Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A New Hope

Last week, I watched, little by little, the entire older Star Wars trilogy. Each evening, 9 pm found me curled up in bed, computer atop my lap, engrossed in the adventures of the Alliance against the evil Gallatic Empire. Was this the best use of my time? Perhaps not, but, as has become my new guilt-free philosophy, what work would I do at 9pm, with my host parents and siblings asleep? Also, for a couple days, it was the best answer to a long day full of frustration—too much bureaucracy, too many blank faces when I asked people to do their jobs, too many moments in which I asked myself why I had come back.

However, gradually, as I progressed from Monday to Friday and A New Hope to Return of the Jedi, life started filling again. I found a group of children willing to learn ultimate Frisbee, babysat my goddaughter enough to make a connection again, and, more than anything, continued to run into the people I love in Musho.

Honest with myself and the world, the reason I chose to stay a 3rd year here is not the deep necessity of health and development work (it certainly exists of course) nor that I won´t receive a replacement volunteer (though I won´t) but because of the relationships I have built with people. This will make my eventually goodbye far harder but remembering that fact—and having my projects get going again—makes this 3rd year make sense again.

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