03 October 2011

Lessons Remembered

I came down with a very mild dengue fever a week ago Monday, so I took that day off from work.  Now, one week later, I'm feeling better and more rested.  But I'm concerned that my effort to save money by further limiting my groceries to only inexpensive, easily-stored foodstuffs like spaghetti, tuna, or macaroni and cheese, is taking its toll on my body.  In Pre-Service Training, we were taught to eat leafy greens and plenty of veggies and proteins to try and stave off common illnesses.  Instead, it's just bread and sugar, bread and sugar, for every meal (and sometimes salt).  Oatmeal, cheese bread, or pop tarts for breakfast; spaghetti, macaroni and cheese, or sandwiches for dinner; leftovers for lunch.  With little to no variation for weeks at a time, my enjoyment and interest in eating is waning fast.

Well, I think I've finally reached it: the second of two anticipated dips in morale during a typical PCV's term of service.  Back during Pre-Service Training, we were taught that the average volunteer goes through two valleys in the span of a two year term of service: the first after six months, the second after one year.  My thought at the time was that I would have an irregular graph, something with dips and peaks at different times from everybody else.  As it turns out, I was wrong – my chart would look the same as the average volunteer's, and I'm currently riding through the deepest period of frustration and disenchantment.

In addition, I'm having some trouble finding things to write about these days.  Contrarily, I don't seem to have any difficulty being inspired to extrapolate some trends from the NSTP's new secondary-school trainees database, or the average points scored from all 462 different dice-roll combinations in Zilch.  It seems that my head is so full of numbers, I have no space left for emotions and words to express them.  That was one of the discoveries of my anxiety therapy some years ago, and at the time I made strides towards improving my ability to be more self-aware of my own emotions.  Short of any dramatic backsliding in this area, I believe the cause is more related to a dearth of variation of experience lately.  It was some time ago that I crossed from daily seeing or participating in some new and positive experience – now I find myself going weeks through the same routine, only to be surprised when I realize it's Friday afternoon and I've created nothing new for the week.  And I know myself well enough to know that is what I derive the most job satisfaction from: producing new and useful creations to the people and companies I serve.  But I can't seem to refocus on creating new ideas for projects at work when I have these unfinished, unmoving new ideas from months ago crowding the tunnel of my mind.

On Thursday, I drove with my host family to the grocery/hardware store across town, in order to pick up some lightbulbs that work on a 220V circuit.  I can now see in my apartment after 6:30 PM!  There was a bit of a scare at the checkout line, however: while I was carefully monitoring the total price of my groceries, knowing that I had exactly EC$185 on me, I forewent purchasing the potato chips when the total exceeded $165.  Then as I pulled the cash from my wallet, I noticed there was only $165 there – $20 had gone to purchasing the lightbulbs at the hardware!  Oh wait, I also had the change left over from that transaction.  In the end, there was just enough to cover the groceries.

Oh, and before I forget, here's to 6000 pageviews.  I think reaching 10,000 in my term of service could be a real possibility – and remember, I have a surprise for everyone at 9000!


  1. 9000!
    oh, i thought this was hilarious:

  2. Challenging me on a quiz you created is about the same as me challenging you on a quiz i took last week. I did get them all tho.

    Sorry about your fever. I hope you feel better soon.

  3. 2x^ Yeah, I heard about this a couple days ago on ESPN radio. It's less funny to me than disappointing.

    ^ Well, I guess I can't argue with that. For that matter, I took it months ago. Also, did you read carefully the story? My fever was this time last week.

    Thanks for the comments.