Friday, July 8, 2011

Doing the splits

I keep having these dreams. Dreams where I’m trying so hard to wake up and I can’t. I know that I’m dreaming and I am aware of my body, but I can’t move. It’s like something from my dreams is trying to pull me back in. I don’t know why I keep having these dreams, nor do I know what it means. All I know is that its like I’m in two alternate universes, trying to get to one or the other, but I’m paralyzed. The feeling of wanting to move, and not being able to, is the worse feeling in the world. No one around to give you a push no one even around who knows your in trouble. This morning I woke up put on a pot of coffee, did my stretches, and got ready for the day while listening to music. The same routine I’ve done for years. It comes natural to me. It’s what I do, who I am. This afternoon I taught my students, ate lunch with the fellow teachers and listened while they spoke in a different language. I wore my pulotasi and ate food I’ve never had until coming here. This is not what I usually do, nor is it who I am.  Nevertheless I do it all because here is where I am. This evening I watched a regular favorite movie of mine. While later talking to my Samoan neighbors, and washed my clothes in a bucket. I made my favorite pasta dish for dinner on a 2 burner hot plate. Not usually what I cook my food on, but it is now. Everyday of every moment I am between two worlds. One foot in the land of me, tradition, routines, familiarities, likes and dislikes. And the other foot in the circus land.  Confusion, unfamiliarity’s, and craziness.  In a place where I have no tradition and I must like everything (for appearances). One foot in each world. Worlds so different and so far away from each other it’s like I’m doing the splits. Tonight I’ll read my book and write in my journal. I’ll listen to Norah Jones or Michael Buble before going to sleep (because that’s what I always do.) But when I get into bed I’ll make sure my mosquito net is completely around the bed and I’ll go to sleep on my piece of foam. Every moment of every day. Two worlds. And now this has all caught up to me. These splits that I’m doing are now in my dreams as well the paralyzing feeling I have while trying to come from dream land to reality. It’s the same paralyzing feeling I feel each day. Wanting to go to my land of tradition, familiarity, and routines. While not being able to leave the confusion, and unfamiliarity.  Each one slightly pulling, but having the same amount of strength in a game of tug a war. Frankly, I don’t know what to do. I’ve thought about giving up one or the other. Leave Samoa and go home, or completely transform myself to anything but my old self. But the truth is I believe if I did that I would be unhappy. Feel like I quit and lost myself. So again, I don’t know what to do. All I do know  though is this. I’m paralyzed and I have an itch that I just can’t scratch.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Fairy Tales

As children we were all told fairy tales. Fairy tales filled with hopes and dreams coming true, and happy endings time after time. The shoe fits Cinderella. Snow White wakes up with a kiss. The frog turns into a prince. They all live happily ever after.  As a child you think this can and will be your life too. You think if Pinocchio can wish upon a star than so can I. So you wish upon your birthday cakes, throw coins into fountains, and wish on fallen eyelashes. Just hoping for your dreams to come true. That you will have your perfect happy ending. Then you grow up, and realize something… who ever came up with the saying, “Happily ever after,” should have his ass kicked-so so hard.
Because fairy tale stories are not reality. Because the reality is there are no magic mirrors, or fairy godmothers, and there is no prince on a big white horse coming to your rescue. Just us, alone.  In our stories we are both the hero and the villain. We can be the fairy godmother or the wicked witch of the west. What I am faced with right now is the constant battle of which side is going to out win. For the longest time I’ve been living in this fairy tale of what life could be like here. But now I am coming to the realization of what Samoan life actually is as to oppose of what I thought it would be.  I have been hit with reality, and reality hurts. So that is why I haven’t posted anything in awhile because like everything- things that go up, must come down. For the past 6 months I’ve been either on a high or coasting along. But this past month has been one of the harder months I’ve had in a long time. I don’t want to complain or use this blog to vent. (Or at least try not to) But the reality is that just because I’m living in a place with beaches and sunshine does not mean my life is all - beaches and sunshine. I think that it is important for me for you all to know that. That the weather and environment, and the excitement of my supposed “adventure” is not as its all cracked up to be. But anyways I just wanted to let everyone know why I haven’t been updating. I’ve been a pretty rough place lately and I didn’t want a bunch of negative postings.  So sorry for the absence.  When the shock of my reality becomes less painful, I will be back here to fill you all in.

A morning surprise

I woke up one morning and went into my kitchen to find brand newborn rat babies on my kitchen floor. (Killing rat babies was morally harder for me to do than full grown rats)

My Peace Corps House

The view from my backyard

The front of my house

living area and kitchen

my bedroom

Back view of my house
The faleo'o next to my house