Whew! It’s been a long time since I’ve updated my blog. Sorry about my procrastination. Sometimes it feels as if sooo much is happening in any given day or week, that I get overwhelmed with the thought of what I should write, and then I don’t write at all… so here I am, completely overwhelmed with the thought of stuffing over a month’s experiences into a small blog!
I’ll start quick and dirty… Let’s see, I’ve been working with my counterpart, Jose, to teach chess classes at 4 schools in PG and the surrounding villages. For the most part, it seems that teachers here appreciate the value of chess as a teaching tool. Which is really nice because then they see the value of having a chess club, or even incorporating it into their class time – something that many of the schools do! I’ve also helped him to coordinate and facilitate chess coaches training and some smaller tournaments. Here are some pictures!
I have been slowly adapting to my living situation and daily life here in PG. I’ve learned to take VERY short showers because there is almost always one of my host-family members waiting to use the bathroom. Also, the water is damned cold in the morning! On that note, taking cold showers while trying to shave my legs is like a contradiction in terms… having shaved my legs, I go to wash off the soap with cold water, which gives me goose bumps, which in turn makes my legs hairs stand up- those very same hairs I’m trying to decapitate with my razor!! I’ve also learned that no matter what else is going on in my life, when it starts to rain, I should immediately drop everything and run home to take my laundry off the line – otherwise that’s like three hours of hard work down the drain! ALL parts of ANY animal can be and is eaten here! Pig tails, chicken necks and feet, cow foot soup, fish heads (and eyes)… ‘Gross!’ You might say. Here, we say ‘Lunch!’
Things I like about PG (and BZ as a whole):
The laid-back relaxed atmosphere; the friendly people (probably the nicest in the country, but for the mean crazy guy who calls us ‘white devils’ as we ride past); the fact that if you watch chickens for long enough you really do begin to see their resemblance to small dinosaurs (as others have noticed before me); the ferris wheel here goes like 35mph around and last like 20 minutes until you have to yell at the conductor to let you off so you don’t puke; meetings and events here can start late (average 30 minutes after posted start time) but MUST end on time; when someone asks you when it will be done and you say ‘Right now’ you actually have a window of between 15 minutes to 4 hours to complete said task (if you say ‘directly’ you agree to be done within 10-30 minutes); strange old men at the pier ask you for permission before they strip into their underwear for a dip in the sea; ideals and milkyways (sugary juices that are frozen in small plastic bags) can be bought in almost every front yard and only cost a shilling (25 cents); and last but not least – I live right on the Carib Sea!!! Bwahahaha!
Things I’m still getting used to (but not so much really!):
Cleanliness and sanitation are relative in a country where you eat with your hands, toilet paper is a luxury and is typically not flushed down toilets, and running water is subject to stop at any time (and for any reason); the buses here are actually old US school buses that have been badly repainted and forced to run until they literally combust on the sides of roads – which they do, I have pictures!; the buses here can and will take turns at 55mph, make u-turns in small spaces that would make an Audi Quattro envious, and drive precariously on bridges that even horses shy away from – they are also mainly on-time; back in the states washing cars brings the rains, here it’s doing my laundry (sigh); and lastly, I’d say not having my friends and family around to hang out with really sucks at times :(
Ok, up next, my new place that I will move into Friday! Photos and updates coming soon…