August was a whirlwind of a month here for me. I feel a little out of the loop in my community. I feel very detached. In a way, it's a good thing. I have been traveling left and right in country. Working outside of my community. With the emergency leave I had back in July, that situation also didn't help on keeping me in my community. But things had to be done and situations had to be taken care of. Right when I got back from my leave, I had to take the group (3 students and a teacher) that represented my community in the HIV/AIDS workshop that Peace Corps sponsored for a reconnect, to share their experiences and their successes. Our successes. By far, it's the best thing I've done being here in my second community. The results have been positive and my relationship with those youths have been pleasant. Right after the HIV/AIDS reconnect, that was held in another city about 2 hours from my community, I headed to Asuncion, the capital, for another Peace Corps sponsored concert then for my quarterly report right after. At the Ahendu (The concert event. Also the word means to hear in Guarani), I had played my second show in my whole entire life. I had felt more comfortable on stage, but I wouldn't say it was fun as the first due to several malfunctions on stage. Not being able to hear myself, getting grounded by the mic, etc. Not to make my excuses, but you'll have those experiences one way or another I guess once you become a rockstar (What?!). I was really bummed, well because of raising the bar pretty high, but after thinking about it again, I'd say it felt really great knowing that I am able to perform or do something like that in front of people. Performing in front of a crowd is not an easy task. After the weekend concert, I stayed in Asuncion to report down on what I plan to do this next upcoming months. Thinking about it now, with being away a lot this last couple of months, and going back to the beginning of all this, me being detached to my community makes it harder to plan out my next moves. But it's a great opportunity to restart over as I had planned and look at things in a different perspective. A week after I had to report, I had to get out of site again to take a contact in a community where we are developing a project for a a mini sugar factory to a Project Developing Management workshop, where we learned how to plan and execute a project. It was very fruitful for me being there, but the person who I took didn't seem to care of what was going on. I was hoping that he'd atleast show a little interest because he is the key to bring back the informations we've learned back to the farmer's commission in which he's a member. Finally after that workshop, I went back to site and be here for a straight week or so. It was also our "fiesta patronal". The biggest day of the town, which involves the biggest party of the year, "torin" (involving clowns, bullriders, and bulls), and "genateada", where cowboy associations all over the country show off how their horses rides in an open field. I didn't really care much for the dancing, but I thoroughly enjoyed the torin and genateada. (Will have to post the pictures up on the facer after this).
Now I am sitting here, waiting for my bread to be done and collecting my thoughts on what had happened this last few weeks. There was the usual frustrations from the little situations that piled up. Almost everyday, but being more detached makes it a bit easier to blow it away. It's one of those things that you have to get used to by now being in this kind of environment and line of work. It's a big part of this long rollercoaster ride that we have to come to terms with as a Peace Corps Volunteer. It's a constant work for me to not let my job affect the every aspect of my being. It's a very difficult task to separate the two when you are expected to perform well 24/7 for 27 months. But with no serious complains and constantly realizing that at the end of the day, I must constantly remind myself of how amazing it is just to be here. I am happy, and those little negative situations and frustrations are just there to make them better.
I head back to the states at the end of this month. I didn't think I'd say this, but I am ready again to take this mini-vacation. This time, it's planned. It will be good to see a great friend get hitched, but I will have to leave my site again and deal with emotions that it involves. It's this bittersweet, give and take situation that I have here. I'd like to say that I should feel bad about leaving, but I've accepted the fact that this is all just part of it. I cannot nor should hold back. Part of me do, but part of me just accepts it. It's becoming more normal and normal going through this phases and stages... I know that there will be consequences that needs to be paid, but also their will be rewards that comes along with it. I'm used to the consequences, I'm more stoked about the rewards. Whatever they may be.
I have also gotten used to being negative at times and having negative thoughts and feelings while being here. I get it and I've accepted them. It's normal and again, a part of it. But it's important to note, and a lot of Peace Corps volunteer friends have expressed the same feeling, that I don't think I've ever been so negative in my entire life. Being here, I've seen that very best negativity in me. That's what part of this experience have done to me. But bouncing back from it, it's the rewards that makes it worth while being here.