Thursday, May 22, 2008

no working blues

OK... it’s morning. the lights have been out for a couple days. spoke to Paul. the water issues are due to recent plumbing work. new meter put in yesterday. 2 problems. meters got switched. paul has mine. i, the new one... and with that, extremely low water pressure. dirty, too. no big deal, though... no complaints. i have water. some don’t. Kay, for example. the trainees coming to Babadjou at the end of the month as well.

i got a bunch of letters from loved ones in Bamenda... often they’re bitter-sweet. so glad to hear from them and to know what they’re thinking/going through. yet so sad to read pain or sadness or anxiety in the letters and not be able to help... with at least a hug or kiss or just being there.

i was asked why my letters lacked detail about my living conditions. was i pampered? did i have a flush toilet? shower? electricity? i remember having a conversation with Greg about that. whether our “peace corps experience” was somehow less of one b/c we had amenities. many. our common opinion was that it’s not just about electricity and running water, or lack-there-of. there’s still the emotional tribulations, cultural frustrations and the work.

still, i can’t deny that going through all that in a mud hut, no electricity or water and inhospitable climate makes it... different. and yet i won’t accept someone telling me that i had it easy. but why am i looking to justify things like that to myself?

the same goes for my workload now. seeing and speaking with the other PCVs, and realizing how many more hours they have, had me feeling a little inadequate. some have 20+ hours! some are teaching in 2 schools. not just 2nd year PCVs, but my stage mates as well.

i’ve got 4 hours now. i do little work. soon i’ll reach 8 hours. i still find myself procrastinating from lesson prep. as little as there is. like right now, i’m writing here and rereading The God of Small Things. at least i’m not sitting around here idle and vegetating, right? i told several folks back at the slum that sometimes i feel more like a homemaker than a teacher. cooking, cleaning, washing, etc.

Mike says it took him until January to get used to / feel comfortable with the teaching thing. patience. of course. but i wonder whether i should look for other things to do... clubs, projects, more classes. whether more work will get me more involved and have me motivated to prepare more??? i don’t know... patience.

1 comment:

  1. IMAGE: a picture of me standing outside my house in wum. this was taken by my mother when she came to visit, 2-3 months after this "no working blues" journal entry was written.