Archive | May, 2011

Time flies

27 May

In my possession I have 6 different types of mangoes:
Big Head
East Indian

Boastfully I will add that this number doesn’t clarify the actual quantity I have.
A dozen x 4 🙂

Wretchedly, there is a dark side. — A yin to my yang.
In this case, the negative is plural and I call them ‘flies’; black winged creatures.
Their persistent, buzzing, disease-carrying-bodies are gross and omnipresent.

On a completely unrelated note, this week Mamma told me I was her best friend.
😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

On an even more unrelated note Hurricane Season is one week away — June 1st.
It’s been raining every afternoon like clockwork.

card sharks

If you haven’t heard, the world was supposed to end on Saturday.
It was all anyone talked about in Elim — The coming of Jesus Christ.
In fairness Mama stated “Not even the angels in heaven know when the Lord is to come so how can human?” Nevertheless, this was a hot, daily debated topic.

Fast forward to that fateful Saturday (aka DoomsDay):
I was in Kingston enjoying a relaxing weekend with Lori and Steven (who have both a hot shower a beautiful home. whoa.). So, the three of us went grocery shopping. At 9:42AM, the projected time of His arrival, whilst perusing stocked shelves, the power went out! Lori gasped, leaned in, and cryptically whispered, “He’s here!”

She thought it was hilarious.
I about had a heart attack.
True Story, as I really thought He might be coming.

Ahh, well. The day ended uneventfully: I finished Catch 22, drank delicious coffee, and watched Maid in Manhattan (an “academy award winner” next to the other television we watched that weekend) – it was sinfully gluttonous.

Like my mom, you might have noticed that it’s been awhile since my last post.
I have not noticed.

In fact, I spoke to Mamma Joey yesterday and she told me she was worried because she hadn’t heard from me in near two weeks. I rolled my eyes. We had just spoken; “Mom, I’m fine, we spoke on Friday. How was the Garage Sale?”
She responded, “The garage sale was last week, Sammi, May 13th”.
Touche, Mom.

So, why the delay? What have I been doing??
Yes, teaching everyday.
My community also (drum roll) started construction on a new basic school!!!

Plus, May was a big month for me:
1. My Mid Service Conference.
2. I have One Year left in Jamaica…more or less. Eeeeeee (!)

I’ve been in Jamaica for 14 months and here’s what I have to show for it:
My community knows who I am.
I am a proud dog owner.
I can pretty much speak and understand patois.
I have re-discovered a love for reading.
I am the walrus coo-coo-ka-choo (?)

Hmm, maybe I should stop doing this.
It’s hard to count up successes.
I mean, how do you quantify building trust with farmers, developing a family relationship, or an ability to navigate the public transportation system?

Speaking of public transportation, my shoulders are not as bony as I thought.
At first I was thrilled with this news.
Now I feel slightly displeased.

Where to start?
I am on the fence about public bus rides. Sometimes I feel like a little cuddle, so it’s nice; lately I’ve been sweating profusely, also there have been smelly people and flies all of which are annoying to no end. And, it can be awkward to say “I know we don’t know each other well but, would you mind if I sit on your lap?” Plus that constant thought of “Gee, I hope I don’t get robbed” is draining. There’s also the nausea that comes with the “corner, corner” in the roads and music so loud it’s hard to think and impossible not to get a headache.
Even still, lately people have fallen asleep on my shoulders (?)
I thought this would be uncomfortable. For them. (Obviously it is for me.)
And in the beginning I was bemused but lately I am hot, sticky, and grumpy.
I guess it’s inevitable with the amount of people per vehicle — As an environmentalist I’m impressed. In this way we can learn a lot from Jamaicans.
And perhaps you will get lucky and someone who smells good sits on top of you.
Or unlucky and get handed a child.
Or really unlucky and a dirty man will make sexual faces at you the entire ride.
No matter the scenario don’t have a full bladder. — that makes everything worse.

Until next time;
Kill all flies, say your prayers (as Mama says, “you never know when He will come”), and use the bathroom before taking long trips.

Love x the number of mangoes in Jamaica,

May Day

13 May

First things first:
Shout-out to my Mum, Emmy:
Happy (belated) Mothers Day!!
You are my role-model, inspiration, cheerleader, and constant support.
Thank you for all that you have done and all you continue to do.
I owe the woman that I am to you!
I will love you forever.
And ever.

Alright, Here’s what I’m thinking right now
– I renamed my tiny puppy — Tyger. ‘cause he’s ferocious and striped.
– I have an itch on my leg. And one on my neck, my back, my ankle…uh oh…
– I like procrastinating (I *should* be working on a lesson plan for school.)
– Having a clean house, clean clothes, and a ‘made’ bed is oh-so productive.
– Mangoes are VERY good. I eat them twice a day. Nay, Thrice. Fresh off the tree. (Yes, I’m gloating.)

Quick recap of wha gwan in May:
Allow me to start off by stating *just* how happy I am that it is, in fact, May!!!! Eeeeeee!! 😀
Big UP to Group 81 for making it to our Mid Service Conference! I’m proud to be part of such a cohesive, positive, respectful coalition of people.

At our Conference (the entire first week of May!) I got a chance to reconnect with friends, play beach volleyball, and most importantly, drink virgin strawberry daiquiris for lunch AND dinner. At times like these it’s easy to love PC Jamaica!

On a more serious note, I also got the chance to recommit myself to the Peace Corps service and hear about other peoples experiences/challenges. PC Jamaica has gone through many changes recently and I am inspired to report that we currently have a wonderful staff as well as an impressive set of volunteers. — it’s amazing the sense of solidarity and motivation that these people provide for me!

After the conference, I hosted three couchsurfers (Belgium/Panama/Canada)! All ladies. Two were dancers who stretched with me (super awesome), and the third spoke French and Arabic fluently so we practiced our language skills!
Yay de nouvelles cultures! 🙂

On the frustrating front..
…Um, one of my puppies was stolen.
What the….?? Yeah, I know. Jamal. Tiefed (aka, taken by a thief).
I wish I could explain this. It’s bizarre. Seriously. Like there aren’t enough puppies running/barely-moving-because-they-have-worms-in-their-bellies that are going to die a slow and painful death that they *had* to take the one that was going to live. Grrrr! This is why I renamed Tyrone, Tyger.
We are trying to move on after our very upsetting loss.

…My *waterproof* stopwatch got water in it and now it won’t work. It won’t even register the time. Hrumph. I was on a long bicycle ride and got caught in a powerful downpour that, apparently, submerged my wristwatch more than 100ft underwater!! It was epic!!!! To be honest, I wouldn’t have estimated us to be *exactly* flooded under 100ft of water but according to the manufacturer, “there is no other explanation”. I am very displeased.

…The spider population had a spike; they are HUGE, fuzzy, and everywhere.
…Also, the mosquitoes are extra prolific; sneaking their nasty selves indoors.
…And, I have an ant issue. In my bed, on my floor, the walls, my yoga mat…
I have bites all over! The itching is incessant and terrible. I can’t sleep.
…To add insult to injury, there is a new bug in my life; half moth, half worm, and as plentiful as blades of grass in the yard. There are thousands of them, every night! Ew. They squeeze their way through the cracks in my door to bask in artificial sunshine. They can’t all fit, though, and each morning I open my door to a carpet of dead bodies covering my veranda. In some places the debris is an inch thick! It’s gross. In a cruel turn of events, if I don’t sweep them off immediately their dead-worm-bodies provide fodder for ants which swarm, devour the bodies, and leave the wings. This then creates excess wingage that is lighter than a feather and susceptible to the slightest breeze (ie. a dog walking by). These wings get blown around and land inside my abode by the hundreds; coating my dishes, spice-rack, books ect. I am both rebuffed and repulsed.

…There is a rumor going around my community that I’m a lesbian.
I credit recent female couchsurfers. And while it’s not at all true (in fact, highly amusing) it does, potentially, pose a bit of a safety risk. Maybe I’ll start wearing a picture of Nick around my neck? I’m open to suggestions.

…Uggh, this bad-news-lady, Marsha, moved down the road from me, next to Mama. She got evicted from her house last night and is now living with her children up the road. This has very negative potential. Her bad pickni (kids) are young and rude! They beg, cling, and steal; I am dreading encountering them everyday.

…Lastly, errr, my hair is falling out. Hmmm. Dunno why? A hopeful hypothesis I have is that the weather is getting hotter. But all I know is I am shedding way more than usual. On the plus side, I think I remember this happening last year…

Highlights from last week:

At the conference:
– Emphasis on all-you-can-drink frozen strawberry daiquiris!
– And the all-you-can-eat cooked, delicious, food – with NO DISHES!!!!
– Room with an ocean view/swimming in the ocean/beach volleyball
– Dancin’ with the girls/feeling safe hangin’ with the boys!
– Watching a video in patwa, for the second time (the first was a year ago, in training.) What a difference a year makes; we all understood the entire clip!
Yay for comparable progress!!!

Since I’ve been home:
– Laundry was scrubbed, wrung, hung, CLEANED!!!! This was (way) overdue.
– I spent time with Ledah, one of my favorite farmers.
– I’ve been teaching consistently at the local High School (!)
– Saw a full rainbow – Both ends in my yard! (Yeah, Nick didn’t believe it, either)
– I’ve gotten better at catching mosquitoes in my hand and killing them (ie, not just letting them go). This is an acquired ninja skill and I’m proud.

Things I miss desperately…

…My *waterproof* stopwatch. This was crucial in motivating me to cycle several minutes longer or to run a few seconds more (hey, every moment counts).

…Drews Poppy Seed Dressing. Luxurious, tasty, and not-so-local. This was a departing gift from my dearest mother back in April. I’ve been eating a lot of salad as of late and, well, seems like I’m back to picking up preservative-laden-dressing in Santa Cruz.

…My multi-tool. I lent mine out (silly me) and, well it’s a long story. Okay, fine, I’ll tell you. The boy I lent it to claims it got stolen (wtf?). I’ll never see it again. Well now, you’re right, that wasn’t so long.

…Mason Glass Drinking Jar. Simone gave me this while I was in the generous United States of America. I carefully packaged it during my travels and it arrived safely in Jamaica. I used it everyday (until yesterday) when I carelessly I left it on the ground while I answered my phone, kicked it, and RIP glass-mason-jar.

…Granola. I just love granola.

– Two couchsurfer girls from Sweden (let the rumors keep on!)
– High School presentations on healthy lifestyles. Should be good.

Thank you for your patience while I took two weeks to get this blog posted.
I’ve actually been BUSY!!!
It’s been wonderful 🙂

I look forward more interactions/emails/blog comments.
Thanks for being involved my life.
And thanks for reading.
You guys totally rock.

I Love You,

P.S. Oh, and sorry there’s no photos…the internet won’t load them…also…I didn’t take any. AHahaha. I’ll work on that.