Du courage (Monday, 2010 July 19)

July 20, 2010

Andrea gave me a pep talk today. Not Andrea the trainee, but Andrea the current volunteer. Her basic point: some days teaching sucks, sometimes it’s awesome. Give it a year or so. See what happens. If you’re still miserable, there’s no shame in flunking out of the Organization.

I just have a hard time seeing myself doing this for two years. Maybe if I was teaching "higher level" stuff, but today I taught a lab class on how to type capital letters, and how to use compose keys to put circumflexes and umlauts on vowels. Frankly, there are people better suited to do this than me. The nationals here are pretty good teachers qua teachers. What’s the problem?

I’m not sure exactly where Andrea got the idea that I was going to flunk out right away. Sure, I think about it all the time — every couple days or so. I miss home. I miss my friends, I miss Gus. I miss a world that made sense to me. I don’t really love teaching, and don’t see what it gets me to learn how to do it. But everything else is awesome — I love the food. I love the people. I love talking to strangers. I generally love using another language all the time.

Drunkenly drew a bucket of water today. Every time I do this in the dark, I worry about falling in. Actually, change "in the dark" into "drunkenly". I stopped at one (bucket); there’s enough water for tonight. I don’t want to be a statistic. Weaved my way back to the house. Fortunately, it’s dark, so no one can tell whether I’m weaving blindly or weaving drunkenly. Some little girls advised me not to draw water in the dark because you could fall; hopefully they can’t tell either whether my French sucks because I’m white or because I’m drunk.

Andrea noted that it’s hard with emotional connections at home. Even when you take her statement at face value, it’s true.. and it’s not just having a girlfriend, it’s having friends who you’ve known for a dozen years. It’s having an aged family. It’s having been at home for far too long. It’s "Missing You" by trash80 and "Streets" by she.

Dreamt last night of a con somewhere in another city, whose streets I was wandering. (Somewhere in Canada?) Some chick (an old friend?) was interested in me, kept sending me SMSes which I read on a bizarre ancient black-and-white PDA thing. (An iPaq?) Woke up confused, looking through my mosquito net at daylight out the window and parsing it as a doorway in another room. Got out of bed at 7 AM with less than an hour to get to school. The other night I heard a noise like someone trying to open my door, but it could have just been the electricity shutting off. It’s 11:30 now and I think I need to go to sleep.

Heard word today that yes, I will be going in fact to my post. I guess they need me enough. Jenny is being treated for both malaria and some random bacteriological infection, and seems well enough. Julia came down with something but doens’t seem to yet have a fever.

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