Sunday, September 11, 2011

A Week's Worth of Nervous Break Downs

While I know you all want to hear about all my awesome, fun, delightful, and pleasant adventures, sometimes the dice just don't land that way. I don't know if anyone mentioned this, but Peace Corps can be hard, even difficult. This is not for the reasons you think. Sure I yelled at my shower out loud the other day, but that was merely a symptom of a week's worth of suckitude. It's not that much went wrong this week. It's that nothing went right.

Last weekend was so incredible! I went rock climbing, and ate awesome food. Basically two of the top three things I love in this world. Then back in site, I wake up with a serious case of the Monday's that lasted all week.  It rained this week, so I didn't do much. I really miss living alone, and the one place available right now has a dirt floor and no windows. The city hall office wants to work with me, but I'm not sure on what. And this week's food has been, well, greasy. The acne on my face should be a good indication of how much fried food I've consumed. My host family is so concerned about my face, they keep asking what bit me or if I'm having an allergic reaction. NO, IT'S A ZIT!
Acne, not bug bites. Now stop pointing them out!

This is all with out mentioning the cultural mine field I found myself in when I admitted to having lived in Boy's-Town during my time in Chicago. Paraguay has a predominately Catholic culture, and you can imagine how homosexuals are received here. It's tricky to not insult my gracious hosts opinions while at the same time showing my support for the LBGT community. FYI: Boy's-Town is what it sounds like. A predominately gay neighborhood in Chicago. SOOO much fun. Great Brunch. Halsted's! WHAT?!

A little cultural aside on the topic of diversity in general: America is by no means a bastion of cultural acceptance and equality. I don't want to address this topic with any level of depth, but there is one thing I have noticed. In general, Americans seem more used to diversity. We are accustomed to walking down the street and seeing multiple walks of life. Even the most redneck Texan (to use my favorite stereotype) probably knows a few words in Spanish and drinks Mexican beer. We are comfortable with difference, even differences we don't like. I'm learning this level of comfort is not universal, and it gets me in a little bit of trouble here. Nonetheless, it is becoming a secret point of pride for me. Perhaps that's all false and I'm romanticizing America. Either way, I'm speaking to my experience.

So there it is. A day in the life. It's not glamorous, nor exciting. I don't know why I'm always surprised at how normal life is everywhere. Some days are boring; people can be frustrating; and I don't do well living with others. This week will be better, and if it's not, we'll shoot for the one after that. American optimism comes in handy, even for this hardened cynic. 

PS: Next time I go climbing I'll take pictures. It's way easier to tell that story with the visual. Plus the area is go gorgeous, I could never do it justice with just my words.