Saturday, October 6, 2012

When Change is Ordinary

October 1st- 7th:
            To begin October, I traded my hives for some sunburn and heat rash. I was just telling my regional manager here about my hives and she said, “Well, at least you are still laughing!” I am laughing now but at the time it was really not a fun situation. I was not sleeping very well because my allergies were acting up so I took some Benadryl. The next day I woke up with a great sensation to itch and itch my leg. I had hives on the upper part of my leg. Weird. My hydrocortisone was gone so I used the only other anti-itch cream in the medical kit- caladryl. I applied so much of that pink liquid I probably went a little overboard. I was eager for relief. Initially, things seemed to be improving. I went to school but after a few hours the itchiness was back. I wanted to take my pants off so badly that I decided to leave school early. I rushed home and immediately took my pants off quickly noticing that the hives had turned into one large severely itchy hive. It was horrible. Overtime, the caladryl made it worse not better. I think I had an allergic reaction to the –dryl ingredient in the two medicines, whatever that may be. Nurses of the Hesiak family, any thoughts? So, I slowly walked to the pharmacy, slowly because I was attempting to do the impossible, aka not sweat. Sweating worsened the itch. I bought more hydrocortisone. I basically put the entire bottle on my leg. A few days later, I finally got to stop talking to myself about why I should not itch. Phew!

            The greatest ending to a rough week was seeing Pam, Karen, and Amy! The three came to enjoy sun, water, and some cold adult beverages for the weekend. The first night we chatted endlessly about the wondrous things that we experience, attempting to cram what seemed like months of stories into one night of conversation. The next morning we woke up early and were off to Maniwaya (the same island that Joe and I always go to when he is here). Leaving my house and walking to town to catch the jeep was interesting, every step we took was like we walked into a room where conversations stopped and stares began. We jump started the day with two beers in Boac and then headed to the port to catch the boat. Our time spent on the island was perfect; we even lucked out with sunny days. During typhoon season, the rain always comes and goes. Cold beers in hand, sun in the air, surrounded by the great blue sea and mountainous Marinqudue… it was a great combination for much needed relaxation and carefree living with great friends. Karen and I got drunk and ate too much fish, makes for smelly fingers but lots of laughs! After all the fun, we came back to my house with sun burn and de-hydration. We spent our last night together drinking lots of water and applying aloe!

I have been living in Marinduque for over a year now. I wanted to put together a list of things that I have or have not done every single day for 365+:

·         I have not driven a car.
·         I have happily greeted a stranger or neighbor.
·         I have had a sweat mustache and sweat dripping down my legs at some pt. in the day.
·         I have listened to a conversation that I do not completely understand.
·         I have stared at a rice field and said to myself, ‘Whoa!”
·         I have talked to myself.
·         I have woken up with the sun.
·         I have not used a blow dryer to dry my hair.
·         I have spoken a few words of Tagalog.
·         I have rode my bike or walked to work.
·         I have used a bucket to take a shower.
·         I have not gone to a gym.
·         I have not walked on carpet.
·         I have smiled.

The “have not’s…” in the list are interesting because they are all things that were so mundane in my daily life in America. I would never really think about them unless, well… unless I was living on a small island in Marinqudue for over a year thinking about things that I used to do but I don’t. The “have’s…” have taught me much about myself and I have the people and culture around me to thank. I would almost never greet a stranger, but now it is an everyday thing. I would always drive to work, now I ride my bike despite people thinking I am crazy for wearing work clothes while happily peddling along. I would never talk to myself, now I do all of the time. Probably because there is still a lot I cannot say in the native language that just needs to be said. In America, I can understand every conversation that happens with me or around me. Here, I can get the gist of things most of the time now but normally there is a word or 10 that perplex me. Thinking of this has really helped me put myself in the shoes of my students. I try my best to talk slowly, repeat important details, use words that I know they understand, and involve them in what I am telling them so I can see the understanding happening. And really it does not matter what time I go to bed at night, as soon as that bright giant sun shines its rays to shine down the new day- I am up. The dogs, traffic, and roosters are just background noise now. They occasionally help put me to sleep. I guess that is called adaptation. There are plenty of other things that I used to do occasionally, and things that I never did that now I do occasionally. Good thing I am not afraid of change. Think about it, if you could trade something you do every day for something better, would you?

More on this in next week posts because I do not have time to write details now but the first shipment of books are on they way to my school! This is exciting for so many reasons. The process has gone faster than I expected which really excites me. Another exciting piece of news is there is a new grant available to volunteers to get sports equipment donations. AHHHHHH! I had dreams last night about my students playing sports with more than one volleyball, more than one basketball, more than one shuttle cock, more than one frisbee. Now, don't get me wrong we have the best time with only one but so many limitations can be lifted if we are able to get more equipment. And, the sports club kids want to have a frisbee tournament and are also brainstorming about planting a field of grass, haha. Ah, my mind is racing...

We celebrated World Teacher's Day on October 4 and 5. Teacher’s Day Photos:
My two favorite teachers! 

This dance was amazing. The also performed a hand mime spelling out messages to the teachers. I have a video but can't get it to load. 

Masaya Kami :)

So I never forget the relationship we have made, the smiles, the laughs, and the moments that fill my eyes with happy tears. 

1 comment:

  1. Id take me a LONG time to get used to no showers...especially with the added heat and sweat!

    Our house only has wood floors, so Harper learned to crawl+walk on only that. When he first tried on carpet he was like WHOA!! :)

    Love you!