Heading back to the real world today. In other words, I have to face the real Peace Corps reality again for the first time in a while. I feel sad having said goodbye to some visitors that I truly love and having to go it on my own again for a while, but at the same time I feel a bit excited to discover what my community has in store for me as I head back on my own. We had the chance to throw together some kids activities, go to the swimming hole nearly every day, play dominoes with friends in the community and just hang out and talk – it was a really cool way to not only allow Jess and Steph to get to know the community but to enhance my relationships with the community too. I was able to be more involved with the kids and some of the families because of their presence and I hope that precedent continues as I return to Las Barreras.
It was a definite blessing having people around, but in a way it was tough for me to give up my routines that I had formed over the past few months. Some people might see this as an “oh my how selfish” kind of thing to feel, but I think its a good sign; let me explain. In my life routines including reading daily (especially involving the Bible), praying, and taking time to myself have been anything but routine in my life. A struggle for sure, and something that I had to truly discipline and force myself to do. Now I have begun to feel more empty when I don’t have my hour to devote to the Psalms, the Bible and My Utmost for His Highest. So a combo of missing this routine and simply not being used to accommodating others in my life led me to these feelings of encroachment on my ways of doing things. Of course these thoughts are irrational since I love being with others, being hospitable and accommodating other’s needs, but its interesting how things can change when you get used to a certain way of things. Really shows how our circumstances can create very different personal behavior and change the balance of extroversion/introversion and other simple emotional responses. Anywho, moral of the story was that it was weird taking care of people (outside myself) for the first time in a while but it was amazing, and it reminded me how much I miss that kind of interaction. AKA it was lovely. Hopefully I will be able to supply some photos from the last few weeks soon.
So yeah, I have been taking a break from working on my primary water system project to hang out with the kids and community for the last few weeks, but things are still coming along. I have a presentation in 10 days to discuss the data I have collected about the community and their health/water/sanitation needs. I also am working with the water committee, working on finishing the water system design and budget so I can start petitioning money from World Vision, the local city government and any other NGO that might be willing to contribute. AKA I am busy. Its kinda nice, but I know it won’t last because once I am finished with the design and budget it will be a lot of waiting for money to arrive. But there is always more work to do – that is the benefit I suppose of being in a place that needs just about every foundational piece of basic infrastructure.
In other news, we finished our latrine so I no longer have to poop in the woods! My family loves to take care of me, which is nice, but very different since I am used to taking care of myself. Takes a bit of patience and humility but I still jump in with a “I CAN do this” attitude every once and a while just so I don’t feel like a complete baby. But still a lot of the time I just go with the flow, because hey, its nice to be taken care of sometime.
No more reflections for now, I am just thinking of getting back. We’ll talk soon. Thanks for the thoughts and prayers.