Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Lessons Learned: Month One

During my first month in my village I’ve learned quite a lot; some are serious lessons while others are a little more amusing, but all have turned out to be quite useful.
  • When speaking Spanish, “fake it ‘till you make it.”  When speaking the local indigenous language, give your sweetest southern smile and cross your fingers they understand your Spanish. 
  • Locals will make fun of you for practically everything you do, so you might as well join them and make fun of yourself.  Or else you might cry.
  • Accept the fact that you’re going to need help… a lot. 
  • Don’t be frustrated when the kids want to go to the creek to bathe with you.  They know where the snakes are. 
  • “And your mom?”  usually follows “How are you?”  *To my parents: Just so you know, every single person in my village now knows your ages, occupations, family trees, and that you for some crazy reason only have two kids (6+ is average here.)
  • Math is not a local strong point.  I’m looking at you, local who told me 2+4=9, and then 4, and then 7, and finally 6.  Looks like my basic finance charlas are going to be put to good use after all…
  • All sloths are cute, but not all are cuddly.  Also, my hair matches the fur of the mean species of sloth; Cue jokes from the locals.
  • It will never rain when you want to stay inside and read a book.  Instead, it will rain when you really, really want to hike to the one hill on which you have cell reception.
  • Air mattresses stop being any type of comfortable after about 3 weeks.  However, they still beat the wooden floor alternative. 
  • You absolutely cannot laugh during English class.  Even when the local rendition of “pig” ends up sounding like the f word. 
  • There will be some days in which nobody will leave the comforts of their hammocks.  Other days, they will work you into the ground.  So far I have yet to find a pattern to this work schedule. 
  • Getting used to having down time is a lot harder than I thought.  Thank goodness for the volunteer book library!
  • And lastly, but certainly not least, just when you least expect it, the locals will surprise you with little gestures of friendship and welcome.  Some days may be long and hard, but they sure do a good job of making you feel appreciated! 
  • Just kidding, one more.  Get used to dreams of food, especially of brownies and chick-fil-a.  Contrary to common belief, these cravings do not seem to go away with time. 

1 comment:

  1. hilarious, and I definitely have experienced a lot of these things. hope you´re doing well. congrats on cumplir de un mes!