Tag Archives: Funny

Resume builder

11 Mar

Right, so I owe you all an update for February but this will have to do: My time in Jamaica is coming to a close and I have been busy with school work, busy with job work, busy with community work, and did I mention really really busy?

Among the recent things I’ve done? Update my resume. Here are some excerpts:

Samantha Travis
Jamaica, West Indies
Peace Corps Volunteer; March 2010 – Present

• Assisted in writing successful grant. Awarded $200,000US. Built new school.
• Developed curriculum. Taught leadership classes weekly; empowered students.
• Created parameters for J’can women to amplify recycled card enterprise.
• Conducted 12 workshops honing business, advertising, and financial expertise.

But then I was all like, ‘wait! there’s more’:
• Increased literature consumption; completed > 155 books.
• Received 32 marriage proposals. Improved sense of humor.
• Hosted parasite; eliminated 9 pounds of needed body weight in 9 hours.
• Administered shockingly cold bucket baths at least 2x per week.

And then I was all like, ‘I need to save space. Can this be simplified?’:
•Humbled by a 26 month third-world ego plunge. Retained buoyant optimism.

More soon come.
Until then,

Give it some veracity

9 Oct

Among my friends it’s common knowledge that I am able withstand crazy amounts of cuts, bruises, and injuries without complaint (except for that epic splinter one time – but Nick ended up agreeing that it was really big.)

So you can imagine how dire the situation was when I woke up in the middle of the night in searing agony. My running shoes had inflicted a large blister on the sole of my left foot which I had diligently ignored; trusting my body to take care of itself. When the blister burst I washed the area thoroughly but assumed the hole where it popped was too small for anything to enter.

I’ve been wrong before.

At 10pm I was limping all over the house, tears falling down my face.
I waited as long as I could. Braved it out. Acted tough.
But at 10:05pm I could stand no more — I broke down and called the Peace Corps nurses: Viola sleepily answered, calmly listened to my diagnosis, and verbally outlined the procedure.

Two Tylenol, surgery-with-scissors, a bucket full of soapy water, q-tips, gauze, tape, and several exhausting hours later I had things under control. I know this because I was no longer crying.

Whilst busy congratulating myself on my first ever successful operation — not many doctors would have been able to complete these challenging incisions without amputating my foot — the biggest cockroach I have EVER SEEN ran across my floor. I glowered at it for ruining the imagines of clean, sanitary medical facilities in my mind and, heaving a sigh, did what every good patient does — gimped off to bed to get some rest.

Let’s see, what else?

In bug news:

– The mosquitoes are in attack mode. – it’s a myth that they are only out at certain times of the day.

– I had moths in my rice. They were flying around inside of a sealed bag. I felt very confused and disgusted since they probably laid moth larve that were the exact color of the long, brown rice grains. The dogs can eat ’em. I’ll cook it up later.

– This continual ant problem has those freaks crawling all over my dishes while they dry and I have 2 problems with this: (1) it sort of makes me feel like I need to wash my dishes again and (2) when I grab a pot and start boiling some water, a few ants stowaway somehow. This leads to me finding little ant corpses in my boiling water or tea. (that’s right, sometimes I don’t notice until the tea’s already been made. Yummy).

In activity news:

– I finished Shantaram and Gullivers Travels (I suggest the abridged version.)

– My Annual General Farmers Meeting went really well on Thursday! We opened with a prayer, reviewed the minutes, heard our committee report, listened to a guest speaker, entertained open dialogue and new issues, had elections, and ended with juice and bald cupcakes (Note: a cupcake without icing is a muffin and it was just wishful thinking on my part that they had, in fact, been cupcakes.)

– At a PTA meeting (that started 2.5 hours late) there were 14 mothers and 20 children all running around, crying, talking, playing, and breast feeding. At one point 2 men walked in and the room erupted into spontaneous applause with several of the women calling out “we have two daddy!” (which is not grammatically correct, but I can only be expected to do so much.). Imagine being a father who attends a PTA meeting and your mere presence inspires cheers and commotion. Bizarre.

– Also, I still sometimes pretend like I know what someone says when I don’t understand their patwa. My limit is three times of saying “eh??” before I say “alright.”

In other news:
I leave for AMERICA on TUESDAY.
My official countdown is less than 3 days!!!!
I’m psyched.
Mom, Dad (don’t be sleeping), and Nick are picking me up at the airport!
Until I see everyone, I’m going to be stalking you all on facebook.
Keeping it classy,

Rain is not contagious

30 Sep

Things I am doing right now:
Eating rice and tomatoes.
Listening to the rain fall on my roof.
Loving the weekend.

I’ve had a stellar week of exercising:
Climbing a mountain. (finding a waterfall and its refreshing source)
Rock lifting.
Hora dancing (L’Shana Tova to di worl’!)

And a productive week of work:
First PTA meeting at our new school commenced with an unprecedented 100% turnout!!!!!!!!!

The Elim Community Friendly Society Farmers Group is planning our Annual Meeting — October 6th for any of you who can make it out. We are talking about all of our successes over the past year, troubles we anticipate encountering, and, of course, our vision for the future. All of us farmers are all putting in lots of work organizing this high profile event. It should be great.

As usual, I am continuing empowerment and positivity teachings with the prefects at Sydney Pagan Agricultural High School. However, this week I encountered difficulties due to the rainy season. As we all know, rain brings mosquitoes. Droves of mosquitoes. But there is nothing quite like Jamaican mosquitoes. This year, they attacked me. I have hundreds of bites all over my body. Literally. The blood suckers marks are no longer identifiable. Ie, they no longer resemble circles or typical ‘bug bites’ — they have multiplied, bite on top of bite; festering, swelling, blistering, oozing. So many different reds, pinks, whites…I never knew mosquitoes to disfigure a person. It’s awful. Not to mention really hard to promote “healthy lifestyles” when the students are convinced they’re gunna catch something from you.

Silver Lining:
Always one too look on the positive side, the rain has also brought rainbows!
Three this week!
One was even a double 🙂 🙂 🙂

I am planning on visiting the river, doing homework with children/impressing them with math skills, and reading a fabulous book this weekend; Shantaram.
If 900 pagers are your thing I highly suggest checking it out.
TGIF, ya’ll!


Total Package

14 Aug

Happy Weekend, Dear Ones!

August has been magical (owing, in part, to Harry Potter which I had been trying for weeks to locate, finally found in the form of a bootleg copy sold by a shady street-corner-man in downtown Kingston, hurried home (faster!), shoved the not-very-legitimate-looking-DVD into my computer and…abracadabra…it worked!!! More, part I and part II are on this tiny disc! A charmed life :))

And that party was awesome, thanks for asking.
You remember, right? That one that didn’t start until ‘the next day’.
Well, yours truly went and stayed until 6am!!!
I think I’m really integrating.
Memories from that night:
-Walking a mile to get there in the dark. With potholes. I used my headlamp.
-Cows ‘Moooo’ing as we passed.
-Arriving, the party was in the middle of a field, completely outside.
-Thus, the party was dark; lights came from parked cars pointed in the “party direction”.
-Music was loud. Really, really loud.
-Drinks were, of course, sold at double the price and water was triple! I, personally, walked to a nearby shop (my friends) and was sold drinks at regular prices plus given water for free 🙂
-Weed was sold for $2.50 US by the stick (about 2 feet).
-People ruined their shoes because of the wet grass turned to mud. (Yours truly wore crocs!)
-Dancing!!! Grooving!!!
-Walking home I didn’t need my headlamp because the sun was already shining!

A few days later…
I went to church (I’m dynamic like that) and struck up a conversation with a community member who did not attend the party.
“Sam!”, she said, “I heard you was at the party!”
“Yup” I started cautiously, worried where this might go. This was, after all, my first all-night party and, being a teacher in this small village I do not want anything to slander my good name. Could I go and have a fabulous time yet still be conservative and maintain my reputation even in church???
“I heard that you danced but didn’t wine ’cause your hubby don’t want you to” she continued.
I beamed
“Yes, this is true.” I said as a smile crept across my face.
“And”, she winked, “I heard you can really boogie”

I went to a party!!!
Stayed all night!!!!!
Avoided nasty rumors!!!!!!!!!!
Life is goooooood!!!!

And then, icing on my party cake, I went into Kingston and picked up MAIL!!!
I received THREE awesome packages from four incredible people!
(Tears happened when I read my birthday card messages because I miss you all so much — Luckily there was chocolate in the package so I was able to drown my sorrows right then and there).

Colleen and Brennan:
That granola, those cookies, toaster pastries (only a few ants had gotten into them), luna bars, chocolate nut mix…MmmmmM!!!!!!!! Thank you so so much! It was an incredibly well thought out package 🙂 I loved the polar bear card (I think it’s working! I feel colder.) and the gorgeous notebook (especially the sentiments inside!). I really appreciate the healthy, hearty rice (I’m cooking it with peanuts, Oh, peanuts.), and the delicious smelling deodorant (perfect timing! tmi?)
It was so thoughtful of you to organize and send this full-of-love present filled with good cheer!
I have been relishing the change of scenery this box has brought into my home (I put the card up on my wall and it is a PLEASURE to open my fridge and see all these new, exciting, foreign contents!!).
As you can probably imagine, I picked through the nut mix and ate out all of the chocolate already but am still holding out hope that I missed some pieces… Sick, I know.

Your package full of gardening supplies finally made it here!!
There was so much cool stuff in this box (the items just kept ‘one-upping’ each other, ha!).
A Gardeners Handbook, Soil testing, fruit, flower, veggie seeds, and then a letter with a bit of a monetary treat!!!!!!! Eeek!!!! Yay!!!!! Thank you so much!!!!! I have plans to use that money very wisely (on a couple of slices of pizza in a very expensive part of the island.) I know of one place (Paradise Patty) to buy pizza less than one hour from me and they use ketchup instead of tomato sauce (gross) and cheese that doesn’t melt (is it plastic??). But THIS money is going towards a real, honest-to-goodness, piece of tourist pizza!!!!! Wahoo!!!!!! I’m going to travel hours to go and get it. 🙂
Thank you thank you thank you thank you!!!

The camera USB worked! Yes!!!! Thank you for brainstorming ways to get me out of that miserable funk. That was so frustrating! Thank you for sending the USB and camera card (just in case). You sent them so promptly and I really appreciate having them! Ironic (let’s laugh about it) that there are no pictures on this blog post. Sorry about that. *whistles nonchalantly* Soon come! And, at least I have the option!! You’re very good at showering me with acts of service. (next time write a note, ha!) I love you, goofball 🙂

And, for those of you who have sent me packages in my past, that is, before I started a blog, I really appreciate those gifts as well [and hope I conveyed that to you in a very lengthy (if not public) and appreciative e-mail!].

I hope that your month is going as well as mine.

Tied with a Bow.
Sealed with a Kiss.


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,