BECAUSE I’M WEARY…
Adventures are fun and exciting. Doing something new, leaving my comfort zone and pushing myself harder than I have ever done, all very exciting. All this has helped me to have an amazing experience for the past 2 months. But what do you when weariness sets in and all the zeal is gone? I only have 3 weeks left at my placement on Pediatorkope Island but I am already beginning to feel worn out and tired. I am alarmed to realize that I am beginning to wish my placement was already over.
For the past 2 weeks I have been away from the island attending a mandated midterm meeting in Accra. It was really nice to see everyone again after 5 weeks of placement. And even though the journey was possibly harder for those in Tamale, Bolga and far off regions from Accra, it was really nice to see everyone and to listen to all the stories and experiences. Some crazy, unbelievable and some funny as hell.
I spent the other week in a village called Akyeremateng in the Eastern region of Ghana. I was collecting data on the solar project that the NGO I am working with intends to implement soon. This meant that I got to spend an entire week with Alex who is also interning with Empower Playgrounds, the NGO I work with in this village. It was really nice to have somebody to talk to and do stuff with for a while…FINALLY!! Alex’s village is just like mine, there is no internet, no electricity, no running water, delightful pit latrines for pooping and no phone service. I was completely cut off. This village is just a 5 minute trotro ride from BOTI Falls. It is found in a valley surrounded by hills and the only way to get to the village is by trekking up and down a hill. (I call it a mountain) I honestly don’t know how Alex does it all the time but it is a crazy trek for about 20-25 minutes, it I am so sure it took me 45 minutes to an hour to do it each time. The ground in the village is all steep and but I was able to survive all those treks up and down the hills surrounded by forest and beautifully clear skies at night…Such beauty.
I was able to collect data in the entire village with the help of the teacher Nicholas. He was really awesome!! At my village, data collection takes 30-45 minutes on the average but Nicholas did such a great job that the average time it took to do the interviews at Akyeremateng village was between 20-30 minutes. Most of the people understood the questions easily and this made the process really quick.
Being back has been a roller coaster for me with many highs and lows and I guess after being away for 2 weeks doing other things, it has been harder to fall back into my regular routine and schedule of things. Alex is here at my village spending a week with me now as well. I was really happy to be back, to see familiar faces and to hear that community members, teacher and everyone had been constantly asking and trying to find out when and if I would be back. I guess more people know of my presence than I initially thought. Going to the school, the kids were so excited to see me – more excited than I can say. They run all the way to throw themselves at me before I even got to the classroom. My presence had definitely been missed. I was of course really happy, happy to realize that I hadn’t forgotten any names or faces that I was back once again. I also found out that they had learned the song I was trying to teach them (This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine). Even though it wasn’t perfectly sung, they sang it with so much enthusiasm and I was proud to know that I had helped teach something they wouldn’t forget. I am happy as well as sad and I hope to finish my placement on a high mote.
I was hoping that a little change in scenery for 2 weeks would pump me up to finish this race with all the adrenaline I’ve got but I have realized that I am rather running low and the things I used to do effortlessly now require effort to finish. I hope not to end up dragging my feet for the next 3 weeks. For this,I needed to figure a way to be less burned out and to complain less about the things that cause me discomfort. I came up with this solution that seemed to help a great deal. Now, every time I feel weary and burned out I carry out this exercise.
I call it OPERATION KILL THE WEARINESS.
Every time I feel weary, I am going to make a list of the things that I am weary about and also the things that I am thankful for. Each day and each exercise will be different but I hope to appreciate the rest of my time here and the many good things that I enjoy on the island. Try it if you ever need a boost.
OPERATION KILL THE WEARINESS
THINS I AM WEARY ABOUT TODAY
· The heat which makes it hard to sleep at night
· Bat invasion in my room today
· The food which I receive from my host family
· All the many bugs
· Doing the same things over and over again
· No electricity to finish my report and final presentation
THINGS I AM THANKFUL FOR TODAY
· Occasional breeze that brings me relief from the heat
· Constant laughter of the kids in my class and the ability to teach and to be taught by them everyday
· The people who do things for me without me asking
· The quiet and calm I enjoy each day
· Living with a wonderful host family
· Delicious coconuts which I get to eat for free all the time
· For bicycles rides to the river
· The ability to use and manage time and resource wisely. Priorities first always
I have realized that just writing it out makes me feel better about everything and makes me appreciate more things in my life.