not literally, but can you believe it? monday will mark the beginning of my 8th week in site. the completion of two solid months in site.
most people say seven is their lucky number, but i have found with other volunteers in peru 19, week seven proved to be quite difficult. though there is excitement about this landmark, there is also the realization that all those frustrations that you easily cast aside when you first arrived still exist. people still stand you up for meetings (four times this last week). when they are need of something, they ask you in a whining inflection, which makes you wonder if you accidentally turned the invitation down somehow before they even asked. your digestive system still hasn’t figured out how to deal with peru. those huelgas are still going strong (for a month now). people still don’t like to open the windows on the overcrowded combi rides to allow air to flow through the van. when you reply that you have a boyfriend waiting for you in the states, they still ask you if you have one in peru yet. this is also a tricky point in service, where we should be 2/3 through our diagnostic, but it seems a bit piecemeal, and we have no concrete projects with results to show for ourselves. and how could i forget, we have all the time in the world left to ourselves…alone in our site…which we are still getting accustomed to, and everything we know and love seems so far away.
now, to keep this post from being a complete downer. the good news is that though the friendships and relationships we are making among ourselves are all relatively new, there is an incredible bond that forms between the volunteers because we know. we know all those emotions the other is feeling. the frustrations. the excitement. the highs. the lows. also, i think it’s great to mention that you learn to even recognize the smallest blessings and wins during the week. for example: i was stood up a third time this week. defeated, i decided to read in the park to pass the time until the neighboring volunteer, phil, arrived for lunch (i had 90 minutes). as i was waiting, i was engaged in a conversation with the police chief and one of the local radio owners. the latter wants to interview me for his program. the former took me to the police station, and introduced me to all the staff, showed me their soccer court, and shared that they have a vested interest in creating more programs targeted at the youth of my town. i almost wanted to jump up and hug him.
anyways, i am currently sitting at a particular point that right now seems a bit disappointing, or really feels like there is nothing to share…BUT i know, so badly i know (or maybe it’s hope), that it is on the cusp of something great. sometimes you need these moments to help you recognize and appreciate the great things to come.
week 8 already sounds promising. the education huelga finally lifted. so now my four schools will finally be open…which means…ACCESS TO THE YOUTH FOR MY DIAGNOSTIC!!!!