12 December 2011

HARD WUK Wuz Hyah!

Objectively speaking, I cannot blame my lack of updates the past few weeks on the usual biannual laziness (read: May and December), and instead refer the reader to the long, long week of activities that the NSTP had planned out for its 25th Anniversary celebration, observed this year.  Beginning Sunday, the NSTP was a collective guest at the Antioch Baptist Church in Basseterre.  That is to say, staff and students from the NSTP filled the center row or pews, and a special comments were made by each of two representatives of the NSTP - the interest of which was quickly overshadowed by the announcement of one parishioner's 90th birthday, which received tremendous acclamation.  All the same, it had been a long while since I was in church, and God used the opportunity to share with me.  He taught me, along with a reading from 1 Thessalonians chapters 1 and 2, to remind me of a simple truth: that success in my mission here will not be measured by my ability to help those that do not want to be helped.  This reminder altered first my perspective on closing out my assignments here a year from now, when the Peace Corps pulls out of St. Kitts for the foreseeable future, and second helped me to deal differently with day-to-day setbacks.  Just last Monday, in fact, the printer failed to print in black ink, and despite my best efforts of manually cleaning the printhead, would not submit to its share of the labor.  Even replacing it with its older predecessor has proved ineffective.  But rather than get discouraged, something that would be very easy for me given that in the interim the onus is on me, the IT "expert," to print copies in demand despite the lack of working hard-copy producing printing devices.  Did I mention the copier has been out of toner for a few weeks?

The rest of the week was no less hectic.  Monday was capped with a three-hour Facilitator Workshop and Professional Development Seminar hosted by the NSTP and patronized by our sister organization Project Strong, as well as ministry education officials and a keynote speaker from local conglomerate TDC, Inc.  On Tuesday, I submitted the final copy of the World AIDS Calendar, a project begun by my PCV colleague as a fundraiser for the Ministry of Health and as a tool for HIV/AIDS awareness and stigma reduction.  The cover art is to the left; it is a collage of works prepared by school children on the importance of accurate AIDS information.

Wednesday saw an office-wide excursion to Nevis with the Electrician class to see the new developments in alternative energy being installed here in the Federation.  Already, a fully functioning wind farm exists on Nevis, supplying around 3MW, sufficient to cover half of the island's electricity needs at every time except peak demand.  Furthermore, eighty acres on the western side of the island have been cordoned off for the new geothermal energy-harnessing plants, whose wells are scheduled to begin drilling come March 2012.  Both fully renewable and eco-friendly energy sources, the combination of the two would fully cover the energy demands of Nevis and St. Kitts for the foreseeable future, with enough leftover to sell to neighboring islands.

Finally, on Friday, I was up at 5:00 AM to head into town for the fitness "walkathon" hosted by the office.  Sporting my new T-shirt with the 25th Anniversary info emblazoned on it, I walked about five miles from the tamarind tree in Greenlands to the Sir Kennedy Simmonds Highway roundabout in Frigate Bay.  Leaving at 6:30, I arrived at 8:30, to a lovely rainbow and a light breakfast.  Due to the ensuing rain, however, the motivational speakers (one was none other than my APCD) had to be moved from the idyllic outdoor sanctuary under the trees to a stuffy classroom back at the office.  But we got through with the ceremony, and around noon I cashed in the goodwill that I had built up all week and bought a lift home, whereupon I slept for a solid two hours.

In other news, my food selection of late has been long on grains and proteins and lipids, but short on excitement.   In order to combat the diet doldrums, every other month or so I stock up on hot dog items and conjure up a meal once or twice a week.  (Not counting special spectator sporting events!)  This habit has led me to make the following observation: eating two hot dogs is just a little bit too much for my stomach.  That is, the preparation time is substantial enough that I am generally very hungry by the time I start on the first hot dog.  Then, after inhaling the entire first one, my hunger has peaked but not yet begun to appreciably decline.  So I begin the second with no sense of fear or indecision, only to be confronted with a sudden wall of pain about three-quarters of the way through the second hot dog.  The final two bites, then, are decidedly unpleasant: thoughts of "Why??  Why am I doing this to myself?" pervade my mind.  A pall of regret hangs over my decision to ingest the last four or five centimeters, but I bite the bullet (so to speak) and finish my cursed meal.  The diagram to the right further clarifies my deliciously deplorable experience.  Well, here's to Tomato Soup and Stir Fry the rest of the way.

I just finished November's highlight reel, so I've added it below.  Truth be told, I'm already working on the December flick, chock full of bits from the NSTP's busy week; but that will have to wait until next month to be posted.  In the meantime, enjoy:


1 comment:

  1. You could make 3 hotdogs, then eat 1.5 for one meal and the other 1.5 for the next meal.