ideas, the friendly faces greeting me, pigs, kids screaming my name as I get close to my new home, the fact that the sky looks so close I could touch it, or a year of shit, gone- but I realize life is great. A change in perspective was not just the Gogo’s and goats, it was everything. It was both conscious and unconscious. If I were to still be at my last site, I would be fine- I would consciously make it work. Things wouldn’t be great, but it’d be fine. Actually, when I first discovered I had to move I wanted to try and stay, I think as a self defence mechanism I never actually processed how crap it was until I was able to step away. The universe gave me a second shot at this PC thing, and I won’t let it go to waste. I cannot say I have regained all of the confidence I had before, that I was born for this- but I think it’s better. I have something to prove, to myself. This is harder than I expected, and what is hardest about it are the things I did not anticipate. I am also gaining more than I imagined from this, creating a sort of guilt complex of “I came here to help and really am gaining more (thanks tax payers) more than I am giving.”
This is my normal. I walk 2.5 K to get to work, I hop across a stream, I talk to literally everyone, I see animals, and I love it. Everything seems very normal to me now, but ‘normal’ is so different for everyone. I enjoy that my ‘normal’ is this, that my normal is always different. I couldn’t remember a walk this happy in a year, a feeling that my ordinary is actually extraordinary.