Said farewell to the 10th volunteer. It’s very possible that she’ll return, but the idea of not seeing her for 3 months is still hard to conceptualize. Who else lives a 45 minute bike ride from me? How will we know anything about other before we actually get a chance to tell one another (communication “gossip” through teachers)? Who will I make pancakes with?… Heavy stuff.
Just as each and every volunteer is different, their reason or circumstance for leaving is different too. Regardless, just about every volunteer that I’ve had the chance to say goodbye to, I’ve asked two, of what seem to be the most important questions, “Did you get enough batik?” and “What’s the first meal you plan to eat?” Family, friends, career path, in my opinion those all come secondary. Your appetite is what really needs to be attended to within the first few steps onto that holy land (America).
The communication circle within volunteers keeps getting stronger. This has been something that since our IST (in service training) I’ve noticed. In one simple text we know exactly how that fellow volunteer is feeling, what is wrong, if they could use a laugh, inspiration, or a phone call.
This was one of those texts that help lighten things up for me this week.
“First, I listened to “The World’s Greatest” before school so, yeah, I’m pumped. Second. How do people still ask me where I’m going? I’m sporting a school uniform. Madness.” –Brianna Boyer, PCV ID fly member and teacher at SMAN 3 Blitar.
Operation ravioli and brownies was a success. Volunteer Jonathan, traveled 3 hours on a winding path with olive oil, a pasta roller, a pre-prepped mixture of mouth-watering pumpkin and spinach filling, and a plan to make raviolis from scratch with the SLB students in my area. When it comes to sign language, I know about 2 signs and the alphabet–slowly. Jonathan can carry a whole conversation. It was inspiring just to watch him communicate with the kids as they learned how to make raviolis.
The presence of an outsider who is interested in them add in a homemade cuisine and a batch of sweet (not entirely baked) chocolate brownies to the mix and you’ve got a recipe for happiness.
One phrase that sums-up my first week of May:
Asta spicy de la pasta!
Really looking forward to see what’s in store for week 2.