Sunday, July 15, 2007

Seeing the Light in August*


The days are rolling by but I feel like the last month is going to be like walking through concrete while watching people speeding by on the sidewalk… I found a fantastic apartment but will miss spending time with my host siblings and host parents. They are such a great family. Maybe they will let me eat dinner with them a few times a week….

I’m a little nervous about living on my own, but I know I’ll be fine. It’ll just be an adjustment and I’ll be able to have people come visit me more often, which I’m really looking forward to. I keep imagining covering the little balcony off my room with lots of hanging plants, drinking my coffee and watching the sunrise every morning. I’m thinking about using a grill instead of oil because of the fiasco in the Middle East and how bloody the oil trade is that the role in the current war and why the U.S. is supporting Israel without limits seems questionable. I’m also looking forward to being able to run up and down the stairs in my underwear when I’m running late as I often am…or just to be able to dance around the house half-naked, singing loudly and be in my own space….ahhhhh. So looking forward to it. I may sing and dance horribly, but there is no other release more complete than the total freedom of (both physical and emotional) self-expression.

I had a break down today in front of Sally. I didn’t intend to tell her anything and than I suddenly decided to talk to her about the money issue because I didn’t feel like I could take it anymore. I can't explain exactly what happened except that my role as an American was seen in terms of dollars rather than hands on assistance.

This brain-bagyo made me wonder if I needed to watch more carefully the impression that I give to others. I don't have much money but obviously more than most people do. I also know that I need the outlet of getting away from site once a month and can't stay in every weekend. I need to at least go dancing with my Filipino friends and blow off some excess energy.

I had a very productive day. I slept in until 9, showered and went to a barungay captains’ meeting which all cpts. of Siniloan were present. A brgy cpt. Offered to arrange for books to be sent from Manila. She has a contact there. (This amazed me when I mentioned this to the teacher that I could get books these dual master degree, very intelligent people looked at me and said but there are books on the shelf and I said but why are they on the shelves if classes have started and all textbooks have been distributed. But then they asked what would happen if we got rid of the old unused text books and the shelves were bare. They didn’t like to waste the space. I said we would fill it with books that were coming that people would actually use…I guess they didn’t expect to get the books and I was amazed that they didn’t think that they could get them…The cultural divide of those that are used to getting everything they want and ask for and those who ask for everything and almost always are disappointed. Isn’t it funny how differently my co-workers and I think? Isn’t it sad the constant disappointment that they have to deal with?)

And I was feeling in much better spirits Monday moring. I ran a debriefing session with the journalism class and then had a language lesson with Donald. The day was going well. Then, I was told that I would only be able to distribute Dengue material to classroom advisors and leave it up to them to discuss it in the homerooms rather than starting a school-wide campaign.

So, I decided that I’ll just focus on the community and I’ll gather extra materials and bring it to the barungays and offer my assistance with the campaigns that they are supposedly running…I also will use this as a spring board to talk about doing an AIDS awareness campaign in Siniloan. Me, give up?! Ha!

*Light in August, William Faukner


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