December 21, 2010

yabba dabba do

Pony tail ahoy!

It may come as some surprise to those back home but until two days ago I hadn't updated my journal since August. My track record with letter writing is even worse and you can see how poorly I've been updating my blog. The first months at site have been a struggle. Though hardly the black death of loneliness and isolation I expected, it has taken all of my available faculties to tread water. Apparently those water treading faculties are also requisite for my journaling and letter writing. Something like winning the war but losing the battle.

I recently (and smugly) underlined the passage: "A neck tie is a noose inverted and if you're not careful it will hang you just the same" from the "The Life of Pi" as if it were a reaffirmation of my beard, pony tail, and flip flop life style. Occasionally I have these moments of (mostly imagined) bohemianism. But it got me thinking about why I'm here rather than over there.

One of the things that enticed me, and I imagine others like me, to the Peace Corps was the idea of living on the edge of the known world. Going farther, deeper, better, faster, harder, stronger than would otherwise be available via the more traditional school-to-more-school-to-cubicle-to-office-railway. In private pre-departure moments I imagined myself a yogi of the African grassland, personally growing through rich cultural experiences followed by careful meditation and quiet reflection.

As I roll up on a year and half of skipping around the the world, my experience has been more "square peg pounded through round hole" than "Buddah of the Serengeti." I run, but sometimes walk, face first into brick walls nearly every day. That is to say, rewarding though it has been, the experience has not been without it's discomfort and contortions. Some of the very basic ideas about myself and society at large have been re-opened for debate and debate can be uncomfortable because it is uncertain. I won't be quite sure until I return home to my friends and family but I feel as if squared edges are being rounded.


The Fab Miss B said...

Believe it our not, you are doing exactly what you need to do to find enlightenment. It takes struggle and effort- nobody arrives there without a journey.

I love you.

tangata said...

So glad you took the opportunity to "run headlong into brick walls" while you're young and resilient!