The holidays went well. Your mother visited, which of course you realized how good it was once she left. There is nothing like having your mother around for the holidays. You were so pleased that she had a good time, even though you had to take 2nd class on the train, which was an unique 15 hour hell.
Even though it is routine for there to be a bad class or two in a week it still surprises you how one bad hour of teaching can spoil the week. Why can’t we let go of the burning coal that is frustrated and anger? All it ever hurts is yourself, yet you routinely find yourself standing there like a fool holding a hot rock. In class you remind yourself how to be positive and focus more on the students than on your own emotions.
The other day, while typing up the results from your teach training you realized that all the participants marked that they had changed their views on corporal punishment because of the sessions. Within seconds your burnt out self lit up with no energy for the last leg of service. Maybe 80% of your kids will fail but hey, some teachers said they changed.
The grant to repair the primary school was funded within two days. It is amazing how easy it is to get money, yet how hard it is to make a lasting change. You really do hope that repairing the school and having the books form America will help. You know it will help. How could a book hurt? But as your watch the kids run and play and try to learn even as they’re hit for not having a passing grade you ask yourself where the change will come from.
You have found that in Peace Corps we try everything we can to make a change when we fail to see the change in ourselves. At times the best way to make an impact on the world around you is to alter yourself first. And you have been doing that. You feel alive and developed from your constant practice of creativity, wether it be physical in yoga or mental in the over 100 poems you’ve already written. Yes you have seen a change in your community and students but for your own future you see a change you have always wanted and worked towards.
Gaining Weight (101)
I’ve gained weight this past year
something that has never really happened to me
one day my pants just wouldn’t fit
I nearly said ‘I be damned’
days and months slowly creep upon someone like that
all these minute decisions that push up
lost in the folds of a skin that when faced with the obstacle of weight gain
shrugs his shoulders and just makes some more room