I can’t say that I’ve experienced a time in my life when I’ve deserved to be mad…. or at time that I’ve deserved to fault situations when I know they are much grander than I. I can be sad, annoyed, frustrated, challenged, confused…but mad doesn’t figure. Picture traffic/road blockade/accident build-up that extends for more than a mile—your trip becomes tardy (great Spanish word “tardar”) 1.30 hr on top of your already 2 hour excursion (temp 90 plus). Picture your one day off, your prepping to leave for holiday, and the phone call you receive from a crying family, who lost their son to a life-long disease and a life-long of surgeries that didn’t work. Your asked to respond, go, pay, resolve NOW. Picture all of this, on top of everything else, and ask yourself where your feelings would be left to reside?
For me, I stay cool and collect and be thankful for each moment, no matter how long it takes, eventually passes calmly. The police, the road blocks, the phone calls, the tasks that never end, are a bother. And yeah I react within… and sometimes I worry there isn’t a crevice profound enough to handle my deep breathing. But instead of being mad, I do my best to assess and humor each situation as it comes. The road mess was the fault of a scary collision on this very scary road between jungle home and city home. I wasn’t a part of this collision and very could have easily been. I exited my car like everyone else, a sunkissed gringita with shades being the only contrasting similarity, surveyed the situation (like I love to do) and then joked with the guy next to me in regards to his comment “Hay que pedimos Autonomia, no mas.” Thousands of people, no way out… why, it’s the perfect time to star the political revolutionJ. Ps. The intense heat in the tropics leaves the Crucenos (people that live here) bien tranquilo.. it’s too hot to be violent, so they smile, joke and throw huge parties instead. They also do this on the highway and convert 2 lanes of two way traffic into four lanes of one way traffic, just because.
The phone call was the fault of some really down on luck people, who don’t have any money and who now don’t have the son they thought they’d always have. Yeah I could be mad at this Foundation for not prepping me on anything, but giving me authorization and responsibility to deal with all situations and deal with them in the correct way without ever knowing how—and knowing no one ever established “the correct” way in the first place. Yeah I could be mad that the Dr. Douglas boss man is in the countryside somewhere unable to be contacted. I could waste time with those energies. Or I could be thankful that I am part of a group that can and does help people, and that even if I don’t know what I’m doing I can say yes to the secretary that wishes to come with me to give $100 dollars to the family of the diseased, in the name of the foundation, by the name of me doing but now knowing what exactly I’m doing. I was about to go relax and pack but instead I hopped in a cab, found this family, paid my condolences and paid the family with as much help as I could. Of course it was a hard visit. His body was there in a white casket surrounded by these pedestals of purple neon lighting leading to a crucifix statue in the center. A teary eyed family sat in buggy room, with nothing but a really sweet casket. They thought their son was getting better. They thought he’d be leaving the hospital, not that they’d be leaving the hospital with his corpse not knowing how, and not having the resources, to take the next step.
I received from my parents and from a few good friends, the advice to not let this job overtake me. And to not let this said craziness envelope whatever saneness I have left. When I stop, I feel really sad. When I stop, I feel a little scared and a little too overwhelmed but too overworked to realize. This stopping doesn’t really happen too much. And yeah if I stop too much I’ll break down. I am going to take this advice to heart… and I think I’ll learn to experience, process and reflect at the same time.
In English, surmised from our phrasing, we are sane to start and driven crazy by the
situations that surround us. In Spanish, it’s the opposite way around. “Me vulve loca”… It returns me crazy.” We are born into a crazy world, sane only when we understand it, and returned crazy again we realize there are some things we’ll never understand.
I say it’s crazy, to all of you it seems cryptic. I try to tell my mom.. yeah mom I know, it’s crazy…but man how lucky am I that when I come home or when clinic ends I have like 3 hours to straight up chill (if in jungle where no one can call me and I’m too far to jump up and give the help that someone needs) and to write, gchat, drink filtered water, joke with Nico and the two girls from Palacios that live here (if in city where unfortunately people can call and I can jump to help at any moment). I thought this was a super reasoned theory. She reminded me- yah Rae, that’s great, but a 21 hour work day (my dreams aren’t quite my own yet)… does sound a lil insane. My favorite part of the week is sitting down to write… I remind myself what I learned, what I saw, and take the time to ask myself how I felt.
We’ll see kids. I’m calm, I’m good, I’m humbled. I'm also frustrated enough that I may demand some changes. I’ll get better at separating work from life and being able to help while still reserving energy for the days to come. Bearing that all passes calmy, I leave tonight for Cocha and will vacae until Jan 2. When I come back I am gonna force Dr. Douglas boss man to sit down with me and figure this out… and figure out how we can make all of this more efficient and less taxing and enable me and others to help without feeling unrecognized and lost in the process. I’ve talked with a lot of people involved with the clinic and pretty much on all ends people are devoted, and willing and able, but ultimately tired and in need of new ways… if I can, I’ll make this my “special project.” The help would be better as a result.
Oh yeah and Golpe de Estado (Coup d teat, ie. Poitical craziness pending) could be scheduled for first of the year… so y’all know I’m on my toesies and I’ll keep u updated in the process. Love and happy season of no work, no school, fam and good eats, and some festive bailando.