Tag Archives: Lymric

Running Dialogue

3 Oct

Lucky is one of Mamas sons and, by relation, my 48 year old black brother.
It’s his birthday today. He told me “today’s mi earthday”.
Cute, eh?

Right, so anyway…
A few days ago I signed up to run in my first race ever; a 10k called Reggae Marathon “which is honestly more marathon than reggae”, says Adam.
It’s two months away and most of the young women in my group (81, represent!) are participating so it’s awesome talking motivation, training schedules, and ultimately to encourage one another on race day. I’m psyched / praying I don’t embarrass myself.

Speaking of psyched, some of you Americans have come much closer to buying a plane ticket to visit this island in the sun. I wrote some added encouragement in the form of a limerick designed to simplify my life and attract you to me.

You’ve always wanted to see, travel, and explore
I said, “Come to Jamaica, where there are adventures galore!”
All day with children we read, farm, learn, and play
Had such a blast you decided to stay…
Welcome to The Peace Corps 🙂

On that note, I’m going to go and get ready for school.
Have a happy day, and BOOK THAT TICKET!
Stay sweet,

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 🙂

Peanut Land

27 Jul

All this week I popped out of bed
Made breakfast, did chores, and I said
Not all white girls are “stoosh”
As proof I went into the bush
But now I’m so tired I feel like I’m dead!

It’s Peanut Time and everyone, everyone has peanuts to harvest.

The Process:
Once peanuts reach maturity (approximately 3 months after planting) they need to be pulled. For this you arrive at the farm early in the morning (because “It’s so hot in Elim that…”). You pull up the peanut plants by their roots, shake off excess dirt, and leave them in large piles to dry in the sun for several days.
An acre of land could take 5 people 3 full days to pull.

Once the peanut plants are no longer in the ground, organized into messy piles, and have dried in the sun for at least 3 full days, you can begin the process of actually ‘picking’ the peanuts off of the plant.
This activity, blessedly, can be done in the shade but has to be done sooner rather than later because birds, unfortunately, also like peanuts.
This same acre takes those same 5 people 5 more days to pick and sort.

I'm day dreaming about ice cream

These peanuts, in their shells, lay out in the sun (yes, again) for 3 more days.
By this time they are “well dry” and so am I.
Time to get hydrated.

The next activity, although not as urgent, but just as tedious involves cracking the shells and retrieving the nuts. Hours (and now days) of my life have petered away during this mindless, (but necessary) task.

Suffice to say I’ve had peanuts at every meal; peanut porridge, parched peanuts, rice ‘n peanuts, peanut dumplings, peanut juice, peanuts on my salad, peanuts in my oats, peanut cakes, peanut drops, and on and on.
I’ve done little else this past week.
And what I have done has been at night.
And always in front of the fan.

Tonight, pray for me to have creamy, sugary, cold (think peanut-dairy) wet-dreams.

Yours until the ice ages,
‘mi 🙂