The Warm-up Is Over

Sunset on the way to play soccer.The honeymoon has ended. I’ve been in my site for 4 (plus) months now, which means a couple of things.

  1. I am comfortable in my site. I call my apartment home.
  2. The Peace Corps expects me to start doing projects and to report on them.
  3. My language is better than terrible.

All these things are pretty positive, so I thought that would mean August, and onward, would be great. Wrong. The newness of everything has worn off. My desire for a busy schedule and to be productive is competing with an inclination to stay in my house. Luckily, my señoras keep me honest because they ask me where I’ve been if I don’t visit them at least weekly.

I call it the slumps. I’m torn between being happy with what I’m doing and bummed about what I haven’t done. I’m teaching life skills and English classes. So, I have that going for me…which is nice. But, I haven’t studied Guaraní enough to speak it or understand it on a basic level. I still have 38 (of 50) families I have to interview for my community census—an important tool for setting a baseline of health conditions in my site and a required project. There’s more, but this is my blog not one of my to-do lists.

I’ve gained a huge appreciation for self-employed people and almost fondness (almost being the key word) for billable hours—only because setting your own schedule is an insane exercise in self control and sticking to that schedule is a task of self motivation worthy of a gold medal.

Despite the darkness, I can see the light. A weeklong training with the other volunteers in my group earlier this August; some long conversations with volunteers about their lives, projects, and dreams; Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder; lists of victories and goals; and the friendliness of people in my community are pushing me up the hill.