Friday, May 18, 2007

should i stay or should i go?

if only it were just the title of a clash song....

this week i received a visit from my APCD (director of the ag4/ee program) rolando. it was his 3rd and last visit to my site, one where he brought information on the dates and whereabouts of our COS. COS is a big roundup of all the remaining volunteers in my group, three months before our last day here in the country and as volunteers. at COS you as a group reflect back on your two years and all that fluffy bullshit, as well as talk about how it´s gonna be going back to the states, leaving all your close (or not-so-close) salvadoran friends and family behind (for most volunteers, this means leaving them forever). our COS is going to occur during my birthday and i´m not sure how i feel about that. i don´t want my birthday to be filled with all this crap. i don´t care if it´s going to be at a location on the beach. blech.

anyway, during rolando´s visit, he also talked briefly about whether or not i´d be wanting to extend my service. i think i mentioned here or there to you all before that you can ask to extend your service for any amount of time up to one year after your two-year service is up. you might not get approval to stay, but you can apply. i think it´s up to how much money your program has during the given year, as well as if the projects your working on warrant an extension of service. rolando said he thinks there´s enough money for 3 people to extend, and i don´t think there are many people in my group thinking of extending. from what i´ve heard everyone else (besides maybe courtney) are counting the days until they can go back to the motherland.

as you all know, and referring back to my ¨indecision insanity¨ entry from july 25, 2006, decision making really isn´t my strong suit. there are days where i think about being back in the states, lounging on a comfy sofa in front of the television, watching curb your enthusiasm ´til my side splits from laughing so hard. or i think about summer parties at my friends´ houses, having the greatest time just talking nonsense and feeling completely non-threatened, or just having backyard (or garage) barbecues at my house, with my dad at the helm and my mom making coleslaw from cabbage from the garden. these things make me homesick, for, well....home. a place where i have a car and if i feel like shit, i don´t have to pray that i make it on the hour-long bus ride back to my house. (seriously, antonio and i went to a movie a couple of weeks ago in santa ana, and we added up all the time we spent either waiting for or on a bus and it was longer than the time we actually just got to hang out.) a place where i can be anonymous if i want to. a place where i can go to the movies or the bookstore whenever the hell i want. a place where i can be outside my house after 9:00 p.m. and not have to wonder if it´s safe or not. i miss seeing my friends and i really miss hanging with the fam. but i don´t miss my ¨life¨ - i know it´s confusing, but it´s how i feel.

but i´d say, for every minute i spend thinking about home, i spend wondering how in the hell i can leave here. i love being here, honestly i do.....that is, i love being in apaneca. i hate san salvador, and i´m sure if i´d have been assigned any other site in the country, i´d probably love it less. but apaneca.....sweeeeet. i´ve written over and over about the great things about being here. i think i differ from a lot of other volunteers in that i haven´t come to hate el salvador. some people just can´t love it. some people are just so over it. in some ways i am over certain things (the fiestas at the we celebrated mother´s day...which was actually last week.....and i didn´t take one picture of the cute (ugh!) little kids dancing. seriously, when all these kids can read a book.....well now that´d be something spectacularly cute, and i´ll take pictures all day of that!) there are other things i´m over as well, but i just don´t think i´m ready to leave. i feel at ¨home¨ here...i guess, i feel at home in my life here. certain things i do are salvadoran, but i still have my american side which is why i think i´m comfortable.

though, the primary reason i´m not ready to leave is because here i am, six months away from leaving and i now have all these projects i´m in the middle of. i´m starting a library at the school for the kids, the committee i´m working with wants to talk about doing something big with the zona verde part of san jorge (like a casa comunal or something), plus we got this trash thing we´re working on. i want to do a lombriculture workshop at finca los andes.....the list goes on. i told rolando that i could see myself extending for a year and he said, ok, he´s noting it.

if that´s not enough, apparently another cantón in the area (up near one of the lagunas) wants to solicit me to work for them for a year. antonio was talking to the promotor de salud for that area, who talked to the director of the school, who said he wanted me to work up there. i suppose that´s an option if i´m not working on anything big for san jorge anymore. craziness, i tell ya.

so here i am, having yet another decision breakdown. if i do stay, peace corps does have to send me home for a month (i think it´s related to visa issues), so i suppose that would be nice. i´m not really ¨ready¨ to come back to the states for good.....i don´t know if i ever will be. there are other personal issues related to this (probably more important than i´m giving them credit for here in the blog) that i´m not going to go into just because it´s boring and fairly obvious and some of you have already figured it out. so i´ll just let that nancy drew mystery continue for the rest of you......

so, i´m not ready for COS, and even if i do stay, i still have to go to COS which will be a big ball of nothing for me, really. we´ll see! until i have more on this subject, i´ll leave you with some happiness from molineros!!

ok, so dayana´s now in second grade (and can read like a flash....i´m so proud of her!). meanwhile, sindy´s in kinder and still as cute as pie. they both are. i love them soooo much!

mama rosa getting a relaxing pedicure

mama rosa with dayana, sindy and their cousin fiorela (who´s just as damn cute as the other two)

the gang in front of the cross that ana decorated for día de la cruz (may 3rd)

dancin´ to saturday night tv favorite chi-chi-chivísimo!!!

sindy´s ¨bed head¨ - clearly the salvadoran little orphan annie