03 October 2008

ups and downs

3 October 2008

I’m pretty down today. Some days are just heavier. Missing friends, family, dating, dark chocolate, cheddar cheese and roasted root vegetables with rosemary – all the small things stirred up with the big things to make it slightly unbearable.
I’ve been very clumsy all day. I’ve learned over the years that the more accident-prone I am, the more I need to sit down and take care of whatever’s occupying my mind so much that I’m forgetting to protect my body. It’s a physical symptom of mental cloudiness.
I found out yesterday while in Lome that one of the people I felt I bonded with during stage decided to leave the Peace Corps and actually left the country earlier this week. It’s not a huge surprise – she’d talked about it before. She’s always been one of the pragmatic out of our stage. She came into the Peace Corps to make a difference, so if she felt she wasn’t getting anywhere, she intended to go back to the states and get on with making a difference there. She also has a lot more to go back to than me (at least all in one place, I mean): a house, car, relationship, career.
So, I’m not surprised at her choice, I’m just selfishly sad because I didn’t get to say goodbye. It’s kind of gut-wrenching to have anyone leave, really. We’re all in this together and I’d like to all come through it together.
At this point I don’t think that anything short of a family emergency or a debilitating illness would make me leave early. But I am also open to leaving early if I feel it’s right for me – a job that can’t wait, or if I feel that despite lots of effort, I will not find success in my local projects.
Currently, though, I’m finding huge amounts of work to do and I’m getting excited about all my activities – from teaching at the high school to starting village savings and loan groups to learning how to sew à l’Africaine.
But there are days like today, when I’m tripping over my own feet, finding dead spider corpses and mouse poo everywhere and missing my family in an aching-solar plexus way. And it’s tough.
So I’ll have a wee spot of whisky with hot water, lemon and honey before I go to bed to help me sleep through the vigil at the church next door (drums and megaphones from 1am to 4am) and hopefully wake up tomorrow feeling renewed and ready to tackle sweeping the whole house, thinking up a craft to teach at the apprentice meeting on Monday and creating a lesson plan in French (and mentally preparing myself for the face that although French is our common language, many students do not yet speak it).

Music: Mercy by Morag Hannah (been listening to her stuff a lot lately – I miss our late night jam sessions doing covers of Britney and Alanis.)

Book: The Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett

1 comment:

LauraLbi4 said...

Hi Rose, I think what you're doing is *so* amazing!! I don't think I'd have the strength or courage to be so far from home and in such a different environment, and I'm so impressed by you.

Keep your chin up and hang in there! Also, I loved what you said about clumsiness being caused by a mental fog...I'm exactly the same way.

Good luck and keep updating -- so interesting to hear what you're up to!

Laura I