Tag Archives: Sarcastic

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,

Butter, flying

23 Aug

Happy Tuesday All!

I’m here in Elim and I have no food in the house.
Save for peanuts.
Plenty of peanuts.

Did you know that 20lbs of uncracked peanuts sells for about $14.50 US?
Peanuts don’t weight that much.
That’s a lot of peanuts.
Peanuts for peanuts.

So, I have peanuts.
Everyone has peanuts.

“What do you do when you have hundreds of pounds of peanuts?”
I’m open to suggestions.
Anything but peanut butter.
That foray was an epic fail…:

Value added products are almost always a good idea.
‘Maybe Jamaicans could start marketing their own peanut butter??’, I thought.
Cooked, raw, honey added, salt free…Oh the butters we could make!
Maybe we could go organic!
I started to dream…
I have peanuts.
How bad could this be??

I allotted an entire afternoon for experimentation.

Peanut Sand

Hmm, looks like I need to add some oil….

“Blech!!!!!” – too much oil!
*grumble grumble*
(quick google search…)

There is more than one kind of peanut. At least four.
Who knew?
As you may have guessed, not all peanuts make peanut butter.
Wah wah.
Turns out, the kind we have in Elim? Not for peanut butter.
There is little hope in implementing a new kind of peanut around here since my community uses the nuts of this harvest as seeds for the next crop; cheaper and more efficient that way. Please start brainstorming various butter alternatives.

In severely more depressing news, a friend of Peace Corps and companion of mine, Tony, in Accompung, passed away last week. He had liver cancer and opted to stay in Jamaica living out his life rather than going through intensive and inconclusive radioactive treatment (for the second time). My blog is sarcastic and my transitions abrupt but I by no means intend any disrespect towards this man. On the night of his death I felt his presence around me and dreamt he was flying to heaven. If he heard that he would roll his eyes, laugh out loud, and say something sarcastic and crotchety — most likely about not believing in heaven.
Oh well, it’s already in print 🙂
I have fond memories of him as a generous individual and am sad he is no longer with us.

Rest in Peace, Tony

In absurdly-inappropriate positive news, my parents purchased a plane ticket for me to fly home!
I am really looking forward to vacation.
October 11th – 19th
9 days.
Woot woot!!
I am so grateful.

Also, this next week, the new Basic School is having its grand opening!
Do Do Do Dooooo!
My entire community is talking about it. They are so proud.
It’s the first new building up in Elim in over 30 years!
It is a huge accomplishment — Soon I will attach pictures of progress.

In other education news, I’ve been in contact with a school in Virginia, Woodland Elementary – Shout Out! We are conversing through a Peace Corps initiative called World Wise Schools. These students ask challenging questions about Jamaica and I have been busying myself Wikapedia-ing their answers. “What are Jamaicas top three exports??” I’ll tell you in 0.34 seconds…
It’s the start of a beautiful friendship.

Speaking of beautiful friendships look who I saw yesterday!
(Molly, skip this)

Polly want some Ackee

I have some friends who don’t like birds *cough cough* but…He’s green, and he’s hungry. I think these characteristics make him very relatable.
I like him.

Here, parrots usually hang out in flocks; devouring guavas, ackee, and peanuts (most Jamaicans think them a nuisance). I rather envy their bottomless stomachs while admiring their lively color and dreaming of taking flight myself.

But for now I will have to satiate my get-up-and-go desires through books.
They take me to another world.
This week I finished Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison (fabulous) and an awful book by Garrison Keillor albeit with a promising title, A Life in Comedy.

I don’t list all my books for you all the time because, well, I have a heart.
If you ever wanted to chat books, though, I welcome your input.
Please be aware that I read what’s available. Do not offer suggestions (unless prepared to send me a copy) as it is inconvenient to obtain books living on an island with a low literacy rate and on an even lower volunteer-salary.

In more personal reading-news, my dearest has started his own blog!
It’s clever: “In the Pursuit of…” and he’s a wonderful writer.
Nick told me he is not quite ready to make it open to fans so this is just a teaser. Feel free to harass him; it’s super fantastic and the public deserves access!!!
Hopefully a link will soon come.

Okay. That’s all I’ve got.
I’m going to go put on my peanut-thinking-cap and stare at birds in motion.

One Love,


17 Apr

Happy Sunday, ya’ll!

I’ve been in Jamaica for over a year now (I think I just like sayin’ that) and I’ve learned…well, something.
Here are some Pearls of Wisdom:

-Fruit is always in season and it’s delicious!

-Roosters do not crow only at dawn (although I wish they did).

-It’s routine – regardless if you know their name– to call people by:
1) Skin color or Ethnicity
2) Occupation or Current activity
3) Unique feature or Body part
Eg; Black man, Mr. Chin, Driver, Tall man, Big woman, Brown girl, Red shirt, One eye

-The louder the music, the bigger your cock.

-The ‘load basic html’ buttons were designed for developing countries.

-A letter/package with your name on it makes you the most loved person in the world!!

-Chicken tastes better when you saw it running around the day before you eat it. I can’t tell you why.

-No matter how many people are on a bus/taxi/coaster they can (and will) fit more.

-Stuffed animals are dirty, hard, decorative, and not to be snuggled.

-In patwa, three and tree are pronounced exactly the same. This gets confusing during a rousing game of word association.

-Everywhere – market, taxi park, a full bus – can turn into a place of worship with the addition of a preacher. Or a vocal man who thinks he is a preacher.

-A ‘salad’ is not green but rather, pale. It consists of a spoonful of shredded cabbage, grated carrot, plus a pinch of sugar.

-I can bathe with one gallon of water.

-It is normal for black, ‘fluffy’ women to wear skintight shirts with white pop-starlets screened on them. (what?!). Yes, Jessica Simpson, Shakira, Ashley Tisdale (who?) all s t r e t c h e d until they are barely recognizable. – I won’t pretend like I haven’t worn shirts like this at points in my life (I am a Britney fan) – but the contrast of big black womens bosoms distorting young blond airheads is pretty incredible. This being true, I’d like all of you to rest assured that when you see a shirt for sale that has a picture of someone really trivial/obscure pasted onto it (most likely because it was misread how popular said pop-star was going to be), it will be worn somewhere in the world and it will make a person who understands the absurdity of the situation laugh.

-If asked, say you’re “de pon da Gully side”.

-It is NEVER a good idea to be too lazy to refill the water bottles and put them in the fridge (see primero blog-o when I drank the last of the cold water). You never know when the water is going to cut out.

-Underwear can be worn inside-out for added longevity before washing.

-Popcorn is a cheap, fun vegetable.

-There is no way not to stand out if you’re a white person. This means nothing can be done under the radar ie, nonchalantly; nod head to music, scratch an itch in your nose, fix a wedgie.

-Wearing a ring and saying you’re married does not deter persistent Jamaican men. Wearing two rings also does not work.

-Laundry is best washed early in the morning so that 1) You don’t die of heat exhaustion and 2) It has ample time to dry before afternoon rain. Mold is terrible to get rid of. And stinks like death.

-If you have a dog she is going to try and eat poop; act accordingly.

-Don’t give your number out to women you’ve just met on a bus, they might text it to their son/brother/cousin or obsessively call you.

-Given the choice between spilling copious amounts of salt ALL over the floor or *catching it just in time* and sacrificing only a teeny amount of sugar in what seems to be one spot — spill the salt.
-In a very related ‘pearl’, ants are sugar FIENDS.

-If the right side of the road has too many potholes, drive on the wrong side.

-Mosquitoes are not, as I previously thought, a “dusk” bug…as in they only come out in the evening. I’ve been bitten by 8:30 AM, 1PM and Midnight.

– “It was raining” is an acceptable excuse as to why you didn’t do something/go out (as long as it did really rain for a few minutes on the day in question).

-Bring your own toilet paper.

-Sometimes your text messages don’t really send…sometimes they send x100…sometimes only half is sent; coming off like a jerk, psychopath or having ADD is to be expected.

-Always charge your phone/ipod/computer when the battery is low. You never know when you might be without power for an extended period of time.

-Oh, and don’t bother to quickly dry your soapy hands and then excitedly rush to the phone when you get a new text message – it’s probably just Digicel…again.

-Saying, “I’m a Peace Corps Volunteer” doesn’t get much street credit (I know, I’m surprised, too). Not only do Jamaicans not know what Peace Corps is, they are often not familiar with the verb ‘volunteer’.

-Don’t pet the dogs. Better yet, avoid dogs.

Sure, it’s a work in progress. But all this after a year?!
Try not to let your head explode.

Until next time:

Make good choices, play word association, eat your salad, don’t buy ridiculous pop t-shirts, and fill your water bottles.