A little over a month into training and time has finally started going a little faster. This weekend my training group is moving to La Esperanza for field based training where we actually get to leave the classroom life and get to know the community and do something similar to our future work. The change of environment will be greatly welcomed and perhaps then, things will start to feel a little more like what I signed up for.
Not quite 22. A big reason I´m pretty anxious for change is that I discovered recently that out of a group of 51, the majority of the other trainees are between 22-24 years old. Fresh out of school. So it´s no surprise that I often feel like I´m in spring break or in one big soiree. I´m the second oldest in the group, with the eldest one being over 50 years old. I´m not quite in the level of the fresh grads, but not quite where 50 is, either, so finding someone I can relate to has ben tricky. But thankfully there are some people close to 28 or at least act more mature than most in the group. Nevertheless, it is a surreal feeling being back in an environment where we are treated like kids precisely because some people are acting as such. Restless for partying, pissing away money as if we´re still earning dollars, complaining about cultural differences. Last time I checked, it was the Peace Corps I signed up for, not summer camp, right? I know I´m a kid myself and will stay young forever deep down, but c´mon, there´s a big difference between being child-like and child-ish! But being the more mature person I am, I see and understand where the young-uns coming from so I just try my best not to get distracted by all the juvenile behavior.
Quiet time. As homesick I have been lately, well, people-sick, really, I am thankful for the amount of quiet time I get to have now. Even when I start to get lonely, especially at night, under my mosquito net, I feel good knowing that I didn´t spend my day being stressed over things that used to get to me. Sure the amount of homework and just adjusting in general are exhausting, but bottom line, I go back to the fact that if I wasn´t here, I would just feel lost. It has also been wonderful reconnecting with friends and catching up with life. Even though I don´t get to respond to e-mails right away, I read what I can and go home reflecting on everyone´s letters and get I get to give some more thought on my own answers. I knew life was getting bad in the
Seeing more. I´ve said this a lot of times already, but I will keep saying it- this place reminds me of the
I evaded politics for a good period of time simply out of distaste. Growing up in
How ironic that I now find myself at the lion´s mouth of government work. Maybe I never did give up hope. I find the opportunity to work in municipal development my chance to get a first hand look on how the wheels of politics run and finally understand it, but more importantly, to get my hand in it. I never found myself eloquent in matters of political discourse at a theoretical level- all that I could really talk about were the realities of poverty, pain and suffering I have seen. I was fortunate to have lived comfortably amidst an impoverished nation and later on experience everything great about
I have been questioned, even rhetorically, why I´m serving in
At a minimum, I am representing well of who a Filipino is and what the
So I end this by saying, I can´t wait to get past the theory part and start taking my small steps to at least trying to go towards creating progress and development for all. Maybe if I keep reminding myself this, all the raucous of 22-somethings acting like kids during lunch time wouldn´t bother me as much anymore.