In Other News... - Angie's Peace Corps (Namibia) Adventure
Feb. 20th, 2006
05:48 pm - In Other News...
A pretty big change occurred this weekend- I no longer live with my host family. I moved down the dirt road, to the hostel at the secondary school. I have some new roommates- fellow PC Volunteers! I am now staying with Sandra & Dylan, the married couple you might have heard me talk about before. I moved in on Saturday and it’s going just fine. They are married & they are teacher volunteers so I give them breathing room & space to do their own thing I kinda feel bad about having moved in with them, eventhough they are extremely awesome about it & happy to have me there. But they’re married and I can’t help but feel like I’m in the way. The good thing is that we are all the same age, we share the same tastes in music & books, and we get along just fine. We used to hang out often even before I moved in, so it’s going to be okay. I have my own room which I have already set up in its entirety- except for the mosquito net. I haven’t put it up yet cause well, it’s a pain in the arse to do so. It is only Monday and I’m really enjoying my time there. I have some peace and quiet, and I eat whatever I want to eat. I’m having fun experimenting in the kitchen. Dyl-San & I share the kitchen so sometimes I eat what they’re eating, and sometimes they’ll just eat what I’m eating.
It’s nice that I’m only a 10-15 minute walk away from my host family’s house. They had a hard time w/ me moving out, but it was something that had to happen. For one, they don’t fit the housing requirements required by PC. And second, I just really needed my space/privacy/sanity. As I’ve said, they are wonderful people and they’ve been nothing but fantastic to me. But peace of mind, privacy, and being able to do your own thing are extremely important- especially when you’re a foreigner in a foreign land trying to get comfortable in a bunch of new situations. Yesterday I passed by their house to visit because I told them I’d still stop by often. I will go when I finish here also. They are after all the people that I have been (and will continue to do so) working with closely. The mom especially was really sad to see me leave. It was weird. I only moved down the street but it seemed like it was such a big deal. It gave me a tiny glimpse into what it’ll be like to have to say goodbye to everyone I meet & befriend here when I leave for good. Strange to have a glimpse of that so early on.
This was the 6th or 7th time I’ve moved since I’ve been in Namibia. Remember, we’ve moved around a few times during training & I changed jobs/ location. Originally I was supposed to be in Swakopmund to work for the Ministry of Education. I have no regrets about switching, if you’re wondering. It wasn’t fun having to move again, though I was happy to be moving just because I knew this change is going to be better for my mental health. And in the midst of packing & moving everything for the millionth time I got a bit frustrated a few times, but I tended to quickly get over it. What are you gonna do? It’s just the way it goes. Mostly I didn’t get frustrated about this particular move, but about the fact that believe it or not, I will be moving again. Yes, that’s right- this isn’t my final housing situation. I am only staying with Dyl- San temporarily. What exactly does temporarily mean? I have no idea. I might end up moving just a few rooms away from them or I might end up moving out of this town. These are things that have yet to be determined. The only way I can stay in Gibeon is if the school allows me to move into my own room. This will not be known until the school gets the funding from the Ministry to paint a separate hostel section. Once that happens, they will probably be able to provide me with my own room. By the way, I’ve seen the room that could potentially be mine and it’s awesome. It’s nice & spacious. The problem is that this might not be for a few (or a lot) of months. The PC says that if this can’t happen sometime soon, that they will have to relocate me. I would beg to stay here, but honestly I am not sure how I feel about that yet. I’m still feeling it out for whether I should accept/ pursue to be moved out of Gibeon, or whether I should ask to be kept here. It would be one thing if the only problem was with housing (it’s a big enough problem, believe me) but there are sticky/iffy situations with the job itself. I am going to spare you of the details for the time being. But my ability to see the light & the possibility of successfully completing 2 years here in Gibeon comes and goes. I want to make it very clear that this is all situational. In other words, if things don’t work out here, I will be moving to another town. I’m NOT thinking of going back home. I will be transferred if things don’t work out for one reason or another here. My Peace Corps Directors are coming in the 1st or 2nd week of March for site visits, and we will sit down & discuss all of these things. We might come up with a definite solution then, or depending on how things are going around that time, we might wait it out a bit longer. The good thing about all this (and I’m sure you’re all asking yourselves the same thing) is that the PC has been very supportive. They know everything that’s going on & they try to do what they can to make us happy and to keep us here. I spoke to my direct PC Director late last week about everything that’s going on from A-Z and she says that I’m doing really well & that I have the right attitude to deal w/ it all. I’m just taking it day by day, every day is a new opportunity to feel things out and try to figure out what will happen.
I will say this though- in the short time I’ve been here I’ve realized that I’ve been able to pull strength out of my ass at moments when I really thought that there was nothing there. I’ve also had to grab the bull by the horns & take matters into my own hands. Eventhough the PC is extremely supportive, they are not here to hold our hands & guide us through everything. This has been something that has made me feel good about myself, it’s definitely a change from who I was just 3 or 4 months ago. In a situation like this you really can’t be afraid or shy to do things for yourself. If I don’t do them for myself (no matter how uncomfortable the situation might make me), no one else will. I’ve definitely had to take care of fixing problems & taking care of situations for myself. It’s been quite liberating. What else?... In moving around so many times & being on my own (Eventhough always living w/ others, still I’m away from home) I’ve learned that I’m a clean freak. I’m quite anal about it, actually. I was telling a friend the other day that I feel sorry for the person who ends up marrying me and for the kids that I will one day have. I’m going to be a pain in the ass as far as cleanliness/organization goes. I’ve also realized that I seem to have a serious aversion to being barefoot. It’s not to the point that you won’t ever find me barefoot here. Pretty much everyone here walks around barefoot everywhere (including the Volunteers), but I just can’t do it. I never walked around barefoot at home because my parents used to get mad at us for doing so. Haha… I’m sure that has stuck w me but I’m not sure that’s all it is. I think it’s a mild psychological problem. When I do have to walk around barefoot, I try to walk on just my heels. Something about having my whole foot on the floor just feels dirty. Maybe over my 2 years here, that will change.
You can say I’ve been learning a lot about myself. That’s the only good thing about difficulty and adversity- if you battle it & face it, you learn a lot about yourself along the way. Maybe that’s why considering everything, and considering the ups and downs, I’m doing pretty alright. Anything that breeds strength, growth, and learning about yourself is a good thing, isn’t that so? I’m taking what I can from all this. I think that if you have to go through shishkabob, you may as well make the best of it and see it as an opportunity to learn & grow. That’s how I’m dealing with this crazy ride.
I just let out a long sigh…wow. This is some great therapy. I have a real journal, but I don’t write in it very much. I type really fast, so it’s much easier to keep a journal on the computer. I can keep track of my thoughts almost as fast as they come to me, something I can’t do while I’m writing with a pen.
Moving on… have I mentioned lately how much I love Jason Mraz? I don’t believe I have. A couple days ago, I made sure to make a stop at www.jasonmraz.com I had been meaning to go there for a while now, but I kept forgetting to go there. I visit his site often for purposes of checking up on his personal life. I know that sounds stalkerish, I know I know. But hey, I only know as much as he wants to divulge on his online journal so it’s really not stalker-ish. Part of why I love the guy so much is because of the way he writes- not just music, but the way he expresses his thoughts. Sometimes in his journals, it seems like he’s not just talking to us, telling us about his life & giving advice. Sometimes it seems like he’s talking to himself, like he’s trying to give himself advice through his own writing. I don’t know if that makes sense, but I catch on to it because I do the same in my journals. This is why I love reading his journal. The other part is because in his writings he seems to be…well, quite human. He goes through ups & downs just like we all do. And he shares a lot of it, although at times quite vaguely. But who cares- it’s nice to see that someone whose music I admire so much is human, not too different from you & I. He often has some wonderful words of wisdom. Somehow they always seem to make sense. And somehow, many times they come into my life at the right time. I will share some of them with you now. And I quote…
From his 1.23 entry:
“Reward is what you make of it and reward can be made from anything. The best reward comes from within, given to yourself for a job well done, reviewed by you & that voice inside your head. That voice is your friend, believe it or not. It’s your best friend. If you’re one of those folks who think the voice is bad, well then, you’re still afraid of something. You’re probably afraid to go for what you want because you don’t like the idea of not getting it. Surprise. You won’t get it anyway if you don’t try. And guess what? Getting it doesn’t make matters special anyway. It’s the effort.
I was asked today about a memorable experience I’ve had in the music business. I have none. There’s nothing I’ve done in this industry that compares to the day I decided to do it. That’s my most memorable experience….”
From his 2.16 entry:
“I want to go after my dreams and live in the moment and sometimes to do that one needs to prepare his or her self for the opportunities they seek. And oftentimes preparation means sacrifice.”
And my favorite, which comes from his 2.13 entry.
(In the midst of some troubles, he bought some Runes. I had no idea what the heck Runes were before reading his entry, and quite honestly I still don’t know what they are other than they have some wise words of wisdom. That’s all I need to know.)
And I quote Mraz quoting the “Letter C stone” Rune:
“ “Perth: Initiation (Reversed)
A counsel against expecting too much, or expecting in the ordinary way, for the old way has come to an end: you simply cannot repeat the old stuff and not suffer. Call in your scattered energies, concentrate on your own life at this moment, your own requirements for growth. More important, Perth counsels you neither to focus on outcomes nor to bind yourself with the memory of past achievements. For in doing so you rob yourself of a true present, the only time in which self- change can be realized.
You may feel overwhelmed with exhaustion from meeting obstruction upon obstruction in your passage. Yet you always have a choice: you can see this apparent negativity as bad luck, or you can recognize it as an obstacle course, a challenge specific to the Initiation you are presently undergoing. Then each setback, humiliation, becomes a test of character. When your inner being is shifting and reforming on a deep level, patience, constancy, and perseverance are called for. So stay centered, see the humor and keep your faith firm.”
Banging. Spot on. And just what I needed.”
Amen…just what I needed too.