Friday, May 15, 2009

The Long and Short of It

Certain things make you feel like you really live in a place. Doing laundry, getting your haircut; they lend permanence to a living situation. “I live here, and I need clean clothes, and since this is my home, I need to find a way to wash my clothes.” Another of these things is hosting visitors. All aspects of the situation smell of intransience, from playing host to determining an itinerary to making recommendations about food. Perhaps most telling of all is going back to normal life after visitors leave.

My parents rolled out of Apia this morning at 4:30, and I walked home. During the walk, I walked past the bus with the trailer that my parents and I took from the airport last Friday morning, and it gave their whole visit a poignant, cyclical end.

And while most people were asleep at that hour, the creatures of Samoa welcomed me back into my life here. Walking home my footsteps woke up a dog, and his barking woke up 6 other dogs, and as I was leaning down, pretending to throw rocks at dogs, I felt at home again. I was thirsty when I arrived home, and while I was drinking water in my kitchen, I noticed a cockroach on the curtain. I sprayed him point blank, and he danced around room, ending up on the floor. As he sat their twitching on the floor, I noticed 3 other dead cockroaches lying around, and they all seemed to be singing to me, “Welcome back to the Peace Corps, friend!”

A number of teachers are holding holiday classes during the break, and even though my break is pretty crowded (My parents in town this past week, Peace Corps language training next week, New Zealand the week after), I agreed to teach today, my only free weekday of the break. I was scheduled to teach my year 13s at 8:00 a.m. and my year 12s at 10:00 a.m., but my classroom was locked and my principal wasn’t at school yet. Luckily, none of my students showed up. So it all worked out.

While all of this gave a sense of permanence, it comes at a time when things are also quite transitional. We have language training on the south side of the island from Monday through Thursday. I have a Volunteer Action Committee Meeting, which should last most of the day Friday, and then I take off for New Zealand Friday night. So as much as I feel like today, tomorrow and Sunday are downtime, I also feel like I need to be preparing, making packing lists, packing, and figuring out when and how I can fit in laundry.

And in my typical fashion, rather than doing anything productive with my afternoon, I went off to one of the high-speed internet providers in town to download a bunch of podcasts and the new Green Day album that just came out today.

So I guess the saving grace of life right now is Friday nights and weekends have a certain amount of variety here, and so with all the permanence and transition in my life, it’s nice that it’s the part of the week that can tolerate some chaos.

I hope you’re being productive with your time. Pictures below.

Dinner with Cale and Sara and Sara's parents and my parents and Blakey and me.

There was a random high school debate going on in Apia today in commemoration of "World Telecommunication & Information Society Day". The debate was between St. Mary's College and Robert Louis Stevenson (?). The English spoken was amazing. Like nothing I see at my school.

I sit behind 3 of these 4 girls at church every week, I think.


Anonymous said...

Always sad when your welcomed visitors leave, but relief as well to return to your routine. I hope you took them to Sea Food Gourmet for the fish burgers.

Anonymous said...

Sad to see your parents leave.