25 March 2011

Funnyquote Friday

Asked (in jest, of course) of my fellow volunteer just before hiking up Mt. Liamuiga:

"Would you like to be the [Peace Corps]
Country Director's water carrier?"

I have some pretty entertaining 10-minute conversations with my coworker every day on the commute home after work.  The topic for Wednesday was "stress," no doubt brought on by her unfortunate scramble at the end of that day to finish something last-minute, in the Kittitian way, all with the constant supervision of our boss.  She said she remembered a time not so long ago when she didn't have a care in the world, and where the constant stresses of today didn't find her.  I told her that was just being silly, that I was willing to bet she had many serious stresses even then, e.g. school, looking for a job, parental expectations, living at home, etc.  And while they may not be the same stressors that we both face today, their respective magnitudes and effect on our day-to-day happiness is difficult for anyone to gauge.  She then interpreted my cogitations as experiential, and asked if I was somehow immune to stress, citing my general nonchalance in the office.  I argued that I did indeed have stresses, not unlike hers, but my ability to compartmentalize in combination with the relaxed nature of my NSTP projects against, say, my school projects, inclines me to appear relaxed when I am at work.  In truth, I didn't believe the words as they were leaving my mouth.

Because when I got home, and I stopped to really think about it, I realized that this wasn't the reason that I was able to go into work seemingly stress-free three days a week.  I'm instead beginning to believe that it is actually because, for the first time, I am exactly where I want to be, doing exactly what I want to be doing right now.  Maybe telling all those people that the reason I joined the Peace Corps was because "the timing was right" has got me believing it now, too.  In truth, I'd not rather be in the States, concerned with keeping peace and control in a family, maintaining a high level of performance output at work, and exploring new levels of sedentary livelihood; I'd rather be here, astride the ocean, contributing to society, and enjoying my youth as I do.  Even now, as I write this, I am in shorts and drinking a Skol, watching the cruise ships head south to whatever-destination awaits.

In retrospect, I bet this whole bit is just an outcropping of the sense of relief I feel after successfully identifying the 10 new members of the DWC Iron Band, which I did Tuesday, and in turn holding our first meeting on Thursday.  The meeting went well, as 8 of the 10 I invited to be part of the Iron Band were able to attend, discuss our respective ideas for the programme, and get in a little face time.  It's pretty clear to me already who the highly-motivated students will be, who the clowns will be, and who the late bloomers will prove to be.  The bottom line, however: this is a good group of kids that are eager to get to "knocking on stuff," as one of them put it, and use some of that after-school energy on a positive pursuit.  In fact, despite not having touched an instrument yet, they are already begging for permission to perform at the next morning assembly.  An excellent dry run once we establish an act, I thought, before going across town to perform for the first time.  So I might have some progress to report on our first performance sooner than I expected; but before I give the green light for that, I would like to actually hear them first!

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