Excess vs. Not-quite-enough

28 Jul

Aloha loyal readers!

I got good rest last night [with delicious (albeit interrupted) dreams!] and I am feeling fortified enough to risk savage bites on my flesh in order to type this blog post.

Can you feel my love?

These ants are small but feisty.
And their is a never-ending parade of them around my house!; my sink, my bed, and worse – invading my ice-cream-dreams.
They bite hard and steal food 😦

What else do I have plenty of?!
They still haven’t abated. In fact, they’ve worsened.
To combat this I am always moving limbs in order that they don’t land on me. This activity creates more exertion than necessary in this sweltering heat and I feel it is incredibly inconsiderate.

I also have had a spike in cockroaches.
I spied one on my bathroom door, marked it for dead, swatted really hard at it, missed, and effectively catapulted it directly towards me. This yielded hysterical movement resembling some really cool dance steps…I hope.
Also, I found a cockroach in my wardrobe, hanging-out in the cup of one of my bras. This was rude and awfully fresh behavior. And has resulted in me distrusting every article of clothing in my possession. I have since adopted a ceremonious shake-out of all of my clothes before putting them on…hours of my life will be wasted on this action…

On a (possibly) related note I cannot stop itching myself all over my body.

And, in a circuitous bug story: It’s intense guava season right now (short but emphatically prolific). I am currently on mission-guava-juice. I hate to see anything waste and am outside everyday collecting, washing, juicing. Still, pounds drop from the trees in seeming mockery of my efforts. I’ve gotten a few nasty scratches from my new-found hunter/gatherer instincts. I don’t mind the scratches (they make me look tough), it’s the gnats, covering every millimeter of my open wounds, that freak me out. They follow me around causing an uncanny resemblance to one of those starving African children in need of a sponsor.

I'll get you my pretties!

All of these things (bugs and guavas) I have in excess.
There are, however, some things that I am lacking. Or, at least, there is a noticeable absence of (water, electricity, and chocolate – off the top of my head).

More information:
Since I have returned from America the electricity here has been inconsistent (at best), the water scarce, and chocolate, well, it’s just missing.

Anticipating this, Peace Corps has thoughtfully provided a lantern and blue water canister, which really do help. But owing to sheer amounts of time-without-power I have hours to sit in the dark and ponder this lack of basic amenities.

Before I moved to Jamaica I was both always eating chocolate and never considering the topic of infrastructure. If someone had asked me where does drinking water come from I would probably have said ‘from the tap’, of course. The providence of electricity was equally mysterious. It seemed to somehow involve lightning, a kite, a key, and power inside walls.

This is all changing as I notice, with alarm, that current gets cut off daily, good chocolate does not reside in every country, and water is no longer streaming from the tap. I have resolved to reformat my life without chocolate (I mean, I did join the Peace Corps) but the other essentials?
Reflection has made me strangely poetic. Here is a limerick addressing the heat and water-shortage:

It’s my hottest summer on record by chance
So warm I opt only to take corpse-pose stance
No clouds are showing
Nor is the water flowing
Does anyone know a rain-dance?

Don’t worry yourselves, though. Because, while I am not exaggerating I am managing. There is a river out back for a quick bath, and water does occasionally fall from the sky.
This experience is simply giving me a few, er, ‘age-old’ questions to ponder.

In Peace Corps news, the new batch, group 82 (a high number, I know), arrived on our ant riddled island a few weeks ago. Through feedback from us (currently serving volunteers) our staff organized a Volunteer Shadow Day where the newbies were paired with ‘seasoned volunteers’ and saw “A Day in the Life”. I (being an aforementioned ‘seasoned volunteer’) was sent a trainee named Virginia; a flexible, adaptable, girl who is going to make a stupendous Peace Corps Volunteer. It was super fun imparting wisdom (slip on shoes are essential), scheduling meetings (that got canceled, just so she’d get the ‘real’ experience), picking guavas, making juice, shelling peanuts, liaison-ing at the high school, and visiting community members. Can’t wait to spend time with the rest of that bunch 🙂

And here’s a picture of my favorite farmer, Ledah.
Topics covered included: Where in the world is Jamaica??? And the specific countries that eat dogs. Ledah was shocked by this unknown fact but quickly recovered and informed me of some islands that he had heard about near Jamaica that actually eat cats. While I could neither confirm nor deny this we located said islands and imagined what dogs and cats might taste like. (Goose and Tyger looked up at us pitifully).
It was all great fun as the world is such a fascinating place.

“Dis a whole ting a school!”, he said in awe.

In upcoming events I have a party to go to on Saturday!!!!!
I’m so excited! It’s all my community has been talking about for months!
Dancing (well, kind of) and loud music.
I told Dita I’d be arriving at about 9pm.
“NO!”, she said. (Apparently that’s too early)
“Must be about 2am I’m going” she told me.

If everyone feels the way she does I’ll be the only one there for a few hours and then long gone/asleep by the time anyone else has arrived.
I’ll keep you posted.
Should be good.

Things you can’t have too much of:
Peace, Chocolate, Love & uncomfortable too-long hugs,
‘mi 🙂

8 Responses to “Excess vs. Not-quite-enough”

  1. matthew July 28, 2011 at 10:02 pm #

    I follow The Great Soul Filled Mi’s…..via W.W.W.

    Such a talented writer….

    Moved I am by your choice…..


    • Sammi Travis August 22, 2011 at 9:18 pm #

      Mr. Van Hook — your flattery makes me grin…


  2. deekers July 29, 2011 at 1:10 am #

    Sammi, Sammi, Sammi. You wrote another wammi. You got me cringing with your picturesque descriptions of the non-human inhabitants sharing your house. And we thought camping was roughing it. What is astonishing to me is how upbeat you “sound.”

    I couldn’t be any prouder of you. All my love to you now and all the chocolate you want when you come home.


    • Sammi Travis September 16, 2011 at 8:44 pm #

      Deekers! This was easily the best comment you have ever written on my blog.
      I happily accept all of your love now and can not WAIT to cash in on all of the chocolate I want when i get home. You know how my memory is when it comes to promises. I suggest having some already stock piled. Speaking of stock…maybe you should buy some in the fair trade chocolate industry? or Lindz (sp?) Not as earth friendly but also a favorite (don’t tell nick).

      I’m beyond excited. 25 more nights!

  3. betsy July 29, 2011 at 2:53 am #

    SAMMI! I’ve been scratching my head and checking my calves ever since I read your latest blog. And tonight, while trying to move a plant, a thin branch grazed my neck and I nearly knocked the thing over trying to swat whatever it was that had attacked me. I’m glad I didn’t trip and break my face.

    Love de fruit. Hate de flies. Miss de girl.
    Loved hearing from you, Bets

    • Sammi Travis September 16, 2011 at 8:41 pm #

      Bets-a-loo! I hope by now you have stopped scratching. And that the houseplants are retaining their insect free complexions.
      It’s funny to hear you relating to me — but awful for you at the same time. Ha!

      I love you a lot.
      Thanks for your funniness.
      Thanks for your attention.
      And thanks for being you!
      Love. Always.

  4. Jerry Pitts July 29, 2011 at 4:27 am #

    Hi Sammi I would like you to try something, get a zip lock bag maybe several fill them full of water and but a penny in the pag with the water zip it up and place them around the house and see if the flyes go away ! Let me know how it goes ! Miss you Girl Friend

    • Sammi Travis August 22, 2011 at 9:16 pm #

      Well, I did it. And…they’re gone!!!
      Can you believe it?!? I hardly can!!
      I told my momma about it and she says they’re one in her house, too. That the season of flies is finally (finally!) over.
      But I know the truth.
      The copper water set them on their way.

      Thanks for the fantastic advice!!
      Love you 🙂
      You are sorely missed.

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