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Almost Over It

In the "Cult of Escapism": Almost Over It

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Almost Over It

(From July 12)
I'm leaning against a tree, eating an ice cream and watching a 14 year old repeatedly stall a manual truck. It's humid – it's always humid – and my biggest accomplishment today was being the only person to attend a meeting that I was invited to. I'm not quite over it these days, but I'm pretty damn close.

The volunteers from my group and I have exactly three months of service left and the majority of us have checked out. The inconveniences and idiosyncrasies we've joked about throughout our services are now morphing from funny to unbearably annoying and the thought of returning to an easier, more familiar life with better food is ever present. America, we long for you.

Some recent snapshots:

An artisan group invites me to a meeting at the president's house at 10am. At 10:15, I'm the only person there. Not even the president is there and the meeting is in her house. I'm over that.

On a bus ride that I know will last at least 6 hours anyway, the driver stops and waits for 15 minutes for his girlfriend to show up, make out with him for five minutes in the seat right next to me and then leave. I'm over that.

A random pedestrian in my town asks me for money. Over that.

Rice, beans and chicken for lunch again. Over it.

Kids bang on my door at 6:30am until I wake up and let them in. Over. It.

Members of the tourism group bicker over personal issues while we're supposed to be planning for a visit of 46 tourists. I'm so over that.

But then, at 6:00pm, the skyline west of my house is fading from red to deep blue and a hummingbird flutters past me on its way to a flower. I haven't spoken to my boss in about a month, because I don't have to, and I'm the only person that controls my calendar for the next five weeks. And for the five weeks after that. I can't get across town without stopping and chatting every three minutes and between then, there are constantly people (mostly kids) shouting “Yak!” from their porches. I haven't worn a tie in over a year. I have a good book waiting under my hammock, plenty of food and snacks from the U.S. and perhaps most importantly, projects that still need work – that will always need work – but have a decent chance of outlasting me.

So I'm not done yet. It may be oppressively hot and itchy leaning against this tree, but the ice cream in my hand is cold and satisfying and makes me think that there's still plenty to enjoy about the next three months.


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