Sunday, August 29, 2010
I've been at site now for 9 days. It feels amazing because I've been completely happy for 9 whole days! I'll be honest, training was pretty hard. Living in someone else's home is a tough situation. It was a good experience, and it definitely was necessary to teach me what I needed to learn, but I'm glad it's over. Training was just extremely overwhelming. I felt an extreme amount of stress and pressure, which made me feel like I might snap at any moment. I haven't felt like that at all here.
And now I'm actually here, and it's great! The day we came, Thursday the 22nd, was such a long, exhausting day. It took us 12 hours to get here. Instead of flying, which is what I'll normally do, we took a Peace Corps vehicle (way to go white land cruisers!), and then we loaded all of Matt, Brittany and my stuff on to one boat (yes, that's a motorized CANOE carrying all of our possessions to set up three houses), and headed upriver. The car ride was only supposed to take 2 to 3 hours, but there was a blockade on the road because a school teacher was demanding that the government fix the road and her car. Yes, her car. I didn't get a look at her car, but the road was really bad. So, we had to wait there for a while until the local equivalent of the SWAT team showed up and un-blockaded it all. It was pretty cool to see actually. The Peace Corps staff member, who is Surinamese was pretty excited about it all.
The first day here wasn't the best. It was just super overwhelming getting here, and having all of my stuff in the middle of my floor in boxes and buckets and trying to say initial hellos to my community. And since the week in the city for shopping was so jam-packed I had just thrown all my stuff into boxes, so I had no idea where anything was. But, since then it's been pretty amazing. My community is just awesome. They're super chill and really nice. They don't do much gawking (well, most of them don't) and they're very friendly and helpful. Also, it's just great to have my own schedule and my own space. The first 3 nights I was here we didn't have electricity, but since then we have had it every night from 7 - 11. Matt and Brittany came a few days ago to hang out with me here. Matt is still here, but Brittany left this morning. Matt is my savior. He spent all of Thursday evening and the entire day yesterday wiring my house. He put in two electrical outlets and three lights. Before, I just had one single lightbulb in my house. Now, I have light in my bedroom! And, I can charge things! It seriously seems like a luxury. He's also helped me with a bunch of other things around the house, like putting nice big locks on my doors and other things like that. We really played traditional boy/girl roles this week. He did the manly stuff around the house and I cooked and cleaned for him. It worked out.
My language is getting better. I feel like I'm sort of starting to make friends here. At least I seem to know everyone. Not necessarily their names, but I pretty much recognize 90% of the people when I walk around. So yeah, it's been really good and I think I'll be pretty happy here.