05:21 pm: First day in Tepetitan, San Vincinte
It finally hit me. Being here in El Salvador I stood in the hallway outside the room of my future hosts home. my host, Maria just left me infront of my new room for the next three months and yelled back to her neice -venga-. my new littel friend katherine wanted to stay with me. It was love at first sight between the two of us. Her smile is just awesome if there was such a thing. I had been alittle overwhlmed with all the classes I have had so far here in training with men, robberies and the attacks that occur here. To be honest I began to have a severe lack of hope for Salvadorians because of being someone who is alwasy up for a challenge UI began to think -how can I avoid these people-. I knew this wasnt the right approach but I couldnt help but thinking it and was convinced this was how i would live my next two years. to begin let me start with the walk fromteh bus stop to my host home. every street looked like the other, run down, tin roofs, shit from dogs and cows everywhere, a man with no teeth staring at me, a dog wandering around with patchy spots for a coat of fur and a group of young men playing football in the street ....which at this point i began to think...are these the men who will attack me? Was I in a dream... was this all a dream? ...
So here I am. Again. My status? Still pending my invitation to the Peace Corps. I'm on Long Island. Tonight after I left work at the hospital, I stopped by my highschool job. It's basically a Pharmacy/Everything u could think of selling type of store for rich people who pay alot of money for something worth a maybe 5 dollars. I don't like going by because lets face it.. who likes small talk. Anyways... I got to run into the old crew and catch up. They asked what I was up to and when I began to talk about leaving for the Peace Corps and my futhur plans to live down South for grad school. I began to hear and notice how excited and confident I was about my plans for my future. Everyday that goes by and I am still waiting to get a letter with a concrete invitation and assignment I can't stop wondering about the experience I will get to have. I have not yet once second thought it. I'm sure though this might occur days before leaving, but it hasnt yet. So the update.. two weeks ago I got a letter back from the health headquarters. More paperwork needed and detailed explanations for silly things that happened with me yrs ago. Tomorrow, this should be all wraped up again and mailed out by the afternoon. Then I give it another month to hear. On a good note, the supervisor for the Intra-American and Pacific island placement unit contacted me. Told me I was nominated for Youth development and I am schedualed and on target for Spring of '07. She asked me to update my resume with furthur experience and send it in again for my file. I will add the experience at the Hospital working in the Administration dept as an assistant b/c I would love to have the opportunity to be a program leader when abroad. So this past new years I was in the new york city. I bought ridiculous priced tickets to this venue in the city called Capitale. Well worth it. I had a great night, met some pretty interesting people I haven't met in awhile.
In closing.. I will just mention quickly that having this year after graduation before leaving for the Peace Corps I've realized has allowed me to catch up with old friends and family after being caught up four yrs with college/Albany scene. Being able to work and make money let me do alot of things I couldnt spoil myself with in the past. I work hard in the week.. almost 24/7 with jobs and the weekends I relax. Do the first thing that comes to my mind, freely and willingly. I love it. However, there are some things that could make it better and plainly money doesn't make make it happen. My job at the hospital I enjoy. I like the enviroment, people and interaction in the administration dept. I have seen that my character often resembled the attitudes of the differant directors I work under. How they solve problems and help other departamental staff I begin to think this is a possible future I would like to have and easily succeed in. This is my update thus far for the new yrs.
01:07 pm: Peace Corps in the works
I am still working on my clearance. I handed all my medical paperwork in and crossed my fingers it wouldn't be returned. However it was. But to my suprisement... fairly quickly. On a good note ...dentally I am cleared. On another note though, there are a couple loose ends that need to be cleared up health wise. They want to know every doctor I have ever seen, private and what not... and it's just difficult to track some of these doctors down. Its a real pain in the butt! I just want it to be all finnished so I can find out where I am going to and do research on the country. I am getting really excited looking at other posts and journals of active volunteers who are out at this time. My time will come soon... till then, its contining to work, pay bills, and live life. Soon it will be packing and saying goodbyeeees
02:32 am: reflection
Time is passing really fast. It seems since there are only two more weeks left of my college career that the ending days are speeding up. Everyday seems like a second and every conversation happens just as fast. Later I think, "What were we just talking about?." It happens so quick that I can't even grasp what I am saying or doing at any time. Why is this happening? It makes me feel should I even bother. This time is the most important. I want to, but at the same time whats the point. It's crunch time. School, friendships, relationships and life. Is there anyway to slow things down. So I can at least comprehend them as they happen. So I can remember and hold onto all the memories. I am looking at pictures over and over. The same ones hundreds of time. Studying and remembering the qualities about the people in the pictures. Realizing the new friends and experiences I have had over my four years here. Why do we go on to make new experiences and expectations when they are just taken away from us anyways. Nothing will ever stay the same. People who you begin to depend on slowly fade away. They once listened to you, asked you everyday.. "how are you?" "where have you been?" who looked out for you, cared about you are either distracted by new experiences and completly shut off or slowly start to fade away by other pulls. It happens. There are only certain things you can control and other people isn't one of them. Why should you open yourself up and meet new people, let them into your life if they just end up going away or being taken from you by. It isnt fare. Life is a gamble. You don't know which people you meet will always be there. Who no matter how life pulls you apart will always make an effort to ask you, "how are you?" "what did you do today?" You just have to cross your fingers and hope that they respect you and need you just as much as you them in your life. Life is just one big gamble that you hope in the end, (where ever the end will be)you'll appreciate and realize you have hit jackpot.
02:46 am: one more thing
It has been awhile.. awhile since i last thought about myself. surprisingly it is so easy to look into the future.. think about who u want to be, where you want go, what u want do. Even thinking about the present time and trying to make sure it best resembles your goals and who you are and what u want to do. however i think i got lost in this stream of things and forgot to remember where i have been. what is the point of doing things, being places, meeting people if u forget about them in time. i haven't forgotton, but i sense i am losing a part of my memories as time goes on they often start to fade. however thinking about them now, it is upsetting to realize this is something I can't protect. As much as I see it happen to others and tell myself I am differant it happens. I have pictures and papers to help me remember where i have been, things i've done and people i have met, but there are then those memories that I can't hold onto literally and can slip through the cracks. I have been trying to sleep tonight, but it has turned into one of the nights when your mind takes over. All of a sudden I remember all these little things that bring back so many memories. Things I have forgotton about how it felt until now. For a strange reason I started thinking about when I got back here from spain.. the feeling I had about being almost unstopable and intouchable. No one new exactly what I had encountered except for myself. My random daytime trips i took alone, the people i met are solemly my own memories. Walking through the river, the parks, museums, seeing people eat at cafes, catch up for late afternoon chats with their dogs, the feeling of the sun going down, the air cooling off, the unplesant sight of lg roaches, shit on the sidewalks everywhere, the street cleaners out with their hoses that for some reason attract large crowds. The simple things there that people normally would take for granted. I don't know if spain has came back to me because I'm stuck in winter here, but I can not help but think about sandles. Haha these glittery sandles i had. I wore em all the time there with skirts. I remember goin to the beach almost every night there.. either after a club, before a club, jst for a random meet up with vino tinto, a birthday fiesta, a farewell get together or just staying at the beach from tanning after school till the early morning before making it home. I just remember what it felt like walking around in these sandles.. where I had been. They were everywhere I was, and for some odd reason I can't wait to pull them out of my closet again. Strange how a piece of clothing could mean something more. I'm alittle sad though now thinking about them because I think I wore them through.. there is a whole forming on the sole of one.
I was also thinking about other things from not as far back as spain, but more recently as in this past semester. It has only been a few months, but now I realize that things I had experience last semster will never be repeated. They are unique and no matter where I go, who I meet it will never resemble certain times I have had here in Empire. Talks, quiet hangouts, laughing with friends, random dance parties in the appartment, the expectations of a full year ahead, the suspence of figuring out people in the hall, coming home from work to a made bed, randomness of certain encounters, the feelings i had around people, the thought that everything falls into place at it's right time, the first time things occurred and the thoughts that raced my mind, the closeness I got to old friends with a new sense of dependability, the simpleness of kisses, hugs, and hand holding that I won't forget and will just bring back all those good times that happened throughout the entire semester. I am happy to be moving forward.. however I just want to make sure I don't forget things that mean so much no matter how busy things will get
I wish I had something to write. It's always better to see things written and helps to clear your mind so u can focus on what really is the objective. Sometimes things just can't be put into words though. It becomes more like work then enjoyment or relief. No beginning... middle.. or end to start from. In hopes though, that in writing a few lines now like these, with no clear cut relation to what I really want to talk about will be my release from my thoughts. when i know exactly how to write what i think then i will. till then the mixed thoughts that are crowding my head will have to settle with this. and i think they have.
05:47 am: so sick of people saying you're irish cause u can drink.. this is irish
What is Irish? You must be thinking to yourself, do you have the correct definition of what it entails to be Irish? You think about your parents and grandparents or you might even trace back to your great grandparents. You consider were they born in Ireland to provide you a link to the flourishing green fields of Ireland. Everyone has that inch of Irish blood in them somewhere, but does it truly mean you have what it takes to be Irish? You think about the language, of those who have an accent or speak Gaelic. If you can speak this Celtic language, this must mean you are Irish, or does it? I will tell you what it is to be Irish. It is more then a language barrier or being a descendant. Irish is talking food. The waking of hearing the crackling sounds of Irish sausages, black and white pudding and rashers being fried in the kitchen. It stirs your taste buds and causes you to salivate without even giving you time to pull back the blankets. Does hot, homemade, creamy Bird’s Eye custard ring a bell? Or maybe you have to even go as far as the touch of seeing the Chocolate Flake and sugar on top, to make it magical. Potatoes, that’s right, you know it. There is no meal existent in Irish recipes that doesn’t include a hardy boiled potato. The potato is the big guy, the main course. No sitting at the table is completed until one is eaten. Boiled, baked, fried or mashed, sweat or not it all works. Picked fresh out of the fields, cleaned, peeled, and boiled are the four steps a baby learns besides to crawl, walk and talk. Irish is craving your mom’s homemade Irish stew and Shepherd’s pie. The smell and warmth of fresh Irish soda bread, scones and biscuits. The excitement of running home from school on Fridays and being greeted by the delicious, soft and sweet breads. Fighting your 8 other siblings, scattering around the kitchen table to feast on the sight. You would bet anything right there and then, there is nothing greater than your mom’s cooking at that moment. Irish is being born with dancing shoes on your feet. All laced up, tracing your calf, you await the sound of the instruments to begin your move. The known steps, one- two -three, one-two-three, are drummed into your head. You are taught the saying; “thinking when dancing is like dancing with two left feet.” Scurrying across the floor, the daily pressure, practice, and drills to catch and keep up makes you become an Irish dancer. If your family is guilty of having Irish music on before or after dinner, at family gatherings, BBQ’s, long car rides and even organized from the soft soothing listening Irish music to the ceili sets then you are Irish. If your mother or father carry around in their pocket a cassette titled “The Greatest Ceili Hits,“ so when at another friend’s party it can be played or even encourage strangers to get up and dance then you can claim you’re Irish. Irish is work. An assigned daily task is not a punishment it is respect. Respect to parents for working as hard as they do. Girls staying home ironing, washing the dishes and clothes, running to the market to get dinner. Making sure dinner is out on the table by the time father and brothers come home. This isn’t a curse; it is daily life, a routine and what needs to be done for efficiency. Irish is knowing having a range involves monthly trips to the Bog. Old, ratty, and torn clothing is the dress code as we begin to lift the turf bags to the trailer of our tractor. Days of work beginning at sunrise and ending hours after sunset with bleeding knuckles or raw hands this is normal. It’s a common bond you have with you share with your family which from your hard work, your family will now have a fire for cooking in the range or keeping a fire burning throughout the night. Begging your father for a trailer ride is the highlight of the Bog. Holding onto the top of the trailer as he pulls on the clutch, to raise and tilt the back as we begin to rise higher and higher. Holding on for the excitement that if you let go you’ll slip and fall down the trailer into a bog hole. Torturing your older and younger siblings by picking at their fingers which are grasped onto the top of the trailer, are all apart of the rules. Irish is pride. Pride in one’s country, to live, talk and deal with what life gives you. Never having shame in the country no matter how hard you worked there or was raised. Talking about memories and breathtaking scenery. The presence of misty rain allows us to appreciate simple days of sunshine or a blue sky that might only last an hour. This is Irish, never allow anyone to persuade you differently.