Journal Entry 30
-Give a man a match, he’ll be warm for a minute. Set a man on fire, he’ll be warm for the rest of his life.
Yay. Woke up in yet another another power outage. Someone in the real world wanna count them up for me? I’m too effing lazy, and I can’t count beyond thirty without needing a calculator. Ok, a thing of coffee to keep me from falling asleep. Anyway, no electricity, no washing my clothes, no shower, and, oh joy, the water has decided to go kaput too! I went to the kitchen, only to discover that there was absolutely no water. I tried to sink in the outside room next, and though there was some water, there was almost no pressure, so it basically just fell out a few drops at a time. At least there is drinking water in the fridge and in the water tank. Yay. I have something resembling a hope.
What I think a lot of people don’t understand is the fact that I am supposed to live in these conditions for the next ten months. It is ten months now, cause I have hit my month in Panama mark today. Or maybe it was yesterday. I can’t remember. I just know that my first journal entry was two days after I arrived here. But back to the matter at hand, ten months. I have classmates who couldn’t make it a week. I also have classmates who could and probably have made it a year or longer. You know who you are, and I applaud you for it. I also know that I am not them. I am someone who can deal with this for a week, or maybe longer, if it were by my choice. But to be tossed into these conditions, without any warning or consideration, that just does not work for me. I don’t consider myself weak. I also don’t consider my classmates who wouldn’t have made it a week pathetic either. We all have different strengths, and this is not one of mine. I just need people to start to respect my strengths and weaknesses, and to accept them. As my mom said, this was supposed to be an educational exchange, not a humanitarian exchange. So in addition to my much less than satisfactory conditions, I also have had very little educational experience here in Panama. I realize that the teacher’s union is not going to put their problems with the government on hold just for one spoiled little American girl, but I also want to get something from this exchange beyond mosquito bites, scars, and a juvenile record. You know, some actual education would be nice.
Wonderful. Juan Diego’s birthday is in full swing outside, with the music at a deafening volume, vibrations going through my bed and my stomach and my head. I have taken the maximum amount of Ibuprofen allowed for the next four hours, but I still need some more. And the mom has just informed me that AFS said that I shouldn’t spend so much time on the computer. This was right after I told her that the music and its vibrations was causing me physical pain. I responded by telling her (as I had already asked nicely and it clearly did not work) that I was going to work on my journal for a bit longer and then go outside. Ok, went outside. Didn’t last long, as the music is just as deafening as it is in the house, if not more so. I tried to talk to some of the people, but discovered that Spanish doesn’t make any more sense when I can only catch every third syllable. So I went back inside and threw myself at the mercy of Disturbed. When Skype and your parents fail you, heavy metal is the only chance. That, and punching the door frame whenever I walk by it. Makes me feel just slightly better, and less likely to hit the family.
Basically spent the day ignoring the mom whenever she came by to try and turn me out, watching Eureka and Haven, listening to my music and feeling Nataly’s. I also sent a few emails to my liaison, who has never responded, but I hope she actually gets them, and to the other contact I have with AFS Panama, who also hasn’t responded. I also tried to call my mom and dad for about thirty minutes until I gave up and started stabbing my arm with my pencil out of an attempt to control something in this noise filled environment, even if it was the amount of pain I was feeling.
They finally turned the music down enough for me to leave the bedroom. We had to sing happy birthday to Juan Diego, and eat the shit cake. Cake here is really crappy. Like, mass produced in China. Buy one shipment, get one free. Oh, and the cousin who’s birthday was yesterday came, and brought two ducklings for some reason. They were so freaking cute! Just adorable. And really really soft. They were afraid of my flash on my camera.
Well, took off after trying to eat the cake but giving up because of the flavor, and texture. I went to take a shower instead. Yay for buckets. And dirt. And dirty water. And cold dirty water that comes out of a bucket, which is filled by a tap with a red handle (meaning not safe for use for anything) which seems to come out of the toilet. So I hate showers here. And I am never going to appreciate real showers more when I get home or to a new place. I will love my shower. I will love anyone who lets me have a real shower. I will buy them fucking chocolate!
Yay! Finally got to wash my clothes. Which means that I will have clean underwear and pjs again! Mom, two pairs of pj bottoms does not last a week here. Honestly, you really don’t want to wear anything for longer than a day, and I only borrow one pair of pjs from Nataly a week. So, three for seven days, or longer, seeing as the clothes have to dry. Yet another thing AFS got wrong; I wash my clothes once a week, not twice.
I think I am finally at the point where I can no longer keep up my ‘nice girl/good girl’ facade any longer. The music played at deafening volume and the mom laughing at me when I informed her of my issue with it has basically stripped me of any interest in playing the good host daughter any longer..
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