Friday, September 16, 2011

Two Items You Never Want To Be Without

A Book and an Umbrella.

  1. The rain comes out of nowhere! Seriously you thought checking the weather back in the States was pointless, well here storms form out of thin air.  Its not just a spring shower either.  I’m talking torrential downpour, complete with thunder so loud you are wondering if there is a Boeing 747 about to land in your living room, classroom/office, bedroom (depending on the time of day). What, you just looked out the window no less than 5 minutes ago and saw nothing but blue skies, and now you think the apocalypse is coming.  This is pretty typical.   I think there is a storm nearly everyday almost at the same time (4th period or thereabouts) everyday. However, what usually happens (especially when I have to go to town, and I am in a rush to get a van) is I will forget my raincoat (I don’t even own an umbrella because they are annoying and the wind always flips them up or I just end up losing the; leaving them wherever I was) and it will pour.  But it never fails that when I actually remember it, it doesn’t rain a drop and when I forget it at home I’m wishing I packed a life jacket and raft instead.  The rain here is both utterly terrifying and incredibly fascinating. 
  2. The books come in handy on many occasions.  Number one, say you have a meeting at 4pm, it inevitably will not start until 5pm, if you’re lucky.  A book is a great way to spend that hour learning or at least entertained rather than staring at the wall (or rain) waiting rather impatiently for the meeting to begin.  Remember that rain I was mentioning, well that’s another great example of the importance of being prepared with the proper equipment: this time a book.  A book is a necessity because you never know where you are going to get stuck waiting for the rain to abate, or for how long.  Sometimes it could be a fleeting rain deluge and it passes as fast as it arrived, but other times it looks like there’s no end in sight.  You don’t dare venture out into that storm of epic proportions-your umbrella or raincoat isn’t going to do anything for you when the rain drops are the size of grapes and the wind is blowing them horizontally.  Luckily, however, at least its not cold, if you do happen to get stuck in a tempest of rain.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Read More, Learn More, Change the Globe

It may come as a shock to you, but I love the rapper Nas. I think I have loved him ever since I was introduced to him in 9th grade by a fellow classmate who lent me her Nas Stillmatic CD for a road trip to New Orleans I was going on. Anyways I digress.  The point is he has a song titled “I Can”; and this is my motto for the students this new school year. 
The underlying message he sends is such a positive and encouraging tale of getting away from the streets, drugs, and violence through hard work, education and hope and belief in oneself. 
However, there is one particular line that strikes a chord in me, and always has.  It reads: Read more, learn more, change the globe.  So this is my hope for this new school year:  To help the students develop a love for reading and to help them to learn to read at a sufficient level to be productive citizens of their communities, societies and country; to learn as much as I possibly can while I am here, teaching, a PCV, and in general; and obviously for the students to learn something new everyday and every time they come to see me in the Reading Room; and together to change the globe one child at a time, one book at a time, one math problem at a time; to overcome adversity and challenges and to move forward together.

I know I can
Be what I wanna be
If I work hard at it
I’ll be where I wanna be.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

You Know You're A Peace Corps Volunteer When...

  • ·      You become a hoarder: Saving paper towel and toilet paper tubes; boxes; bags; bottles; etc because you never know what you will need it for.
  • ·      You think you can reuse everything.
  • ·      You carry your own toilet paper with you to school.
  • ·      You see more goats and chickens than people sometimes.
  • ·      You only buy as much as you can carry.
  • ·      You stare when you see a white person you don’t know.
  • ·      Walking somewhere always takes double as long as it should, because you stop to talk to everyone that’s outside on the way.
  • ·      You’re always the worst dressed at formal events.
  • ·      Eggs are not refrigerated, and that’s becoming normal.
  • ·      And you carry your eggs in a plastic bag instead of an egg carton.
  • ·      You’re not really upset when a 30 minute bus ride takes 1 hour.
  • ·      You’re not angry when the bus stops for gas or runs personal errands.
  • ·      You buy clothes based on how difficult it will be to wash/dry.
  • ·      You talk about bowel movements everytime you are with other PCVs.
  • ·      Your new friends are the bugs, lizards, and bats living with you in your house.
  • ·      You are cognizant about being the worst dressed person in your village, yet you don’t care.
  • ·      You start talking to yourself and the green lizards in your house.
  • ·      People know you and can tell you where you live, etc, but you have no idea who they are.
  • ·      You spend your Saturday nights alone, and Friday nights too.
  • ·      Most of your friends are under the age of 12.
  • ·      Bug spray/deet is your new perfume.
  • ·      Laundry is an all day affair.
  • ·      Staying up past 9pm is considered a late night. Sleeping past 7am is considered sleeping in.
  • ·      You fall asleep on the bus ride from town while stuck in an overcrowded bus.
  • ·      You Double double up on words.
  • ·      You can only charge one electronic at a time because you are either limited by the number of outlets, or the number of plug adapters or both.
  • ·      You secretly enjoy the local [soca] music.
  • ·      You have no shame, you can never act more crazy than they already think you are.
  • ·      Bugs are the size of small rodents.
  • ·      You lost track of how many marriage proposals you’ve received.
  • ·      You’ve read more books in the last 3 months than you have in all of high school.
  • ·      You’ve come to expect the unexpected.
  • ·      Hot water from the faucet seems weird.
  • ·      You only have one functioning utility at a time-either no water, no electricity, or no gas tank.
  • ·      You start and end your day cleaning and washing dishes.
  • ·      You match your sweat rag to your outfit.
  • ·      You just eat the tiny ants has now become a much needed protein source.
  • ·     You shake out and check your shoes for bugs before putting them on.
Follow the link to see where I got this inspiration:

Please check back later as this list will surely grow :-)